288 pages; published January 2013
Felicia West, after a brief life and a tragic death, contentedly spends her days reliving memories of her happier times on earth and making new friends in the high-tech “hive” that has become her world. When an outsider steps from her past and through the wall of her hive, she finds herself on the run and wrapped up in a wild plot that may have her knocking on heaven’s door.
Felicia West, age 17, now dead, has landed in what is essentially purgatory – suspended between heaven and earth in a high-tech world where memories are relived, shared, and traded through a sort of purgatory intranet. Enclosed in a smooth, white hive with several other dead teens, Felicia passes her time making new friends and “plugging in” to the network to drift through the key moments of her own life. A blast from her past – in the form of an old boyfriend who suddenly breaks into the hive – turns her placid afterlife into a wild adventure as she is pulled into a rebel network challenging the practices of the half-fallen angels who run Level 2.
Because of the access to earth-bound memories, the book is a sci-fi adventure interlaced with realistic fiction. As Felicia re-plays select scenes from her short life, we slowly piece together the mystery of why she died, why she might not be heaven-worthy, and why she is so important to the rebel cause.
There were parts of this book that made very little sense to me, but it was an intriguing premise. I felt a stronger affinity for Felicia’s “real” life, which is doled out in little bites with some heavy foreshadowing. I was heavily engaged in the struggle to find out what she had done in life that was so, so terrible. My mind wasn’t exactly blown by the answer, but it was a satisfying conclusion.
But Wait! There’s More …
This is Book 1 of The Memory Chronicles. Level 3 is expected out in 2014.