The Memory Chronicles #1. Author: Lenore Appelhans.
Felicia Ward is dead. What’s more, she’s tired of the afterlife – a blank, white place of cells where she and the other dead girls of her age spend their time reliving memories of their lives, over and over. Something’s wrong, for when one girl vanishes the others can’t remember her existence – so she’s ready to believe it when a mysterious rescuer steps through the wall and takes her away, explaining how this level of the afterlife has been corrupted by the Morati, evil angels, and they are on a mission to return it to its purpose. Felicia could be key to their plan, and what’s more, she could have the chance to see her love, Neil, again. Still… can she really trust her allies?
The concept was original, but not much else was. The main character wasn’t very relatable, nor were most of the others. I felt like the constant flashbacks slowed down the plot, which was strange in itself; due to their ability of ‘materialization’, it would have been too easy to win if they took full advantage. None of the relationships were particularly believable either – even the one with her boyfriend showed through memories doesn’t show much of why they were together. Finally, on the personal side I couldn’t relate to the main character because of her morals, with which I did not agree. The ‘theology’ was just weird, for the most part.
Sexual content: Nine kisses. Girl is pressured by her church community to sign a ‘virginity pledge’ with others, promising to save her virginity until marriage; she refuses, doesn’t want to promise that. Boy/girl kissing, girl ‘slides hand up his shirt over his heart’. Girl takes off her clothes and walks into the bedroom where a boy is sleeping, starts kissing him (he makes her get dressed again).
Language: 5 d***, 5 hell, 4 scatological terms, 1 derogatory name.
Violence: One character nearly strangles another. One character forced to relive her death memory, it does something strange to her mind. Characters shoot various ‘spirits’ with arrows, behead them. Character vividly remembers finding a badly cut body of a friend.