Review – Level 2
  • Posted:
  • April 2, 2013
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Level 2 is a debut novel by Lenore Appelhans. Ostensibly, I picked it up because it seemed to be a unique Science Fiction Dystopia about people having access to their own memories. What I encountered was a trumped up vision of an afterlife where people wait in limbo before entering Level 3 (or Heaven) as angels.

I have had a moratorium on angel books for the last year. For that matter any book that uses the phrase “war in heaven”. I’ve read to many of them and they are all the same, and I just cannot do them anymore. Level 3, with all of its surprise and nifty premise, did not survive the moratorium. This book was a do-not-finish.

Felicia is dead and marooned in Level 2, the waiting space between here and there. To pass the time she accesses her own memories, renting others and loaning hers out to her co-inhabitants. This is what the people of Level 2 do, relive their lives that they no longer have. Then one day a man breaks into the space, a dangerous man that Felicia once knew. He wants to take her out of Level 2 for one purpose, a purpose that she is destined for.

But, like I said, this was a do-not-finish.

There were a few things that hampered my enjoyment. Felicia was too passive and inactive in her own (after) life. Julian, the man who breaks Felicia out of Level 2, was uninteresting and one sided. I felt like Appelhans was rewriting every sexually tense bad-would-be-good guy that has come before in the Young Adult market. Then there’s Neil, the other love interest who’s so bland that he blends into the background. Between the two and the plot line that I hate we have a recipe for disaster – angels and bad love triangles… A perfect match for a do-not-finish. If I wanted to read that I would just pick up the last Cynthia Hand book, which I haven’t quite brought myself to read yet. Because of the moratorium. Even though I kind of want to (but I don’t).

On some level it’s my own damn fault. I avoid reading synopsis of books like the plague. Had I read the back of this book I would have just put it aside. I hate reading the spoilers that can be found on the back of books. As such I only know the barest amount of information of a book before I go in. It’s Sci-fi, or it’s Paranormal, or it’s Contemporary. That’s generally all I know going in. I search for a mood of a book and I choose. Always. And sometimes it bites me in the bum.

Now, the first part of this book was really good, and I was enjoying it. But as soon as the reveal came, and Appelhans introduced the direction this book was going in, well… I jumped ship. And I don’t feel bad about it. Looking at other reviews this book seems to be really split – People love it, or hate it, and what I was hating about it only seems to get worse. I wanted to love it, but the unoriginality of the plot combined with the originality of the world building facade just killed me. I Wanted it to stand up to that beginning, but the plot was weak and expected. And, like I said, I don’t do wars in heaven.

Or anything close to that.

1 out of 5 stars.

– BP

– Follow the Reader –

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