Imagine this life is just preparation for real life, or Secondlife. Imagine your second life will be spent in one of two realms – Troika or Myriad – and each of those realms are trying to sign you. Imagine me not being able to walk past a book this intriguing…
As you can well believe I spend a lot of time browsing in bookshops and libraries. One of my favourite pastimes is read the back of books and trying to find one that intrigues me, and Firstlife was one of those books. As soon as I read the back I knew I could not leave the bookshop without it, and I was nor disappointed.
Tenley Lockwood is a special human. On her birth her light shone so brightly both of the second life realms want to sign her secondlife. Her parents have promised her to Myriad, but Tenley is unsure. To assist her in making her decision her parents have sent her to Prynne Asylum, but for thirteen months she has refused to choose.
Gena Showalter has written an engrossing story with a twist on the age old heaven and hell/good versus evil theme. As representatives from the two realms try to convince Tenley to sign with them the story moves from the Asylum to America with a few sidesteps into the realms, and uses an love triangle to create additional tensions. As she tries to come to a decision about her second life, Tenley fights for her right to have a Firstlife, questions love and friendship and also questions herself.
If this book has a downside it is the violence. Of course it deals with death, because how else to do get to the second life? And of course if the second life is what really matters violence and pain in the firstlife is more acceptable – or is it? Because of the level of violence I would recommend this book as definitely being for Young Adult aged readers, not just children reading at that level.
And I really would recommend it. I could not put it down. I loved Tenley as a character. She is strong but flawed, and no matter what happens to her she retains her essential goodness. I loved the world Gena Showalter has created, and the story line is hard to pull yourself out of. In fact I fell asleep trying to get through the last few chapters, and when I awoke I had to finish the book before doing anything else.
I am so pleased that book two in this series has already been released. I had best put aside a weekend, because I won’t want any interruptions.