My WoW this week is...
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow prisoners, Felicia passes the endless hours downloading memories and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and the boy she loved, Neil.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber disappears, and nobody but Felicia seems to recall she existed in the first place. Something is obviously very wrong. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, she learns the truth: a rebellion is brewing to overthrow the Morati, the guardians of Level 2.
Felicia is reluctant to trust Julian, but then he promises what she wants the most—to be with Neil again—if only she’ll join the rebels. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself in the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.
(Summary + Image from Goodreads)
Okay, so part of my reasons for wanting to read this book so desperately may be completely misconceived. I got so excited when I read the first two paragraphs, thinking, "Oh, this sounds like a YA cross between The Matrix and Flight Plan! Amazing!" and then suddenly - BAM! Heaven and Earth, good/evil, potential love triangle. I was completely surprised. The idea's been planted though, and now whenever I think of this book I imagine a white, futuristic Heaven where Morgan Freeman is God...
... and Julian and Felicia are Neo and Trinity. The cover and descriptions totally fit! "Stark white afterlife"? Rebels? Observe:
|"Guns. Lots of guns."|
Seriously though, what makes LEVEL 2 feel new and refreshing, and one of my most anticipated reads, is the futuristic element. I don't think I've read any YA books that have combined religious themes with a dystopian or sci-fi feel (or at least not so clearly), and I'm so excited to see how Lenore Appelhans merges the two. Of course, this could be completely off. The book may not focus on either at all, and I only really jumped logically to 'religious themes' from the mention of 'Heaven'. However, the fact that it has me considering all its possibilities after only a three-paragraph blurb is a really good sign, and the plot sounds fresh and exciting regardless!