Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.
There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…~Goodreads Blurb
Typically when the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…” is used you expect to find a great story hidden behind a rather crappy cover. In this case, I ended up with a gorgeous cover and a lackluster story. The frustrating thing is that it could have been so good. The idea of two warring afterlives, and a terrifying limbo state, light versus dark, you could even throw in a solarpunk over lunarpunk twist if you wanted. The framework had such potential, but I feel the author just didn’t quite live up to what she wanted to write. The backstory is almost non-existent except to tell us that this is the way it has always been and every once and awhile, the “gods” show up to prove their existence. Did I mention that the some of them have powers from their Afterlives, and they exist in Shells? The sheer amount of paths this could have taken is breathtaking. With the brilliant cover art and the promise of a fresh series, I admit I may have expected too much. Instead of creating a new world for her readers the author has rehashed some old standard tropes, and copped-out with the character development. The standard Brit-Irish accent, dark hair light hair, bad boy good guy battle for the super special girl has been seriously played out and I was hoping for male characters that would bolster and push our lead character to become the great person she is destined to be. Not so much, once again. It was an easy read and luckily I have enough imagination to make up for the bones I was thrown.
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.
Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.