The Memory of After
By Lenore Appelhans
In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen discovers that death is just the beginning.
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 drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.
Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at 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.
This book was formerly published as Level 2 but due to readers automatically assuming it was the second book in a series Simon & Schuster Books decided to pick it up and re-release it with a new title and cover. For me covers and titles are what make me want to pick up an unfamiliar book in a store so I completely agree with Simon & Schuster’s revamp. By no means do I consider myself a book snob and only read the ones with cool covers, I’m just trying to point out how effective they can be. Compared to The Memory of After’s counterpart Level 2, the new cover is way better.
After reading the synopsis on Pulseit I knew I wanted to read it. I like to try out books with themes I haven’t read before to see where the author goes and figure out what they may have been thinking when they came up with the idea. Lenore Appelhans tells Felicia Ward’s story by starting with a glimpse of Felicia trapped in the all-white expanse with other drones, all forced to replay memories of their lives on earth. Then to help the reader understand Felicia’s way of thinking and who she is we get to travel back and witness all of her memories she chooses to relive throughout the book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the parts that were her actual memories. When I was, I found myself really liking her and eager for the next moment, but then they would end and I’d find myself back in her reality on Level 2. This really didn’t pull me into the story and left me confused in some places wondering what was going on and how the Morati and Rebels even played such a big role.
Once I got a little over half way through The Memory of After, I found myself turning the pages a lot faster and re-reading some parts because I wanted to feel that moment again. More details about Level 2 were shared and the dots started to connect so I could understand what was so important that Felicia just had to get involved. The story line picked up the pace and finally had me in its grip. So many things happened to challenge Felicia and Julian (the guy she knew in life) that it totally changed the entire scope of the story, making it worth reading. I will be reading the second book in Appelhans Memory Series because I was left intrigued and curious about what Felicia Ward’s going to have to face after everything that happened in The Memory After.
On a side note here, just because I found the beginning of the book to be slow moving and its only redeeming qualities were the glimpse into Felicia’s memories doesn’t mean that you’ll agree. You may love this book from the start, my sister has different opinions on what makes a great read and we don’t always agree. Therefore you may not always agree with me either and that's okay.