Monday, January 18, 2016
Felicia Ward is still dead, but she's moved on to Level 3. Because of her work, people have been flooding into Level 3 because she broke the Morati's hold on Level 2. She is also reunited with her love, Neil. Together, they move on and immediately find that the records room was destroyed, obliterating any evidence that could help identify the Morati angels. Then the attacks get more frequent, targeting specific populations so the people are helpless. On top of all this, there is trouble in paradise as Neil pushes Felicia away and it becomes clear that they lost some memories from Earth. Can Felicia save Level 3 and fix her love life?
I wasn't a fan of The Memory of After, but I had already committed to review this installment. I figured I should go in with an open mind and I tried my hardest, but so many things caused me to roll my eyes in just the first few pages. Needless to say, I did not finish the book. First, the Morati destroy physical copies of people's records. Why aren't these records corporeal in the first place? If they can choose to make them anything, why not computers that can be backed up? It's incredibly convenient and just weird. Why are the records even needed? It's the afterlife with infinite possibilities. A character in the book even mentions this and it's summarily dismissed as if that's a satisfactory answer. Then, the world's rules are conveniently played with to allow even the most experienced people to die. It was established in the last book that physical harm could not come to people in the afterlife if they didn't think anything would actually hurt them. Suddenly, this is thrown out when the Morati get involved even though they were pretty present in the last book. There were way to many oddly convenient things happening that didn't feel organic or even sensical.
As with the last book, I had problems with many of the characters. Autumn is back since it's the afterlife and she's exactly the same as she was on Earth: way too self involved and invested in making sure she's better than Felicia and putting Felicia down at every turn. What kind of friendship is this? I get that toxic relationships exist, but why doesn't Felicia see how bad this is or at least say something about the horrible treatment? Neil is as sanctimonious and hypocritical as ever. Felicia and Neil have the opportunity to house together, but Neil freaks out and says no. First of all, if he had any self control at all and was actually committed to standing by his morals, living in the same room wouldn't matter. Second, they would nap together all the time on Earth which is totally ok and not sinful, but sleeping side by side at night is somehow evil. He also gets mad at her for not telling him everything, but he doesn't return the favor. He's very annoying, but Felicia insists on making their relationship work and do absolutely everything together than the overly attached girlfriend.
I ragequit Chasing Before when Neil's brother (who is there super conveniently) blackmails Felicia into doing something unforgivably mean to Autumn. This manufactured drama was the last straw. I knew she wouldn't even just say no because her lost memories are worth more to her than pretty much anything else in the whole book. I love Lenore Appelhans' blog and prose in general, but this series is just not for me.
My rating: Did Not Finish