Lenore Appelhans, The Memory of After

It isn’t all that often that we encounter a YA fantasy where the heroine and one of the male love interests belong to a church youth group and the other love interest is a fallen angel. It’s even rarer to have a novel that starts in the afterlife. But that’s what we have here, and it’s a pretty neat ride.

Who would have thought that the afterlife would be a series of endless replays (unless you manage to borrow someone else’s memories?) But that’s what Felicia’s stuck in, until an old boyfriend named Julian bursts into the hive and engineers her escape into an afterworld in which fallen angels called the Morati are holding up everyone’s progress toward heaven (or hell) in order to collect enough power from the waylaid spirits to mount an assault on heaven itself. The plot unfolds with plenty of unexpected twists and turns to a satisfying conclusion, and it sets up possible sequels with a premise that could prove very interesting.

I have to point out that the world-building is a bit on the light side. Exactly why spirits’ memories provide power to the fallen angels remains a bit vague, and it’s even vaguer why Felicia is special – explanations are offered, but to my ear they’re not fully convincing. However, that’s no obstacle to getting a fun read (unless, like me, you’re super-critical about things like that.). It’s also worth noting that this is a book you can easily give to a younger teen – it’s quick-paced, easy to read, and pretty clean (though well-stocked with kisses, so it’s most distinctly not hormone-neutral!)

It’s fun. So enjoy! I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Note: I got a signed copy of this book for free at Book Expo America. I have no other connection with the publisher.

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