Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
on August 26, 2014
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
“I’m a ticking time bomb. And one day soon everything is going to explode.”
Felicia and Neil have arrived in Level 3 and are supposed to prepare for their divine vocations.
But during Felicia and Neil’s training period, a series of explosions rips through Level 3. Tension is high, and casualties are mounting. A rift forms between the pair, one that grows wider when Felicia receives memories from the Morati. The memories cast doubt on the people she loves the most, but Felicia can’t stop her curiosity. She has to know the truth about her life – even if it means putting at risk everything she’s worked for in her death.
I read the first book, Level Two (now called The Memory of After in paperback) and enjoyed it, overall. I was looking forward to reading this sequel, hoping it would provide answers to a few questions I had leftover from Level Two.
This book was a pretty entertaining read. It answered most of my questions and was full of action. Plot-wise, Chasing Before did a good job of reminding me of the events from Level Two without feeling like an info dump.
While I liked the plot, I struggled to feel anything for the characters. Felicia was interesting and I enjoyed reading as she tried to come to terms with her past, present, and future. I felt more of a connection to her than I did in the previous book. There were other characters that I thought added something to the story (I won’t name for potential spoiler reasons), partly because Felicia wasn’t sure who she could trust, which certainly added to the tension and suspense. Neil, thought, was a character I just couldn’t wrap my head around. I don’t know if this was due to the way Felicia saw him – an idealized version of him, which magnified his actions that didn’t seem to fit with her vision of him as perfect. Whatever the reason, he came off as very ‘holier than thou’ and I struggled big time to believe in their romance and their professed feelings for each other.
There was a sense of finality and closure at the end of Chasing Before, which makes me think this is a duology. However, if I’m wrong and there’s a third book, I’d check it out. Definitely recommended for fans of Level Two/The Memory of After. I think you’ll enjoy this book even more!