Hello happy readers! Days off fly by so much faster than those for which we work, why is that? If all goes according to plan I'll be seeing The Huntsman: Winter's War tonight so I'm excited about that. But in the mean time I do have a new release book I recently read for you, Firstlife by Gena Showalter. I've never read anything by this author before but this cover really caught my eye and was an anticipated read after I read the synopsis.
One choice. Two realms. No second chances. That's the tagline! Basically the life you live now is just a Firstlife and during it you make a choice as to where to spend your Everlife: Troika or Myriad. If you don't make a decision before your death and are unsigned you go to the Realm of Many Ends, a nasty place of bad things. We follow Ten an unsigned seventeen year old girl who has spent the last year and change imprisoned in an asylum subjected to all forms of torture and persuasion at the request of her parents hoping to make her choose their way. See the two after realms are at war. Both realms want Ten, she is something special to them both and could sway the war. Laborers, aka recruiters, from both are sent to try and convince her to come to their side. Making such a decision is hard on a regular person and Ten isn't your regular girl.
This books had me from the start with the whole concept of the first life being just a dress rehearsal for your next one where things really count. Both Troika and Myriad have their pros and cons for me and I did enjoy hearing them pitched throughout the book. One will offer deals and perks to sign with them, enticements, where as the other is equal everyone gets the same package, light vs. dark and so on. Prynne Asylum is pretty horrific. Seriously her parents were on my hit list the whole book. I would have picked the other realm just so I would never have to see them again and oh yeah out of spite for what they did. But Ten isn't me and she is more resilient she only wants to make her own choice and not one forced upon her out of pain or fear or anything. I respected that. I also enjoyed her play on numbers it was unique and something I don't think I've ever read before. This book also had one line that made me drop my book. It was just something that was so me that I couldn't hold the book I was laughing so hard. Took a while to start again because of tears of laughter. There were funny moments here and there but that took the cake *pun intended* for me.
The two Laborers, Killian and Archer, are both hilarious. The e-mails between them and their realm were pretty great going between intense and hilarious. Both have their own way of doing things, they are for their realm but each at times can see how some things are flawed in time. The dynamic between Killian and Archer is great the seething hate for one another that we see explained piece by piece was nice. I even liked the character of Sloan who developed nicely from when we first meet her. Still have to respect Ten though and her determination to not be forced into a choice. She was a bit indecisive but when the choice is so big I can understand that.
I was pushed through the story quickly and easily picking up things here and there and found myself surprised at some aspects of the story which is nice. War is happening and both sides want her and if they can't have her then they would rather her be in the Realm of Many Ends. So with so many people out to sign or kill you it's a huge mess but lots of things are uncovered and she keeps kicking challenging herself and moving forward. The whole book was a great fantasy get away for me and I look forward to learning more about all of the realms and what started the war in them to begin with. Also if she is so important how that will play out in the battles to come. I would highly recommend this one and would love to hear your thoughts below in the comments about which realm you might go with.
Until next time…