Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.
There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…
“A Conduit is the highest type of General, second only to King. Conduits are rare and precious, powerful both here and there. They absorb sunlight from Earth—which is more than just heat and illumination—and direct the beams to the realm. There are whispers about you,” she says, only to go quiet.
“Whispers suggesting I’m a Conduit?” Someone rare and precious? Powerful?
Warning: Special Girl alert!
This book has whiny special snowflake written all over it. Even worse than the main character is the writing and setting, The writing is extremely choppy. That, combined with the action-packed plot, rendered the book nearlyunreadable. This has the pleasure of being the most headache-inducing book I’ve read so far this year
1. The setting is a massive headache-inducing infodumpfilled with plot holes
2. Within 10 pages, we learn that Ten is destined to be aSpeshul, Speshul girl with a Speshul, Speshul destiny
3. The writing. Horrendous.
4. The stupid romance. Yes, the death of many a promising book
So, the setting. Simply put, life is not life. Life is just a preparation for the next life, in which you get to choose a faction. The factions are either Myriad or Troika. Ten is in an asylum because she refuses to choose a side.
Now all that is fantastic and great. I mean, good for you, girl. Stand up for yourself. Be a rebel. Withstand 13 months of misery and torture in the asylum so you can stand up for what you believe in.
So what’s the problem here? The problem is that Ten never, ever gives us a fucking reason why she won’t choose a fucking side. Like what the fuck?! If you’re going to stand for something, fucking tell us what that something is! Imagine: Martin Luther King gives his “I have a dream” speech. That speech would be pretty meaningless if he hadn’t gone on to tell us why, right? GIVE ME A FREAKING REASON. So stupid. So frustrating. I just kept waiting for a reason and I never got it.
As such, the book felt like an exercise in futility. The concept of a second life is so interesting, except that major, major things are never explained. Things like: the factions are at war. But why are they at war? Yeah. A not insignificant question.
Ten is a special snowflake, in case the first quote in my review didn’t make it quite clear. She’s in such high demand that both sides, Troika and Myriad, have sent two ultra-hot boys to win her over to their respective sides. And damn if it isn’t a good strategy, because Ten really can’t fucking focus on anything besides how hot the guys are.
My gaze lands on a boy I’ve never before seen and oh, wow. Okay. He. Is. Gorgeous. Not that I care about a pretty face. Pretty can hide a monster. But I’m not overhyping when I say he’s a living ad for every dream-boy fantasy every girl in the universe has ever had.
Ten’s girl boner constantly rages on throughout the book.It’s pretty ironic that Ten says “Beauty fades. Character lasts forever” because lol it really doesn’t show.
The writing. Good god, I hated the writing. The sentences are short. Descriptions are brief. The majority of the book, it feels, is speech. It was so confusing. It was so disruptive. The main character is OCD with an obsession with numbers and by god if I didn’t feel claustrophobic reading through her narration. It’s not a skill to annoy a reader. I’ll leave you with an excerpt of the writing style.
“I can have each of those things in this life, on my own.”
“So. You want what you can’t find here.” He releases me. “You want a guarantee.”
Yes! “I want to not regret my decision forever.” Pressure…
“No one can give you a guarantee.”
“I know!” Growing… “Here, at least, I can tell myself that what happens is temporary. In the Everlife, I can’t do that. It’s permanent.”
“Well, I gather it’s much, much harder to kill a spirit than a human.”
“Maybe I’ll be killed if I fail to sign you.”
Pressure…exploding. Another manipulation. The last one I’ll tolerate.