Series: The Memory Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster BFYR
Pub Date: September 3rd 2013
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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Ever since she was killed in a car accident just before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in the afterlife. She spends the endless hours uploading and re-watching memories from her time on Earth, missing the people she left behind - especially her boyfriend, Neil.
That all changes when Julian, a dangerously charming acquaintance from Felicia's life, appears in her memory chamber. He offers her a chance to escape: If Felicia joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angels in charge of Level 2, she'll be free to move on. Wary of trusting Julian, Felicia only agrees when he promises her the chance to be with Neil again. But there's more to this battle than anyone, even Julian, knows, and Felicia finds herself at the center of an eternal struggle between good and evil.
I’ll start off by saying that The Memory of After is a lot more religious & fantasy than I originally thought it would be. The story is told from Felicia’s point of view and takes place in what is referred to as Phase 2.
Phase 2 is the equivalent to a Catholic’s Purgatory. It’s a sort of “limbo” where souls go after they pass, and they remain here until they have come to terms with their deaths. The setup for this Phase 2 world is described as a beehive-like structure, and the copy I read from even had a map, but it just didn’t match at all with the descriptions in the book which only made the world harder to visualize.
In this Phase 2, souls spend their time in pods where they play back memories from when they were alive. The whole memories concept works like YouTube. Basically, you can share your memories with others and collect credits every time someone watches your memories. You could tag your memories with key phrases that you think will attract an audience and the more your videos are played, the more credits you would earn. Since Felicia, our main character, did a lot of traveling when she was alive, she has racked up plenty of credits which she can then use to watch other’s memories.
Anther concept I really enjoyed was that of the Morati and how they came to be. They are the angels that watch over everyone in Phase 2. The idea of them holding a grudge against their creator and doing things to retaliate was brilliant! This book is like nothing I’ve read before. With that being said, I was disappointed that this idea wasn’t fully thought out. A lot of the explanations made little to no sense to me and I felt confused more than once.
My biggest problem with The Memory of After was the character building. I just couldn’t connect to any of the characters. Not one. I thought our main character, Felicia, was very immature and a horrible friend. Also, I couldn’t understand her obsession with Neil who she knew/dated when she was still alive for a little more than 12 minutes. The whole thing just seemed odd to me. Julian’s character was okay, but he could’ve been killed off and I wouldn’t have been bothered.
Overall, I thought it was a super cool idea for a book and bonus points for being different from anything I’ve read before, but I couldn’t connect with any of the characters & the world building was really poor. I checked out Chasing Before from my public library, so I might still read book 2 just to see this story’s conclusion