Saturday, 27 February 2016

Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Firstlife by Gena ShowalterTitle: Firstlife
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Everlife
Pages: 480
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Release date: 23rd February 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads) :




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…

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

I had read a few early reviews about Firstlife, the first book in Gena Showalter's new seies Everlife and I have to admit I went in to it with my expectations lowered but in the end I was hooked! I loved the complexity, the characters and the uniqueness of this new series.

Seventeen year-old Tenley “Ten” Lockwood has been placed in Prynne Asylum by her parents who believe she should have decided on her afterlife realm; she has been beaten and treated atrociously but she remained determined to make her own decision. I really liked Ten, yes she was stubborn and indecisive but I thought her strength and determination was awesome! I also enjoyed her obsession with numbers and her logical thought process.

The plot was fast paced and the world-building although complex had me engrossed, There are two realms which is believed where ‘real’ life truly begins, Troika (Structure, study and conformity) & Myriad (autonomy, bliss and indulgence) who have been at war for centuries, fighting to win souls which is why picking a side is so important for humans, we also learn about Many Ends which is where the Unsigned souls end up, Troika considers Ten a Conduit; Myriad considers her an abrogate and to be honest I am still clueless about why she is so important or why they are even at war but both are eager for her to join them and willing to offer her plenty for her loyalty. Troika and Myriad more or less reap souls. I thoroughly enjoyed the background information we are given and despite it being quite intricate, I enjoyed the way it was all explained.

To help Ten in her decision making are Laborers and long-time enemies Killian and Archer. Laborers arrive in a shell, a humanoid outer casing that makes the spirit tangible in the physical world and I quite liked both of these guys for different reasons, they were complete opposites but I enjoyed learning about their pasts. We have a small amount of romance but it definitely wasn’t at the forefront of the story.

I can’t say much about the side characters because the only people who weren’t crazy and mad were Deacon and Sloan, I couldn’t stand Ten’s parents! Her dad wields a massive amount of power and I felt her mother was weak and didn’t protect her at all; it was a sad dynamic. The bad guys in this book were pure evil and I feel everyone is working for their own agenda and can’t be trusted.

I always enjoy Gena Showalter’s writing style and wonderful imagination, Firstlife was entertaining, highly creative and unique. I was very curious about the year this world was set in, it’s been filed by many under dystopia but I can’t quite be certain.

Overall, I enjoyed Firstlife and I am eager to see how everything pans out for Ten and the laborers; filled with action, betrayal and a sweet budding romance I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thank you to Harlequin Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Firstlife.

Gena ShowalterAbout the author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. 


  1. I've been waiting for someone to review this and I'm glad you liked it. The world does sound intricate but I'm intrigued. I always find it interesting when established genre authors venture into YA.

  2. The reviews for this book have sure been mixed. But i think i'll wait for its sequel to begin this story.

    Great review :)
    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  3. I've only read one book by this author and I think I liked it (it was so long ago). This book sounds very interesting, haven't read many reviews on it yet but I;m glad you liked it!

  4. I'm really curious about this one! It sound right up my alley. I do love the author's writing--it's just so easy to read--and her books are always fun. :)


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