Life Blood


5 Crickets

*this is the 2nd book in a series, as a result there will be spoilers to the first book*

Title: Lifeblood
Author: Gena Showalter
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Published: 28 February 2017

“My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.”

With her last living breath, Tenley ‘Ten’ Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future – and the enemy wants her neutralised. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die.No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget – the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice: Love… or victory.

This is the second book in the Everlife series by Gena Showalter and words cannot even describe how I feel about this series. I had high hopes going into Lifeblood, and all I can say is I was not disappointed! In fact, it probably exceeded my expectations! I’ve come across a lot of the ‘middle book syndrome’ type stuff recently, where the second book in a series just kinda slumps, but just like with Firstlife, I was completely hooked from the beginning right through to the end.

There were times while reading this book where the situation could have gone one of a few ways, some of which I felt were predictable and a bit overdone but the most likely to happen. However! There weren’t any of the cliche moments, and I was not disappointed by how the events unfolded.

I absolutely loved Ten and Killian’s relationship!
*possible spoilers*
In a lot of stories where lovers are on opposite sides of a war, there is that tension between them, and usually one will end up betraying the other – even without realising it. However, with these two, there wasn’t that “unnecessary” drama going on between them ontop of everything else. They stayed strong and loyal to each other, no matter what it was that they faced. And I loved that about them. It was so good to see a couple who could be strong together, and in each other, a couple that trusted each other rather than letting other people put thoughts of doubt in their heads. It was wonderful to read.

One of my favourite parts about this series is Ten’s use of poetry. I felt like there weren’t quite as many poems in the book as the first, but they were still amazing when they did come about. Here is a snippet from one of the poems in the beginning of the book.

Happiness is not obtainable
And I will never believe that
Love and Light will lead the way
Again and again, I’ve been shown that
Pain and darkness always win
It is a lie that
Happiness and joy are a choice”

I love how the poem can be flipped, and so reading it from the bottom up gives a whole new meaning!

There was only one little thing with this book that sometimes annoyed me, and that was that it felt like it was a little repetitive at times. Not on big things or anything like that, it was just like a line that gave a bit of information, but it was worded like it was new information when it was something that was already mentioned. Since it was generally just a few words, this didn’t bother me so much. And at times it was helpful, as there may have been a big gap between times the information was given. I think I found it annoying simple because I remember what happens quite clearly when I read. But this certainly wasn’t something that caused me to be annoyed with the book as a whole or even make me put off reading it at any stage.

*mini rant*
I have read a few reviews for this book, as I do before/while I’m writing my own reviews and one of things that came up was that Ten was too focused on romance and not focused enough on Troika and getting to know the realm and it’s people. While reading the novel there were times in which I didn’t think Ten did have enough focus on getting to know the in’s and out’s of Troika – she kept stating she had a lot to learn, but there didn’t seem to be much learning happening. However, I felt like this made Ten more relatable. As a reader it is easy to judge characters for their behaviour by how we think they should be acting (yes, the realms are at war and Ten is a major player in this, she should be putting all her focus into doing all she can for her realm) but we can easily forget that characters are meant to represent real people. In this case, Ten is an eighteen year old girl who has died, twice, lost her family and her best friend and is now on the opposite team to the guy she loves – not to mention that she had been tortured for over a year before all this – and a hell of a lot more happened to her. And rather than getting a break to deal with everything she’s been through, she is thrust right into a leading role (or training for one) that she didn’t ask for, and a lot is expected of her. Considering all that, I believe Ten is an amazing character. She is written really well, and it’s incredible that she is able to do all that she does – if even a fraction of that happened to me I would be wholed up in my room with chocolate and ice cream and burying myself in movies and books. So yeah, she could be more focused on what she’s meant to be doing, and she could be a lot less focused on romance and the guy she loves, but damn, if I had a hot guy with an Irish-accent who risked so much for my happiness, who loved me, I’d be pretty obsessed over him too.
*mini rant over* (this wasn’t an attack on anyone, or aimed at anyone, or anything like that. Just an opinion on the character)

Lastly, I really do believe this book was written well. There were a few important characters that were lost in the first book, and it was good to see that this didn’t ruin the dynamic of the story. Things weren’t drastically changed between the characters and it was good to see that it didn’t feel like there was big chunk missing from the story, even though the characters were sorely missed.

Oh! And it was briefly mentioned that there were animals in the realms. And they could talk. Unfortunately there wasn’t any interaction between Ten and any animals, but hopefully in the next book these talking animals will come into play!

Overall, this was an amazing book and a great edition to the series. I loved it and absolutely recommend it! Get your hands on this series when you can, it is worth the read – even if you don’t end up liking it there are some good messages throughout these books…

Which reminds me, that’s another thing I love about these books. There are little messages throughout it, ones that can be taken with a pinch of salt, or can be thought about. It can open up to some philosophical discussion, and simply allow you to think about your own beliefs and how it is you want to be living your life.

… back to conclusion. I’m not actually sure there is much more to say. This series is one of my favourites, if not my actual favourite (at least at this point). And I cannot recommend it enough.

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