Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfarer (review)


4/5 stars

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfarer (Goodreads | Amazon) is an interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy.  Alex has always had strange visions starting when she was just a child.  Not having any control of the visions, the results have led to social exile in high school.  Alex thinks something is wrong with her mental health and seeks help, but then a guy named Porter comes along who knows about her visions and what they really mean.

What he tells her seems crazier than anything imagined.  Alex's visions aren't what they seem.  They're flashbacks into her past life, she has one soul that has lived 57 times (thus far). Once Alex learns how to access her past lives intentionally, via limbo, Porter begins teaching her about the scientific corporation that created her reincarnations and the way they've been using her over the course of her 57 lives.

I like books that mesh sci-fi and fantasy, even if the science is questionable, because the blurry in-between is often interesting and original.  The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfarer is both of those things, with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing throughout the novel.  It was nice to be surprised for a change.

The only problems this book had were that some passages with Porter read a bit like an infodump (though I have no clue how to fix it) and even though the main character was a smart, strong heroine, the book seems to crap on other female characters and resort to a simple mean-girl character to represent all high school girls.  The description made me worry that the book might focus too much on romance but really that wasn't a problem.

With it's complex plot and interesting exploration of historical time periods, this book definitely stands out from the pack as something original and unique.  The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfarer is a really intriguing and worthwhile debut.

I received an advance reading e-copy in exchange for an honest review. 

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