Life, A.D.: Life, After. Dez (Atman City #1)
Michelle E. Reed
Published: 1st December, 2013
Age: Young Adult
From: Chapter by Chapter
In Life, A.D. you have two choices: join the program or face the consequences.
Seventeen-year-old Dez Donnelly crashes headlong into fate on the side of a rural highway, her life ending in a violent collision of steel and screaming brakes. The train that delivers her newly departed soul to the crossroads of the afterlife won’t be carrying her to the sweet hereafter until she accepts her abrupt end and learns to let go of the life she’ll never finish.
Her new reality is conduct manuals, propaganda, and unrelenting staff, all part of a system to ease her transition from life to death, while helping her earn her way out of limbo. Atman City, beautiful and enticing, is an ever-present temptation that is strictly off limits to underage souls. The promise of adventure proves too strong, and beneath the city’s sheen of ethereal majesty, Dez discovers a world teeming with danger.
Welcome to Life, A.D. where being dead doesn’t mean you’re safe, and the only thing harder than getting out of limbo is getting through it.
What I liked: The premise of this story is incredibly interesting, and dare I say unique to me in the fact that I haven’t read a series that deals with this in the manner that Reed has done it, which was superb. While she introduces us to a new world, a new realm that souls go after sudden (and likely tragic) deaths, the world building is done just enough, there’s no over amount of information for us to follow. Dez is realistic in the way she acts (I mean, c’mon, she just died without warning, she’s going to be pretty stubborn about this whole “we’re transitioning you to become accustomed to being dead” ordeal), yet in some ways this can be a tad off putting for the reader but not too badly. I loved the main side characters and they way they interacted with Dez, it was interesting to watch it develop. You would think this would be a fairly boring story but its much more interesting that it sounds!
What I didn’t like: There seemed to be some characters who just appeared, did stuff, then disappeared never to be heard from again in this book. It was strange, like they were only there to move the plot along in that moment. The end was a tad rushed in my opinion, and some parts of the story just didn’t flow quite as well to me.
Overall Review: I really enjoyed reading Life, A.D. and it leaves me wondering about what comes next for Dez. We watch her grow a bit over the story and we learn more about this city known as Atman throughout the story as well as a few other things which makes it a good read that you can read and enjoy. The world building is consistent and well done, making it seem like a well established place that has been around long before Dez ever arrived.
Recommend?: This is a very good book and I really do recommend it!
My Rating: 3.9/5
M.I.A.: Missing in Atman (Atman City #2)
Michelle E. Reed
Published: 16th December, 2014
Age: Young Adult
From: Chapter by Chapter
Dez is finally hitting her afterlife stride. She hasn’t missed a meeting or session in forty-two days, and she’s put the adventures and danger of her first days at Atman behind her. Life after death is becoming tolerable, yet nothing is quite what she’d hoped. Confusion over her feelings for Charlie, residual resentment over losing Hannah, and a continuous stream of unwanted assignments leave Dez restless and argumentative.
In a missed encounter with Crosby, her prying gaze lands upon a single entry in the datebook on his unoccupied desk. These few, hastily scribbled words reveal an enormous secret he’s keeping from her. Possessed by a painful sense of betrayal, she once again sneaks off to Atman City, determined to find answers to an unresolved piece of her life.
It begins as all their adventures do, but as light falls into darkness, a stop in an unfamiliar neighborhood sets forth a chaotic series of events. Dez will have to fight for her very existence, and will face painful, irreparable loss in an afterlife teeming with demons wielding ancient powers.
In M.I.A.: Missing in Atman, the second book in the Atman City series, Michelle E. Reed continues the story of Dez Donnelly, pushing her to her limits and surprising readers at every twist and turn of the vast world that is Atman.
Death was only the beginning.
What I liked: This was a wonderful continuation to the Atman City series! Dez seems to have settled down into trying to transition between limbo and going where she may afterwards, but a missed encounter leads to her leaving the Towers (again) to learn what she must. We learn a lot more about the inner workings of Atman City and it builds upon what we learned about the city in book one. Following Dez through Atman was another interesting journey that was different from her first journey, and I was glad to see how the relationships that budded during book one grew during this one between Dez and some of the other characters. It was generally a book that I couldn’t predict what was going to happen, which made it all the more interesting as events unfolded for our main character.
What I didn’t like: Dez is still a bit frustrating in this book, and that leads to bad things. While not necessarily a bad thing in of itself, the frustration about Dez’s decisions was, well, frustrating.
Overall Review: I really enjoyed this sequel, and I’m happy that I got to read it. I loved delving a little deeper into Atman City and everything that comes with Dez being dead, and I found a lot of enjoyment in reading the second book. I’m happily awaiting to see what happens to Dez next!
Recommend?: If you liked the first book, you should definitely read the second!
My Rating: 4/5
About the Author
Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.
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