Lifer is an incredible novel, and I’m so glad for the chance to share this book with you as today’s stop on the Lifer blog tour hosted by Chapter by Chapter. In addition to a synopsis and review of Lifer, there’s a Rafflecopter at the end of this post that will give you a chance to win a copy of the book!
Asher is a Lifer, a slave aboard the spaceship Pelican. A member of the lowest rung of society, she must serve the ship’s Officials and Astronauts as punishment for her grandparents’ crimes back on Earth. The one thing that made life bearable was her illicit relationship with Samuai, a Fishie boy, but he died alongside her brother in a freak training accident.
Still grieving for the loss of her loved ones, Asher is summoned to the upper levels to wait on Lady, the head Official’s wife and Samuai’s mother. It is the perfect opportunity to gather intel for the Lifer’s brewing rebellion. There’s just one problem—the last girl who went to the upper levels never came back.
On the other side of the universe, an alien attack has left Earth in shambles and a group called The Company has taken control. Blank wakes up in a pond completely naked and with no memory, not even his real name. So when a hot girl named Megs invites him to a black-market gaming warehouse where winning means information, he doesn’t think twice about playing. But sometimes the past is better left buried.
As Asher and Blank’s worlds collide, the truth comes out—everyone has been lied to. Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky in this intergalactic tale of love and deception from debut novelist Beck Nicholas.
Lifer is so darn easy to read.
There are some books that are just smooth, you know? Books where the characters are consistent but still capable of surprising you, the world building is solid and doesn’t raise questions, the plot never drags, the writing flows seamlessly. Books that you don’t want to reach the end of, because it feels so right to read them. Lifer is one of those books.
Beck Nicholas’ debut is wonderful, through and through. Even if you’re not usually a fan of science fiction, I highly recommend this book. It’s got great action, believable relationships, and a plot full of rebellion and secrecy and lies that won’t leave you disappointed.
Stories told via alternating first person viewpoints have the potential to go one of two ways. Either the viewpoints work in harmony, providing extra dimension and interest, or they work against each other, with one point of view being less compelling than the other and dragging down the story. Lifer definitely falls into the first category.
Getting both Asher and Blank’s perspectives makes for a rich, exciting novel. Each storyline could conceivably stand on its own and support a novel by itself, but combining the two – and having them intersect towards the end – results in a much stronger book. Getting to switch back and forth between two very different worlds with different technology, social dynamics, characters, and plotlines keeps things fresh and keeps the pace up and the action flowing.
The characters are wonderful, too. Blank and Davyd are my personal favorites, and I developed book crushes on each of them. Davyd, the brother of Asher’s late boyfriend, is as different from Asher’s beloved Samuai as it’s possible to be. Whereas Samuai was a warm, sweet boy who dreamt of a world where Lifers and Fishies could live in equality, Davyd is authoritative, icy, condescending, and formidable. However, Davyd is also intelligent, sexy and resourceful, and he’s a bit of a wild card in the book. He’s as likely to ally with Asher as he is to betray her, and he figures greatly into her storyline. Watching the two of them spar – physically and mentally – is a source of great entertainment and, more importantly, sexual tension.
As for Blank, my other book crush, I couldn’t get enough. Even though he’s adrift in a foreign world, he’s smart enough and quick enough on his feet to survive. He’s curious, courageous, strong, and caring but not afraid to be tough when he needs to be. He’s an all-around good guy, someone that I’d love to meet and hang out with in real life.
Asher, unfortunately, wasn’t my favorite. Although I was just as invested in her story as I was Blank’s, this was due more to the plot and supporting characters than Asher herself. She just didn’t wow me. In a way, I felt she was simply a stock female protagonist and that her role in the story could have been filled by just about any girl. I didn’t dislike her, but she didn’t stand out enough for me to love her.
Something else that contributes to my joy over Lifer is that it isn’t predictable. I like when authors are able to surprise me; I get frustrated when characters act like clichés and I can tell what’s going to happen before it occurs. There were a few times in Lifer when I called some of the plot, but for the most part Nicholas kept me guessing. She gave me characters who acted in unexpected ways – I’m specifically thinking Davyd and Lady and Asher’s mom here – and I really appreciated that.
The end of Lifer leaves plenty of room for a sequel, which is a relief; it gives me hope that I won’t have to be in my current sad state of Lifer withdrawal forever. I need more Blank, Asher, and Davyd, and I need it now!
A free copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About Beck Nicholas
I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.
Want to win a copy of Lifer for your very own? Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to be one of five winners who will receive a digital copy of Beck Nicholas’ book. The contest is open internationally, and winners will be drawn on January 16, 2015.