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Second Life (Life First 2) by RJ Crayton
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Second Life (Life First 2)

by RJ Crayton

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This book is actually part of a series and I have not read book one. That being said. This book was so well written that you can read it and not be left in the dark as to what was going on or be left at the end wondering. It ends leaving you satisfied that all is well with the characters. I was not wanting for background on what was going on and how it all came about. Really excellent job. It's hard to find a series you can do that with. That doesn't mean I won't be reading the rest of the series. I will be doing that. The characters were so vibrant and engaging that I really want to finish the story. It was a real pleasure to read a story with two strong and self assured female leads. It showed their many sides. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their fears, and their dreams and desires. All the characters were well conceived and thought out. The story line was intriguing and probably not to far in our future given the state of our world. If you like dystopian books you will love this series. I highly recommend it. ( )
  deemelody | Jul 26, 2016 |
I would like to thank RJ Crayton and The Cover Contessa for the opportunity to read this e-book. Although I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my reviews.

Susan Harper is being held captive by her government in this romantic thriller, Second Life. As the normally feisty Susan’s hopes of freedom dwindle, a mysterious stranger sneaks into her room and promises to help her.

Susan and mystery man Rob grow close as he tries to orchestrate her escape. When the duo discovers the truth behind Susan’s captivity, they realize she is in grave danger, and they must act quickly. Susan and Rob will need more than passion for each other and their wits to succeed. They will need help from old friends, including Kelsey Reed.

In the previous book, Life First, Susan gave Kelsey a chance at a second life. But now will she get a chance at her own?

While I enjoyed parts of this book, I felt that it suffered from a case of the sequel not living up to the standards set by the first book. That's not to say the book was bad, but it simply dragged on in places. However the final quarter of the book certainly seemed to pick up in both energy and excitement, which was a welcome diversion.

What didn't work for me in the book:
It was nice that we got to know Susan on a much deeper level than had been possible in the first book, but I felt as if there was too much focus on the emotional and not enough action, even emotionally the action felt a bit stunted for a good portion of the book. I got the sensation that there was much more emotionally that could have been taking place, yet it wasn't happening for a variety of reasons. While Susan had been portrayed as a firecracker in the first book, she certainly didn't come off that way for much of this book. And the fact that she yields to perceived threats so quickly just doesn't feel right for the character we've gotten to know thus far. Plus, the threats towards the very end felt a bit off to me, as they seemed to contradict the whole premise of the story from one side of those involved.

There seemed to be very little action in the majority of the book, though of course there were pockets of action sprinkled throughout, they just didn't seem to fit the premise of the story, or the jacket blurb. Given the danger Susan is supposed to be in, the number of secrets everyone keeps from each other is annoying. If the characters had been more open with one another the potential for more action would have dramatically increased.

What I liked about the book:
The romance between Susan and Rob is sweet, and while it develops slowly that only adds to the realism of the relationship, giving it more depth than the white knight rescuing the damsel in distress would normally have. It gave them a fighting chance for having a relationship beyond the situation they found themselves in - assuming they both survive the situation. Additionally Susan regained some of her spark and zest, which was nice to see, regardless of what had taken place.

The situation for Kelsey and Luke felt realistic, and it was nice that they were involved in this story since it was sparked by their actions. And a huge plus was Kelsey finally waking up to the reality of a particular person's true nature, and then calling them on it. That scene was one of my favorites, particularly given the back history and the fact that Kelsey doesn't like confrontations, yet she initiates one once she realizes how necessary it is.

My overall response to this book:
I struggled a bit with the beginning, working to get into the feel of this book, yet once I got into it I was hooked. While I still feel some of the earlier sections of the book could have been edited down, I truly enjoyed the final quarter of the book. Plus the introduction of certain characters, or reintroduction with more depth, was enjoyable and possibly clarifying.

Once again the ending held some surprises that were totally unforeseen, as well as at least one that was partially foreshadowed. Yet even the one that the reader may have seen coming led to unexpected results, results which are still up for debate regarding their authenticity. It is situations such as those that make you want to come back for the next book in the series, so that you can discover if your take on certain scenarios was accurate or not. ( )
  Isisunit | Apr 2, 2014 |
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