Publication: March 4th 2014 by Strange Chemistry
Source/Format: Paperback, 410 pages/won in a giveaway
Genres: Young Adult, Science-fiction
For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.
But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.
It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.
Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.
And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
My initial plan was to DNF this book because I simply could not get into the book after 40+ pages in. I don’t know if it was the writing style or the confusing-as-heck plot itself. I just wanted to put this book down. A few weeks later, I picked this book up again for a redeeming second chance, and score. I was hooked.
Alex Wayfare is a Descender, someone who can travel back in time to their past lives, and that’s all you need to know. Like literally. There’s a generous amount of plot twists in here that I don’t want to spoil for you. Trust me, they’re exciting to know about.
The plot takes a lot of getting used to especially at the first few chapters. I had problems with it at first, but thank God I had the patience to continue on reading and get myself acquainted with the atmosphere. And once I finally understood everything that’s been happening, there was no turning back.
The idea of Descending crashed into me full force and I was in awe. Like there was this one point wherein I was gaping at the pages because everything made so much sense now. This is why I love science-fiction. It messes with your head and then takes you by surprise.
But in the middle of all that geeky goodness, there’s bound to be some things that I didn’t like. One of them, and I think the most profound one, is the main character itself: Alex Wayfare. She was a very complicated character. I couldn’t feel much for her and she can be really selfish without being aware of it, which annoys the heck out of me. But she did show some development near the end of the novel.
The romance in this novel is actually very well-written. I have to admit it was what kept me reading, or majority for that reason. It had that classic appeal to it. I felt like I was watching an old movie from 1920s (don’t ask me how I came up with that). It was painfully beautiful. I tell you, when you read this book, you’ll probably feel the same way.
The ending was a cliffhanger for me! I already had my theories lined up, just waiting to be confirmed, but only to be cut short. Nonetheless, I still really enjoyed this novel. I understand why it’s gotten mixed reviews, it’s obviously not for everyone. But if you love good ole science-fiction of the time-travelling kind, then don’t miss out on this one.