Lifeblood ★★★☆☆½

I was not a fan of Firstlife. I only finished it so that I could review Lifeblood. And I have some thoughts on that too.

With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

Tenley was obnoxious in Firstlife and SPOILERS: she’s still obnoxious. And Lifeblood was still guilty of many, many YA tropes, but I had significantly more moments which I enjoyed.

Watching Ten figure out her new role in the afterlife/everlife and having to deal with fighting against someone who had helped to protect her was great. But, like she did in Firstlife, she spent a lot of time milling over boys she’s loved and boys she’s lost rather than really coming into her own being.

The action didn’t feel like I needed to see. A bit more like action for the sake of action, than action to bolster the story. It was definitely a sagging book. So much so that sagging middle syndrome doesn’t begin to explain it.

Reading through Firstblood just felt like reading Firstlife over again. It wasn’t as bad as Firstlife, but it didn’t read much better. The realms are still fighting, there is still light verse dark, good verse evil, a lost/dead boyfriend. Did Tenley learn anything from being human? From being fought over? Meh.

So once again, I really loved the idea and the attempt to explore the grey area that is the afterlife–I just don’t think it was done very well. Despite the fact that I didn’t like it-I still think that you should go pick it up and check it out. The world is very interesting and I think everyone should pay it a visit.

Even if we all hate the inhabitants…



By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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