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Cover image for Firstlife
Other title(s):
First life

Don Mills, Ontario, Canada : Harlequin Teen, [2016]
Physical Description:
467 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
Locked in an asylum for her refusal to let her parents dictate her afterlife choices, Ten Lockwood finds herself caught in a violent power struggle between the two leading Everlife realms that would do anything to claim her powerful soul.

Tenley "Ten" Lockwood has spent the past thirteen months locked inside an asylum-- because of her refusal to let her parents choose where she'll live after she dies. In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Ten is caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms, who will do anything to win the right to her soul. But what if the realm she's drawn to isn't where the boy she's falling for lives? She's caught in a wild tug-of-war ... and needs to stay alive long enough to make a decision ...
Program Information:
AR UG 4.4 16.0 184551.


Call Number
YA Everlife v.1

On Order



The instant New York Times bestseller!

"Utterly unique and absolutely riveting--I couldn't put it down! What a marvelously cool world."--New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas

From the author of the New York Times bestselling White Rabbit Chronicles series comes the first book of a series in which life as we know it is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

Tenley "Ten" Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl...who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she'll live--after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she's drawn to isn't where the boy she's falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision...

Books in the Everlife series:

Author Notes

Gena Showalter writes in the genres of contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and young adult fiction. She is the author of the Alien Huntress series, Tales of an Extraordinary Girl series, Atlantis series, Lords of the Underworld series, and Everlife series. Her other books include The Stone Prince, The Pleasure Slave, and The Darkest Seduction. Her books have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-A creative mash-up of dystopian science fiction and otherworldly fantasy. In Tenley "Ten" Lockwood's world, everyone has a First Life, which sets the stage for a Second Life after their first death. There are two main realms one can go to during Second Life: Myriad, a place of indulgence and bliss; or Troika, a place of structure and justice. The divisive factions bring to mind the Peloponnesian War, in which the immoderate Athenians clash with the battle-hardened Spartans. Similarly, Myriad and Troika engage in an epic melee for the souls currently in their First Life. Those who do not choose sides, the Unsigned, are trapped in the Many Ends, a place of constant pain and punishment. Ten currently resides in Prynne Asylum, retained there by her parents since she refuses to choose sides. Friends-turned-foes and recruiters for the Second Lives Killian (Myriad) and Archer (Troika) both come back to the First Life to recruit Ten. Ten is a precious commodity because she is the fusion of multiple spirits and therefore very powerful. As the inmates escape the asylum, Ten undergoes numerous trials and tribulations. Still, she refuses to sign with a specific side. When Ten finally, and unexpectedly, meets with her first death, she ends up in the place she least expects. While the contentious sides of the underworld are interesting, too many convoluted details bog down the narrative. VERDICT An additional purchase for larger YA collections.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Showalter (the White Rabbit Chronicles) addresses religious extremism, conformity, and war in this first book in her dystopian Everlife series. Seventeen-year-old Ten, short for Tenley, lives in a world where two Everlife (afterlife) realms, Troika and Myriad, fight to win over souls, using torture and bombs to force citizens' conversion. Ten has been locked in an asylum for refusing to choose sides. She is a particularly special soul, and both Troika and Myriad send their best and most attractive young men to persuade her that conversion to their realm is paramount, often using romance as a seduction tool. Troikan parallels to Christianity are apparent through the use of numerical symbolism, a divine trinity, and an emphasis on one's Everlife over one's Firstlife. Showalter's rapid plot shifts and action sequences can be disorienting, and Ten's struggle to protect her future and her individuality within the grip of an oppressive society fall in line with genre conventions. Yet the story's use of religion as a framework is fresh and layered, giving the novel an epic sweep. Ages 12-up. Agent: Deidre Knight, Knight Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

The afterlife's warring realms compete for an important girl's soul. Tenley has grown up rich and privileged, but she's refused to sign a contract with Myriad, the Everlife realm to which her parents have signed and which has provided her family with wealth in the Firstlife and assurances of comfort after death. That refusal causes her to be sent to a brutal asylum to be tortured until she changes her mind. Both Myriad ("Might Equals Right!") and the other realm, Troika ("Light Brings Sight!"), believe Tenley could be the key to ending their eternal war. Each sends a Laborer to persuade her to finally sign; Troika's is Archer, an impulsive wisecracker with a heart of gold, and Myriad sends bad boy Killian to seduce her. Archer and Killian have a shared history, and they hate each other; cue snark. If she dies without signing, neither realm gets her, and her spirit is sent to a third, mysterious realm rumored to be terrible. The imminent warand attempts to kill hermight force her to choose. The story is told in a mix of Tenley's present-tense narration and brief, frequently funny dispatches to and from Archer and Killian. Complicated worldbuilding occasionally disrupts with less-than-graceful exposition. The ending screams sequel.An inventive premise and easy-to-root-for characters make this a series opener genre fans will enjoy. (Fantasy. 13 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Showalter's trademark combination of faith-based romance and paranormal adventure introduces a world in which everyone lives at least two lives. The Firstlife is where two realms, Myriad (darkly elegant) and Troika (focusing on light and community), vie for one's membership in the Everlife, which is where you'll go when you die. Over a year ago, 17-year-old Ten Lockwood's Myriadian parents sent her to Prynne Asylum for refusing to sign up for either realm. There, Ten meets the impossibly handsome Killian Flynn, a cocky Myriadian intent on getting Ten to pledge to his realm. But she also meets gorgeous Troikan Archer Prince, equally intent on winning Ten to his realm. What's a girl to do? Showalter successfully elevates a formulaic romance with the notion of multiple lives, many of which align tidily with biblical references. Also of note is Ten's obsession with numbers, which culminates in her mining a childhood counting song for survival tips. The abrupt ending and interview with the author promise sequels; fans of Showalter's cinematic, fiercely romantic style will be delighted.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2016 Booklist