The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen @mgbuehrlen

Unfortunately, I’m back from vacation – real life beckoned and I had to return, so I’m 17878473up to my eyeballs in laundry, email, mail, work, and errands.  We had a wonderful time, the weather cooperated, and I read five of the six books I’d taken with me, so lots of reviews to post!  Here’s the first:

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. –

When I was much younger, I remember watching a movie entitled “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud” and was fascinated by the concept of reincarnation.  Which then led to me reading Audrey Rose by Frank De Felitta and watching the movie adaptation starring Sir Anthony Hopkins (seeing him in anything is always a treat).  I met the friendly and charming author of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare at Bookfest this year and after reading the synopsis, you know I had to snatch up her book.

Gosh, I really liked Alex.  She’s awkward, nerdy, intelligent, obstinate, and comfortable in her own skin, not caught up in the typical high school cliques and drama.  With her flashbacks and ailing sister, she has more than enough to worry about.  She may act before she thinks sometimes, resulting in more problems than solutions, but she’s a teenager.   She has a caring and close family and reading about their movie nights and her grandma’s baking was heartwarming.  Time-travel fascinates me, so I enjoyed the glimpses of some of Alex’s previous lives and learning what type of person she’d been in previous incarnations.

Don’t assume that’s all this book is about, though – there are unscrupulous characters looking for Alex through time and in base life, there are soul marks, Limbo and dangerous missions, and a soul mate – literally.  I was completely captivated throughout the story and have my suspicions about certain people, one in particular, but am anxious for the next book in this series.

The world of descenders, Limbo, base life, Afterlife, time travel, and soul marks was well thought out, but at times the rules were a little confusing and I found myself flipping back for some information; however, that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this novel.

I’d highly recommend this book to sci-fi and YA fans, but also to readers who may not typically delve into sci-fi.  Many of the reviews by readers who generally aren’t fans of the genre were very positive, and they were surprised by how much they enjoyed this book.  Go ahead and give it a try!

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