her life, other than track, is the mysterious man who visits her dreams, promising to find her. When a chair burns her arms, Lena chalks it up to stress-induced crazy. Yet as bizarre incidents escalate, even being crazy can’t explain it all away… until one day dream guy does find her. Tarek lost Lena seventeen years ago after she was accused of
treason and marked Tainted. He finally discovers her reborn on Earth into a life of suffering as punishment for her crime. However, someone else has already found her… and wants her dead. Willing to sacrifice everything, he fights to keep her safe so she can live the only life she’s ever known-even if that life doesn’t include him.
Lena is a typical high school teenager and like most teenagers she’s looking forward to graduating and going off to college but unlike most teens she has the added weight of living in a trailer park with her mother and an alcoholic abusive father. Oh and she’s hearing voices, seeing a strange yet familiar man in her dreams, inanimate objects keep trying to suck her into a strange world called Arcus where bright pink giant squid hang from the trees and some stranger from that world is trying to kill her. Things aren’t that normal in Lena’s life and she’s not sure if all this is just in her head or if it’s real and if it is real why is this happening to her.
The truth is stranger than Lena could have ever imagined. This isn’t Lena’s first life cycle and Earth isn’t her original world. Lena is from Exemplar and she’s a Guide, her job is to guide energies into their next life cycles on different worlds. In her previous life cycle she got herself into a bit of trouble and she was punished for her misdeeds. As her punishment she had her memory wiped and she was recycled to Earth to live in an abusive home until it was time for her to move onto her next life cycle. With Wilma, the high school lunch lady who happens to be her Protector, her mom, her boss Jake, her best friend Zander and her past life love Tarek all by her side, Lena must fight back against dark forces while trying to unravel a deadly and sinister plot that could destroy the lines between worlds.
This book has some interesting plot twists and a very unique storyline. The writing is superb, the characters enchanting and the visuals are stunning. The idea of recycled energies, connected souls, and the existence of different
worlds created a background that was captivating and bold. Lena’s growth and transition was fun to read. She’s a strong and empathetic character. Her interactions with Tarek had my heart beating fast. The love between those two
was beautiful. The rebuilding of their connection was sincere and sweet. Wilma had me laughing with her assertive no
nonsense attitude. I did wish there was more detail into how the worlds are set up and the levels of authority and power in Exemplar but hopefully the next books explain more in-depth the inner workings of the entire system.
I plan on reading the next book. I’m curious as to what will happen with Lena and Tarek’s future together. I want to know what is going on in Exemplar now that the sinister plot has been revealed and I want to find out if something is going on between Belva and Farren.