Review Detail

4.3 1
Overall rating
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What I Loved:

Lovely prose, stellar world building, a unique premise, and a heroine worth rooting for all come together to make THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE a genuine treat.

Accomplished world building is the rock stolid foundation that holds this story together. Time travel, limbo, walk-ins (a take on reincarnation in which someone can enter a former life) are all handled with careful attention to detail, as are the trips to the past. Historical time periods are just as vividly realized as Alex's contemporary world, and Buehrlen's prose has a subtle beauty to it that seamlessly breathes life into every setting.

Buehrlen also breathes life into her characters with that same attention to detail. Alex is interesting, wounded, loyal, flawed, and utterly relatable to readers. Her burgeoning sense of self and her increasingly bold choices as the conflict progresses are enjoyable, and her strong (and sometimes complicated) relationships with her family resonate with authenticity. I was impressed with the fact that while Alex is a loner and an outsider, in many ways she is like that by choice, and while that choice brings her pain, it will make sense to the readers and will demonstrate the kind of inner strength that Alex will draw on later in the book to stand up for what is right. Secondary characters also stand out as unique and interesting, and the hints of romance are sweet without overshadowing the plot.

There are no easy answers in this story. No cardboard cutout characters or flippant looks at good vs. evil where everything is black and white. There's a strong human element to the evil in this book, and those on the side of good are flawed and don't always make the best decisions. The book examines themes of sacrifice, loyalty, using science for personal gain, and good vs evil, but all of those themes are woven throughout a plot that is relentlessly entertaining and full of unexpected twists and turns, keeping the reader fully engaged.

What Left Me Wanting More:

The fact that I have to wait a year to read the next one! I predict many readers will be instantly clamoring for the next book once they finish this one.

Final Verdict:

Lovely, thought-provoking, and relentlessly entertaining, THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE is a gem. I highly recommend it.

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