Ephemeral By Addison Moore

The last thing Laken Stewart remembers is the oncoming car, then bursting through the windshield.

Two months dissolve without her knowledge and she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings with strangers who not only profess to know her but insist she’s someone else entirely.

Laken discovers her long dead boyfriend, Wesley, has been thrown into this alternate world as well. He is quick to inform her she suffered a horrible fall and that her memory hasn’t fully returned. According to Wesley the other life she had, her name, her family, they were simply a side effect of her brain trauma.

In her quest for answers she meets Cooper Flanders, the son of her psychiatrist who readily believes every word she says. Laken Stewart knows she died on that hot July afternoon, but now she’s alive... Or is she?

The last memory Laken has before arriving in Ephemeral Connecticut, is the other car moments before her accident. It seems she's had her name, life and eternal judgement revoked, but still retains her memory when she finds herself at Ephemeral Academy and the newest resident of Austin House. Laken died two months earlier, having flown through her windscreen. It isn't until roommate Casper warns her that this is in fact her new reality. There is no mistake. You can't revolt, don't cause waves, you have no choice, and the penalty for not playing by the rules? Laken will simply disappear. 

Laken can remember her life before the accident, Tucker the cheating boyfriend, Wes, the love of her life that drowned in the local lake alongside Laken's brother Fletcher, how she had been irreparable since. According to angel mythology, the Nephilim are the binding cord that has created this surreal Ephemeral reality. Laken's new existence has been programmed for her, from her new friend Carter, to her social status. Not only has Laken's family been recreated, but her deceased brother Fletcher is very much alive... Standing right beside Wes.
But Wes doesn't understand who Laken is, on the cusp of remembering a dream that is just out of reach. 

Just outside the grounds at the Academy, savage inhuman beasts called Fems, roam the forest. When roommate Casper is heard screaming after venturing into the unknown woodland, Laken realises there is far more to Ephemeral than she's being told. There is something disturbing about Wes, the boy she once fell in love with, and it isn't just his lack of remembering the life he shared with Laken before his demise. But Wes can't avoid the inevitable and Laken demands answers, if not from Wes then she'll seek the truth from Cooper, who believes her story of the family she's left behind in Kansas, that she couldn't have survived the accident but instead has woken up in a different world. But there is more to Laken than the distorted memory, she's otherworldly. 

There are five fractions of angels that have descended from the Nephilim, the most powerful being the Countenance, Celestra whose numbers have dwindled to non existence, the unfriendlies that are Noster, Deorsum who are often mistaken for witches and the boring magicians, the Levatio. Laken, is a Count. The highest level of Nephilim, according to Wes. Laken isn't sure who this new rendition of Wes is, but she knows she saw Casper disappear, that the Fems in the forest tried to kill her and that Cooper wants to help Laken find answers, no matter that Wes tries to convince her otherwise. The only way to find out what he is telling her, is to pledge and infiltrate the Counts. The counts want to control every aspect of her new life, including her reincarnation. When Laken lands in an underground Transfer, the bodies being stored until they can be resurrected, she knows nothing can convince her that she belongs in Ephemeral.

Ephemeral can be considered a sister series to Addison Moore's popular Celestra series, but sadly, it isn't nearly as entertaining. Where Celestra was fluffy and fun, Ephemeral fails to deliver. The main protagonist Laken lacks personality, and isn't given the opportunity for the reader to relate whatsoever. I felt as though the Celestra series gave the reader more of an insight into Wes, and Cooper, although quite likable, was reminiscent of a cardboard cutout and thrown into scenes without any real purpose at times.

Each chapter seems to have begun with a weather forecast, describing how the fog looked that particular day, and each chapter ended with the same rhetorical questions being asked, what was going on, and she sure as hell was going to find out. It's a shame it took over 400 pages. As much as I've enjoyed the Celestra series, I won't be continuing with Countenance.

(The Countenance: Book One)
Written By Addison Moore
Published 12 / 09 / 2012
412 Pages

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