Firstlife by Gena Showalter

The basics

Title: Firstlife


Series: Everlife #1

- Firstlife (2016)
- Lifeblood (2017)
- Everlife (2018)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. She’s earned her rep as the craziest of crazies, but that doesn’t stop the torture. Ten can leave, but only if she allows her parents to 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 boy she’s falling for and the realm she wants to support. Who will she choose? Can she stay alive long enough to make a decision?

Read a full summary of Firstlife by Gena Showalter below. If you can’t remember what happened in Firstlife and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Firstlife?

  • Tenley’s parents put her into a facility for disobedience. Ten doesn’t want to sign onto their chosen realm and they’re annoyed with her. If Tenley doesn’t choose a realm before she dies, she’ll end up in a third realm instead.
  • The leader of the facility, Vans, is awful.
  • Ten recalls her boyfriend, James, who was killed recently, as well as her friend Clay who has disappeared.
  • Ten gets a new cellmate called Bow, who has been planted there to sell her on the idea of Troika. Ten slowly gets more and more annoyed with Bow because he keeps talking about Everlife.
  • Slowly, Ten starts to trust Bow.
  • A guy called Killian shows up to sell Ten on Myriad. It helps that he’s good looking.
  • Ten’s parents allow Vans to do what he needs to in order to convince Ten to sign with Myriad. Vans tortures Ten for a bit. The boys, Bow and Killian, kill Vans.
  • Ten sees this as her opportunity to escape, and while doing so she lets all the inmates out of their cells.
  • Bow catches up with Ten and takes her to shelter as it’s freezing outside.
  • He goes off for some reason, and his body is brought back to Ten by some sinister looking guys. They’re about to kill Ten when Killian shows up and destroys them.
  • Killian also stabs Bow which is a twist.
  • Bow and Killian are rivals, apparently.
  • They also have to listen to Ten.
  • Ten goes out looking for her fellow escaped inmates. She finds her best friend, Clay, who helps her find Sloan. Ten calls for Bow, who has to show up in another body/shell when she calls for help.
  • Bow (who has changed his name to Archer… nice) heals Sloan with his blood.
  • The two realms, Myriad and Troika, are battling over Ten as they think Ten is a Conduit and can channel light. Myriad doesn’t want this to happen. The ground begins to shake.
  • Killian and Archer get into a fight.
  • Clay signs with Troika.
  • Ten, Clay, and Sloan get caught in an avalanche. The latter two fall off a cliff, and Ten is forced to choose one of them to save. She saves Sloan, and Clay falls and dies.
  • Sloan and Ten stay in a B&B and talk about their dreams. The next day, they try to fly to the States but the pilot crashes the plane. Ten calls Archer just before she dies.
  • Ten is now in Many Ends, which is a nightmarish place between the two realms. Archer is able to get her out.
  • Killian has vanished.
  • The group is put into a Troika safe house. Here, Archer teaches Ten how to fight. Archer tells Ten that his dad is the King of Myriad, even though Archer signed with Troika. This sparked a bit of a fight between the family members.
  • Archer was in love with a woman called Dior. Killian made her sign with Myriad. This is why Archer and Killian particularly hate one another.
  • Someone poisons Ten’s mum, so Ten goes to see her. At least, she tries, but then she is poisoned and is put back in Many Ends.
  • Here, she meets some children who have been fighting to stay alive in Many Ends.
  • Ten finally makes it out (with the help of Archer) and to her mum. Her mum reveals that Ten has a baby brother. Both of them die. Ten gives her brother’s soul to Troika.
  • Turns out that Myriad’s leader, Madame Bennett, poisoned Ten’s mother. Bennett says that her daughter, Ashley, is fused with Ten.
  • Bennett tries to win Ten over.
  • Archer is punished for his part in Clay’s death. He has to go through the Exchange, and experience what Clay was feeling when he died.
  • Archer recovers and shows Ten her brother and also Clay, who are both happy in Troika.
  • Ten is stabbed again, this time by Lina, and goes back to Many Ends. There, she bumps into the children again. She finds out that Myriad has been connected to Many Ends this whole time, and she is able to use a nursery rhyme to escape.
  • In Myriad, Ten finds Killian imprisoned. She’s unable to save him.
  • Archer gets Ten and the children out of Many Ends/Myriad.
  • Archer, Deacon, and Ten save Killian from execution. Archer dies in the process.
  • Sloan has been working with Madame Bennett and stabs Ten in exchange for Bennett’s help killing Vans.
  • Killian kills Sloan and Madame Bennett, and Ten dies. Again.
  • But not before she signs with Troika!

That was our recap of what happened in Firstlife by Gena Showalter. Check out our recap list for more plot summaries, and if you can’t find what you need you can request a recap here!

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