Read a full summary of Firstlife by Gena Showalter now! This page is full of spoilers so beware. If you are looking for a spoiler-free review check our rapid review of Firstlife. If you are wondering what happened in Firstlife, then you are in the right place!
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in Firstlife?
Tenley (Ten), a number-obsessed girl, is in a facility called Prynne for not obeying her parents. They want her to sign with Myriad, their chosen destination for Everlife. The other choice is Troika, which they are adamantly against (mostly because they will lose their status and source of income if she doesn’t.) Ten has been locked away in Prynne for over a year.
A girl named Bow becomes her cell mate. Ten doesn’t know it yet but she is a representative of Troika sent to try to win her over. In the EverLife, Bow is actually a boy but his shell on Earth is a girl. Bow tries to talk EverLife with Ten quite often but Ten always shuts her down.
Ten has a few enemies in Prynne. One is another inmate named Sloan. Another is the warden of the asylum, Dr. Vans. Dr. Vans seems to enjoy torturing the inmates more than he should. His job is often to force inmates to sign with either Troika or Myriad but he doesn’t seem to care which it is as long as he is paid by whoever sent the unlucky inmate his way.
Ten had a few friends but they are now gone. One, a boy named Clay, plotted an escape and then was never seen again. She has no idea what happened to him. Her boyfriend, a guard named James, was killed in front of her for breaking rules several months back. She has sworn off relationships of any kind. Her motto is to trust no one.
When someone has not made a commitment to either realm (like Tenley), they are considered unsigned and if they die while still unsigned, they end up in Many Ends which is rumored to be nightmarish. It’s not that she doesn’t want to sign but she wants her decision to be her own. She had heard good things about both, though both sides claim that the other is awful.
Ten finally starts to trust Bow a little when another boy shows up in Prynne. His name is Killian. He is beautiful and is a representative of Myriad. He continually tries to win Ten over, and reluctantly she admits to herself that she finds him attractive, but she won’t let him close.
Ten’s mother and father pay a visit and they (especially her dad) are disappointed that she has not signed with Myriad yet and shows no desire to do so anytime soon. Her mom seems reluctant but her dad gives Dr. Vans the go ahead to convince her by any means necessary.
He tortures her but she stays strong. Bow and Killian kill Dr. Vans and his men and allow Ten to escape. Ten lets everyone out of the asylum before running.
She had had no idea where she was in the world and is shocked to find the temperatures outside at hypothermic levels. Luckily Bow finds her in the chaos of a mass escape and takes her to a cave as she is passing out from the cold. Bow leaves and when Ten wakes up three men arrive with Bow’s body and threaten Ten. Killian arrives and kills the men and shockingly he stabs Bow in the heart. Ten realizes that Bow’s body was just a shell and that she…actually, he and Killian are rival Laborers.
Ten realizes that if she calls on the help of either of the Laborers they show up. If she tells them to leave they have to.
Killian leaves her in the cave and she sneaks out to try to find survivors. Most are dead but she runs into Clay who is still alive. They find Sloan who is near death and Ten calls Bow, now known as Archer, to come help them. He arrives and is now a handsome young man. He says he can tap into the grid, typing in mid-air through a blue light that emanates from his wrist. This is how he communicates with his EverLife realm allowing him to create a barrier around them. Then he heals Sloan using his blood which is silvery and is called Lifeblood.
The ground shakes and Ten is told that an unseen battle between Troika and Myriad is raging around them. They fight over her. Troika believes that she is to be a Conduit in their realm, channeling light. Myriad, the realm of darkness, wants to prevent her from fulfilling that destiny by making her their own. She will be an Abrogate. They might even kill her to keep her from signing with Troika.
Killian arrives again and he and Archer fight. They constantly find ways to keep each other away. They also appear and reappear to Ten at her will. Ten seems to be falling for Killian but doesn’t like all of his tactics.
Clay decides to pledge to Troika. As they run down the mountain to find a way back to the states, the shaking ground (a result of Archer picking a fight with Killian) causes an avalanche. Ten frees herself from the snow but Sloan and Clay are both pushed to the edge of a cliff. Ten can only save one of them so she saves Sloan since she is unsigned. Clay knows where he will go when he dies but Sloan will go to many ends. Clay falls to his death.
Ten still can’t decide which realm to sign with and both realms are in turmoil as a result. She and Sloan check into a bed and breakfast to stay the night. Ten shares her dream of getting out of this, turning 18, then getting a house by the ocean where she can surf. Sloan says she’s in.
The next day they board a plan with Killian to fly to the states. The pilot has been paid off to crash the plane and he straps on a parachute and jumps. As they are about to crash Killian begs her to pledge Myriad in case she dies. She doesn’t. She begs him to leave the plane because if he dies while in the shell he will die in Everlife and his spirit will then fuse with a newborn on Earth. He doesn’t leave.
They crash just after Ten calls to Archer for help. She dies and experiences Many Ends, which is a horrible place but luckily Archer pulls her back. Deacon, Sloan’s TL, assists Sloan. They don’t know what happened to Killian.
Archer will experience the Exchange, blood for blood, as punishment for his part in Clay’s death. They spend seven days in a Troika safe house. The invisible battle rages. Myriad wants Ten out. Archer teaches Ten how to fight. Killian returns.
Ten learns that Archer’s dad is the King of Myriad. He is one of many children. He disappointed his family to sign with Troika. The feud between Archer and Killian was not only over his leaving but also over a girl named Dior. Archer loved her but Killian tricked her into signing with Myriad and she got a bad deal in the agreement. However, Ten believes Killian is changing.
Archer and Deacon deliver the news that Ten’s mom is sick. She has been poisoned. Ten insists on traveling there to see her. On the way, someone is trying to kill her. She is poisoned and visits Many Ends Again. This time she meets some kids there. They are trying to stay alive. Archer pulls her spirit back to her body. Later she is in a deliberate car crash but survives.
They finally reach Ten’s home and sneak in to see her mom. She is near death and Ten learns that her mom had a baby while she was in Prynne. She has a brother. But he is sick too. Mom and brother die before she leaves. Ten gives her brother to Archer so his soul will be taken to Troika. She learns it is her father that is trying to kill her.
Madame Bennett (a Myriad leader) arrives to demand Ten join Myriad. She believes her daughter Ashley (a Myriad general) is fused with Ten’s soul. She threatens her using Killian and Archer. Madame Bennett also poisoned Ten’s mom. When Ten refuses to sign Killian is taken away and Archer is sent to Troika for his exchange.
Madame Bennett takes Ten to a spa for pampering then back to her own house for a party in her honor. Sloan and Killian are there. Killian sends her up to her room to watch a video of Archer’s Exchange. She gets to witness Archer feel the pain Clay felt as he died. She believes this is a just punishment. After that Archer travels Troika to show her Clay who is happy and also her baby brother.
How does Firstlife end?
While Archer battles Myriad to keep them from Ten, Killian takes her to Aunt Lina. He doesn’t stay with her as Lina removes her tracking device. Ten has been followed here, but Lina, who seems to know the future, has built them a way out through tunnels. Lina giggles and starts talking about future things in the past tense again and then stabs Ten, sending her back to Many Ends.
She finds the two kids again and suddenly realizes that a song that Aunt Lina taught her when she was a kid was actually instructions on how to navigate Many Ends. She follows the directions by jumping in the lake which lands them in a cave of sorts where spirits are being held. The song leads her to where Killian is being held, prisoner. He wonders how she got there. It turns out that Myriad is connected to Many Ends. She can’t get his cage open but promises to return. Archer brings her back to her body again and they save the two kids in the process.
Killian is to be executed. Ten insists on saving him and Archer and Deacon agree to help. When it is to take place Deacon teleports Ten to the location and they begin fighting. Archer brings a Troika army to help. There is a great battle and Killian is saved. Archer is killed and enters the rest. Sloan turns on Ten saying that her hatred for Vans is greater than her love for Ten. Madame Bennett promised her revenge. Sloan stabs Ten. But then Killian kills Sloan and Madame Bennett. Ten promises to come back for Killian and pledges to Troika just before she dies.
There you go! That’s what happened in Firstlife. Hope your enjoyed this recap of Firstlife with spoilers.
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