Thursday, 5 November 2015

Review: Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized - even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so.

186 pages
Expected publication: November 10th 2015 by Blue Moon Publishers 
Series: Nirvana Series #1
Genre: Young Adult/ Science Fiction/ Dystopia

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I was really hoping that I would like this book. The synopsis sounded intriguing and the cover caught my eye. I read the revised ARC and not the original one that was sent to me so I can't compare any differences or comment on whether the revised book is any better than the first version.

This book was a real struggle for me. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and finding interest in the plot. There were many times that I had to walk away from it because I was getting drowsy. Normally I like a book that moves fast but with Nirvana I felt that it moved so fast that too many things were left out and there were too many holes in the story. There was no time to become familiar with the characters and form an opinion either good or bad. Andrew's disappearance/death happened before there was any real character development so I was indifferent to Kender's attempt to find out the truth.

This book is the beginning of a series and it leaves the reader with a cliffhanger. In my opinion, it was like groundhog day and ended very much the same way that it began. I don't think I will be reading the next book in the series. It just wasn't for me. Younger readers might enjoy it better than I did.

I have to mention one thing that bugged me quite a bit in this story. There was all this talk about animal rights and bees and protests against animal testing that Kender participated in but what did she do with her dog Chopper? Left him behind with nobody to care for him. It may seem small but for a person who thought so highly about animals it didn't jive.

About the Author

J.R. Stewart has worked on many corporate projects throughout a prolific IT academic and consulting career, and is involved with many confidential virtual reality projects. After working on advanced "VR" technologies for over a decade, Stewart grew concerned about the implications of this work and the possible psychological effects that it may have on its users.

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