Book 79 of 2015: Nirvana by JR Stewart

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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.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review.

Nirvana is part post apocalyptic and part sci-fi thriller. Even though post apocalyptic is sci-fi, I am separating it from the thriller part because there is an Earth shattering event, but life doesn’t seem to be worse because of it. What is that event? The extinction of bees.

It’s hard to believe that one event like this could change the world so dramatically, but it works for this book. Basically, everyone is pampered with high end technology, robots, and the corporate world are now the rulers. Which isn’t much of a stretch in my opinion. Sure, the bee thing might be, but corporations taking over? Nah, it’s possible.

That said, the thriller part of the book revolves around Larissa Kenders and her attempts at understanding the circumstances surrounding her fiance’ (husband’s?) death. She is a young woman (it says 17, but I have a feeling she should be older) who was a punk rock star turned VR operator. Larissa seems interesting; she’s defiant, intelligent, and has conviction. I say she feels older because of her more worldly view of everything. I like to think I was rather humanitarian at seventeen, but I wasn’t like Kenders.

The book was interesting and did keep me on my toes. It left enough intrigue to keep my mind going about the world. I might have wanted more of an understanding of the minor characters, but that didn’t bother me so much that I couldn’t finish the book. It was short, easy to get into, and quick to finish. It had action, science, and enough intrigue to feel like a decent thriller movie.

In all, it wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t say I was too surprised about the ending though. I found this book more like a quick fun read that I didn’t need to think too hard over.

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