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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?
Larissa Kenders lives in a world where the real and the virtual intermingle daily. After the supposed death of her soulmate, Andrew, Larissa is able to find solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world where anything is possible – even visits with Andrew. Although Larissa is told that these meetings are not real, she cannot shake her suspicion that Andrew is indeed alive. When she begins an investigation of Hexagon, the very institution that she has been taught to trust, Larissa uncovers much more than she ever expected and places herself in serious danger. Her biggest challenge, however, remains determining what is real – and what is virtual.
~ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~
NOTE: This a review of the second e-ARC of Nirvana. Having reviewed the first one, I was offered the copy of the second version and I’m now posting the revised review.
When the population of bees have declined drastically, the economy was shattered. But an organisation called Hexagon is in control of everything now. There is also a virtual reality world called Nirvana that exists where people pay to plug in and use as an escape. Larissa’s husband, Andrew, received funding from Hexagon to do research. When he got more involved, he disappeared. We don’t know if he’s dead or alive, but Larissa keeps meeting him in her Nirvana. To Larissa, Andrew seems so real, but Hexagon needs Larissa give up her search for Andrew.
I immensely enjoyed this one, the plot line had improved and so had the character development. Initially, it was quite bland, but I’m glad that the author had taken onboard the original reviews and changed a lot of things around. Stewart clearly has a creative mind and a knack for creating an incredibly fast-paced read. The characters are well-developed, and the premise is pure ingenious.Combining parts of science fiction, romance and mystery make Nirvana a thrilling reading experience. I’m also really curious about this unique location, with people living in secluded bubbles and spending so much time in virtual worlds.
However, I think the biggest problem I had with this novel was that we are shown many characters’ perspectives, it’s often only a surface-level view that doesn’t make them seem more lifelike. I feel like it would be have been better if Larissa had narrated the whole story, more compelling in my opinion. And I really wished she had a more prominent character trait than bibliophilia – it comes across as an attempt to quickly grab readers sympathy.
Combining a post-apocalyptic dystopian society with virtual reality makes it an exciting read. Overall, a brilliant storyline, mixed with mystery and fantasy and I am excited to see how the series continue!