Author: J.R. Stewart
Publication: November 10, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction/Mystery Thriller
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
As an IT major, I found that the synopsis and cover of Nirvana drew me in right away. After reading the first couple of chapters, I was hooked. J.R. Stewart has a wonderful way with words and manages to weave them in such a way that I had a hard time putting this book down.
The story revolves around Larissa Kenders, or Kenders, as she likes to be called. Kenders lives in the aftermath of what could be equivalent to an apocalypse of sorts. The Earth as we know it is a wasteland and people relive the times when there was grass, and bees, through a virtual system called Nirvana. When Andrew, Kenders’ fiancé, disappears, she is left with a trail of clues to try and figure out what happened.
While I am obviously a fan of this book, I did find some fault with the speed of the story. The description does warn us that things are fast paced but there could have been a better balance. At times, it felt that things were rushed in order to get the story told completely. This caused a disconnect with the characters at times when I was supposed to be feeling something.
Still, I couldn’t put the book down. There is an inner love story that keeps you around (if you’re into that sort of thing) and I’m a sucker for love stories. I look forward to the continuation of this series. I would recommend this book to anyone! Definitely a solid four stars. If it weren’t for the rushed nature of some parts this would absolutely be a five star. I urge you all to pick it up and see for yourselves!