[REVIEW] Nirvana

Series: Nirvana #1
J.R. Stewart
 young adult, science fiction, dystopia, romance, mystery, post apocalyptic
 November 10, 2015
Publisher: Blue Moon

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 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.
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I LOVE science fiction, post-apocalyptic dystopian novels. I love exploring scifi worlds, how the author sees the future, and how our world would evolve or crumble.

Kenders is a punk musician. She also works for Hexagon, the company that owns Nirvana. Nirvana is a virtual world where people can relieve memories, go to places, and such. Andrew, Kenders' boyfriend, is the mind behind Nirvana. But Hexagon has their own plans. They have their secrets. When Andrew suddenly disappears, Kenders broke down. But after her visits to Nirvana, she found herself believing that the Andrew she talks to in Nirvana is not just a programmed version of Andrew.

Nirvana has a really interesting world. At first, I was a bit confused but after a couple of chapters I was completely absorbed. The post-apocalyptic world is well established. The extinction of bees caused an imbalance on the ecosystem resulting to lack of pollination to inadequate food resources and so on.

Kenders is a strong heroine. She knows not to trust anyone (well mostly because Andrew told her so) but yeah, she gives in and still decides to give her trust on certain people. Are they really trustworthy? She's not completely sure. Hexagon is such a big company, they're like the government already. While Kenders' relationship with all of the key characters were well established. The question of trust kept me from really relying on anyone and open for sudden twists.

Nirvana is undeniably thrilling. The question of trust really adds up to how exciting things would go. You'd never know who'll actually help Kenders. Andrew's clues were also really interesting but not to the point that it would make you guess because everything really just relies on his relationship with Kenders. Once she receives Andrew's clue, she'd recall the memory. Soooo, no the mystery won't make you think. You'll just follow how things go.

One of the things that probably kept me from fully enjoying this novel is the continuity. There were times when chapters just don't connect. It's like there were scenes that were kept hidden. First thing you know, Andrew gives Kenders the clue, Kenders gives a backstory/memory, then she goes back up to action - she's driving somewhere or into some place you'll just have to figure out. Well at least that was the case for me. I could just be a bit slow or what but it felt really broken for me or quite all of a sudden.

OVERALL, Nirvana is a thrilling virtual reality novel. It has an exciting adventure about uncovering the truth behind Hexagon's real intentions. It has a strong and well established heroine. Although confusing at times, Nirvana is still a delight to read with its gripping pace. Nirvana is certainly a good read and recommended for science fiction fans.

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What I Like: (1) Kenders as an established heroine, (2) the exciting pace, (3) the world - how the present came to be, really interesting idea here

What I Didn’t Like: (1) the ending (oops, sorry) - because really.. is this going to be a cycle? is the second book going to be similar to the first one? -__-, (2) it confused me at times especially in the beginning - could be my fault, really, (3) the continuity of certain parts baffled me - could just be me again..., (4) I was never attached to any characters

~I received this book in exchange for an honest review~

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