I’ve read this book twice now. The first version of it was far from perfect, but the author did a great job at editing it, making the story whole. Now this is a story I want to continue reading.
Nirvana (Nirvana Series #1) by J.R. Stewart
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the world of the future. The world in which all the bees are dead and the whole environment had collapsed. Where government known as Hexagon rules over everyone and everything and where virtual reality seems as real as everything else.
The story revolves around Larissa Kenders and her fiance Andrew. Andrew is working for Hexagon on programming a special VR system that everyone uses. People are so used to it you can almost think it’s an addiction. It’s quite understandable that they want to see the world how it used to be and not the post Extinction reality that surrounds them. The only problem is that Hexagon monitors everything and everyone in and out of Nirvana. If someone even thinks wrongly of them they might simply disappear.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this book changed a lot and although I’m trying not to, I still remember why I didn’t like it the first time and I probably will mention a few times how I initially felt about the story and characters. That said, let’s move on to my thoughts about this book.
The whole plot was revealed nicely throughout the whole book. An earlier version of the book was all concentrated on Kenders’ grief and most of the plot was revealed close to the end of the book. This time it’s set up nicely, we find out some minor things from time to time until the big issue gets revealed and then the whole action speeds up a bit. When Andrew supposedly dies psychiatrist prescribes Larissa some visits in Nirvana to help her deal with her fiance’s death. The problem is the only thing Hexagon wants are information that only Kenders can provide them now that Andrew escaped. Kenders will have to figure out all the clues Andrew leaves for her, find some important documents without Hexagon knowing about it and sneak out of Hexagon’s hired killers hands to save herself and others. She will find out who she can trust and who will betray her
As for the characters I still don’t like Kenders, but at least she has a spine now, she can take care of herself, she actually knows what she’s fighting for. Her relationship with Andrew is believable, they have common goals and they do share strong feelings for each other.
The virtual reality called Nirvana plays a big role in the book. Thanks to this Andrew can contact Kenders, even though at the beginning she doesn’t know if those encrypted messages are really coming from him or did someone simply programmed him badly into the VR. First time when Kenders realizes that Andrew’s character in Nirvana might be real is when she receives a package with a mango that she asked him for while playing their favorite orchard adventure. She’s going back there few times to make sure the Andrew from VR is real.
Few times author points out the age of the heroes and even though they are all young and that this story might fall into the young-adult category it didn’t feel like it. I felt as if I was reading about adults with many years of tough experiences behind them. The ruined world shaped them created new future for them and they all had to adapt.
I have to admit, this time the book took me in and kept my attention. I liked how the story started and I’m curious what will happen next. I might actually read the second book to find out.
How about your thoughts on Nirvana? Have you read it or maybe intend to do so?