Book Review: Nirvana – J.R Stewart

Synopsis:nirvana cover

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.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of Blue Moon Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t think I disliked this book, it  was incredibly true to the dystopian genre presenting the world as a wholly corrupt and grim place in a subtler way than most novels manage to do.

I was glad that the heroine didn’t suddenly decide to go fighting ALL OF THE GOVERNMENT like many others had decided to do *akhem,Divergent, akhem* but she wasn’t relatable in the slightest (her relatability  only deteriorated once Andrew was out of the question), and the character change she went through, made the whole reality/VR fiasco more difficult to comprehend because her mind wasn’t in a very good place – turning her for the most part unreliable…

Whilst I am nowhere near appreciating the genre as much as I used to at one point along the way, I liked how Stewart linked both Sci-Fi (which I adore reading if they are executed well) with dystopia to create a unique story.

Whilst the book wasn’t very long at all (which may have been its downfall if I’m being honest because a few things were unanswered after plentiful plot twists urging me to wait for sequels), but it somehow made me think about the impact that our technological advancements are having on the world in which we live. And I mean, it largely seems like we have things under control for now, but the book somewhat made me question just how far we are going to take it – and the possible effects that it could have (and man, let me tell you; they weren’t good).

The pace of the novel could have been slightly better considering its length although generally speaking – it wasn’t more than a 2-3 hours of reading altogether. Whilst I was completely captivated by the beginning chapters, this somehow declined throughout the novel up until the last two chapters, when I was so excited about finding out what was going to happe- NO. Nope, we didn’t find out what was going to happen because the book ended on a cliffhanger, and if I was being frank – that is probably the only reason that I am going to read the sequels. As well as, of course to see whether Stewart maintains the high quality of writing when it comes to style, and perhaps gives Kenders a bit more personality that I can connect to.

My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

“Nirvana is a refuge from the real world, which has growing complications regarding the stability of our environment and life in general, not to mention a crumbling economy and massive unemployment rate”

– Larissa Kenders


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