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Nirvana

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Description

If you enjoy futuristic what-if books like The Hunger Games or The Matrix, give this series a read.
- Victoria Harvey, Ivy's Ecclectic Reviews

"Intriguing meld of virtual reality, species extinction, and corporate evil." - Wendy Stephens, Director, United States Board on Books for Young People

5-star rating
- Jessica Waggoner, Books-a-Million
 
"The author stayed true to the dystopian grimness of the world and kept my attention. I think I finished it in about four sittings!"
- Julie Short, Julie Short review blog 

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. Are you ready to enter Nirvana?

Customer Reviews

Good Story

This book has been totally rewritten since I last reviewed it. It has been reworked and didn't have much semblance to the original. The storyline is much clearer this time, I really enjoyed the story. The characters are much more developed. I still found myself questioning some of the choices and wondering about some of the characters that were seemingly thrown in at times to get from point A to point B but overall it was a much better read this time around. I am still thrilled with the overall storyline, the dystopian view and can see this becoming a very exciting series.

Is all reality virtual?

I would like to thank Blue Moon Publishing & NetGalley for giving me a copy of this e-ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. I also have to say that I read both the original ARC and the version being reviewed below. There is no contest, and thank you for listening to early reviewers' comments and suggestions. It's nice to know someone is listening!

Goodreads Teaser: "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."

Having read the original ARC and now this released version, well it's almost as if I've read two entirely different books. And this one, this one is the keeper!

The story opens with Kenders and Andrew, and covers their courtship, romance, and ongoing relationship. On the surface, if you go by job titles and descriptions, these two are night and day. She's the lead singer of a hugely popular punk rock bank and he's a genius computer geek. But if you look past the labels you'll see what's behind the facade. Kenders was a child prodigy, could play virtually any instrument, and basically finished college before she was fifteen. So she's more than a mental match for Andrew. But where his focus is on exploring the virtual world, hers is all about saving the physical world. She becomes an animal activist, helping on lab raids to free animals being used for experiments, and doing her best to wake people up to the plight of the bees. But by then it's far to late, and as go the bees, so too goes humanity. Only it will take us a bit longer to become extinct. Though if the Hexagon corporation has their way nothing will happen to humans. We'll live well, and eventually reclaim the world we lost. At least that's their public line.

As usual reality and propaganda don't match. Hexagon is a business, and like any business they must answer to their shareholders. Most of whom are the top executives. And they want more than just money. They want it all. And they're more than willing to kill to get it. So when Andrew disappears with his latest virtual reality research, the head honchos at Hexagon go on a manhunt. And they plan on using Andrew's grieving fiancé to get the research they funded back.

Andrew's sudden disappearance sparks a wild chain of events that make for an engrossing read. Most of the book from this point on is told through Kenders' point of view. Be prepared to experience all the ups and downs right along with her, including wondering if she hasn't gone off the deep end when she starts thinking she's seeing Andrew in Nirvana. The real Andrew that is, not a virtual recording of their past sessions. Are the hints he drops in the Nirvana sessions she's revisits, the cryptic messages, all part of her grieving mind's way of keeping him alive? Or is he really still alive somewhere, and actually leading her back to him?

As the story unfolds the levels of paranoia just keep climbing, and not just for Kenders. Everyone suspects everyone else of plotting against them, and while they have no proof, most are right. So once she gets past the question of Andrew being alive, the question for Kenders becomes one of who to trust. Everyone is suspect, at least according to Andrew. And the one person he told her to trust should anything ever happen to him is suddenly acting very suspicious. If she puts her trust in the wrong person she could lose not only her one chance to get her Andrew back, she could lose her life.

Pacing and character development are spot on in this story, which is a real feat given the amount of mystery that is required to keep the plot alive and kicking. Yet Stewart pulls it off brilliantly. This is more than worth a read, one you'll be very glad you did. Just be sure to get out of my way when the next book is released - otherwise I'm not responsible for anything that happens to those who get between me and the next book in this series!

Nirvana
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Nov 10, 2015
  • Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers
  • Seller: Ingram DV LLC
  • Print Length: 306 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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