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Michelle

Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

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For fans of Black Mirror and HBO’s Westworld, and readers of James Dashner and Veronica Roth, Otherworld is the first book in New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller's new YA sci-fi-thriller series. The future is now. And the future is terrifying.

 

There are no screens. There are no controls. You don’t just see and hear it—you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can live your best life. Indulge every desire.
It’s a game so addictive you’ll never want it to end. Until you realize that you’re the one being played.
Welcome to Otherworld, where reality is dead. Step into the future. Leave your body behind.

 

I was offered an early copy of this book, and with comparisons being made to two of my favourite shows, I couldn't resist. Sometimes I do take a while to get to a review book, but I decided to take a peek when I got it, and was soon hooked. I'm seeing quite a few mixed reviews coming in, and I think a lot could depend on what you've read before in this area, how much technology progress you're willing to accept etc. I had no particular expectations, and I found it a fast paced, rather excellent read.

 

We're initially introduced to a VR game, which although is very realistic, still relies on a headset, gloves etc. The company are also working on a totally immersive version, complete with a patch which goes straight on skin, and utilises your brain instead.. sounds far fetched, but is made to work! The story goes between the quests within the game world, complete with self aware AI characters, and what's happening in the real world. 

 

The main characters in the book could have been developed a little more, but at the end of the day, this isn't really a character driven book.. it's a fast, action driven book, with some interesting turns. It's taken some new ideas, and some old ones, and made quite a ride. I'l definitely be picking up the next one. 

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I don't know, I stopped when the romantic subplot came up. It just seemed so unconvincing and pandering, ...

Spoiler

...with a character that is built up as a trusted childhood friend, and then it suddenly falls out of the sky: no development and not even told in the present, but actually "ah by the way that happened in the past as well" in a half sentence - what?! For the two major characters romancing, I would have expected at least some attempt to build this up, but no. (Or did I miss the subtle hints before?)

 

In addition to that, the whole school section where that is mentioned was quite narration-heavy as well, not very interesting characters like the roommate introduced, few things "happening" in the present. The unfitting romance on top was just somewhat the last straw.

 

Before that section I actually kind of liked it, but I don't see myself getting through that. Kind of broke the book for me.

Edited by jtw
text improvement

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