My rating: 4 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by Blue Moon Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
For those of you who haven’t looked at the length of ‘Nirvana’ I’d just like to point out that it is pretty short and should be considered a novella. Surprisingly, this novella took me a while to read – not because it was boring or because I disliked it – but because it was THAT good!
I should also like to point out that I believe I got the GOOD ARC version of this novella; it’s the reason for my FOUR STAR. Some readers and reviewers complained about the story being so poor and THAT is the reason for the very low average rating on Goodreads. Apparently, “Unfavourable reviews from September 2015 are not reflective of the actual book as they are based on an advanced reader copy that has been significantly changed prior to final publication’.
I was VERY interested in this short novel. It intrigued me with its blurb right from the beginning! And did you see that UTTERLY BEAUTIFUL cover? Who DESIGNED that? It looks GORGEOUS! I was ready to give it a FIVE STAR as soon as I laid my eyes on it!
I later discovered that the author has actually “…worked on many corporate projects throughout a prolific IT academic and consulting career, and has been involved with many confidential virtual reality projects”. I found this absolutely fascinating: it compelled me to read this novel EVEN MORE! Read this: “After working on advanced ‘VR’ technologies for over a decade, Stewart grew concerned about the implications of this work and the possible psychological effects that it may have on its users. In 2010, Stewart considered publishing a revealing account of the advances being made regarding this technology, but was concerned about the implications that a tell-all book may have on career prospects. The next year, writing under a protective pseudonym, Stewart began work on the speculative ‘Nirvana’ series instead. Finally ready for publication, these novels present a story that is closer to reality than you may assume.” I was completely SHOCKED, yet also proud that she stood up with her opinion.
So, the novel starts off with a BANG! It was enchanting, captivating and gripping. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to start it! Unfortunately, I later on disliked it because it seemed to drag on and meander throughout the entire first part – the first third of the book – with its introduction. I started to believe it was going to be yet ANOTHER dystopian novel. But then…the ‘Nirvana’ became better and better and better as complications started happening, bombs exploded, people died and plans got started into action. I know this is horrifying, but it made the novel INTERESTING. But I was still wary of how it would progress.
Luckily, the end I was proven SOOOOO wrong! It was intricate and poignant and – simply – a masterpiece.
‘Nirvana’ was very deep, insightful and made you THINK. It really made you question the use of technology and virtual reality in the modern world and where it could be leading us – and the possible future – with it.
The main/major characters and the many supporting/minor character were all very well developed. They all played a unique role in the story. They were dynamic, real and present. They had background stories and attitudes and hobbies and little characteristics that make them REAL.
Larissa and Andrew’s romance is incredibly sad: to loose someone at such a young age – just seventeen – especially your loved one and FIANCÉE…I can’t imagine it.
The story made me cry and tear up many times: so many times that I’ve lost COUNT. Mystery and anticipation filled the whole novel. You don’t know what’s going to happen or whether the characters will survive or if everything will change in a split-second. The author beautifully weaves a web of lies, truths and words.
The prose itself was awesome, as well as the grammar and spelling! I spotted NO TYPOS! This was pretty good for an ARC!
I HAVE TO congratulate J. R. Stewart on her OUTSTANDING debut! It is powerful and intense; I hope that the rest of the series is just as awe-inspiring!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!