(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Trickster
Published by Entangled Teen on December 1st 2015
Genres: Dating & Relationships, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Family, Love & Romance, Romance, Science & Technology, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.
Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.
But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.
And it’s been waiting for Ella.
I let this book sit on my shelf far too long. It was an impulse buy with some Christmas money last year and an extremely good decision.
Ellani Drexel hated the game that rewarded her father a spot in the Aristocracy. She was a Natural living in a world of Modifications and Alterations (think The Hunger Games on steroids). She had never understood why her father resisted her desire for a Mod or Alt, and then her world changed. I loved getting to know Ella and understanding her character. She didn’t have it easy in her Natural skin, but when the skin that her father praised as being beautiful is changed forever, she would have done anything to get it back—even go into Nexis. The story takes place in a year’s time, and Ella changed so much in the novel. She grew gradually, which made her stronger both inside and outside of the game. I loved her voice and can’t wait to read Redux.
Nexis was a world within a world. Ella’s father had been sprouting off old world ideas for as long as she could remember. When she entered Nexis, the world that he had always dreamed about came alive. She understood him finally and the reason behind his ramblings, why he wanted her to remain a Natural. I loved the game. Ella encountered everyday things in our world but thought about them how one who had never seen them would. It made her even more unique. The Nexis chapters were my favorite, and like Ella, I couldn’t wait to return.
The romance…oh goodness. I devoured it. Guster was the cutest. As long as I followed the timestamp at the beginning of the chapters, it wasn’t insta-love. They had an immediate attraction, but they didn’t fall for one another in a blink. Gus kept the story moving. He was an Aristocrat playing Nexis as a Natural, meaning that he sympathized with their plight. I had an idea who he was in Real World, but I did not expect the curveball that Davroe threw at the end. Not. At. All. It was one of the best twists I’ve ever read in a romance. I started freaking out in those last few pages and need the next one like Ella needed to complete her quest.
The side characters in this book were also wonderful. I loved the relationship that Ella had with her nanny droid, Meems. It sounds strange, but it really made me thing about artificial intelligence and man versus machine. The others on the quest were great, too—well, minus Opus (someone had a major chip on his shoulder). I hope I’ll get to see some more of the Tricksters, the ones that helped Ella on her quest, in the next book.
You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy this book. I’m not a gamer, but I loved this book. The beginning is a tad slow, but it picks up almost instantly after the accident. The next book is at the top of my list. And one more time…
OH MY WORD—THE ROMANCE.
Ugh! I need it now! Nexis is one of the best science fiction romances I’ve read in a while. It has it all. If you’re not pre-ordering the heck out of Redux, we must not have read the same book.