Review: Nirvana by J. R. Stewart.

Nirvana“We need the light to see the darkness.”

I received a digital copy of Nirvana from NetGalley to read and review. The expected publication for this book is November 10th.

Nirvana is set in the future where life is very different. The title of this book refers to a virtual world where people can visit, if they’ve earned it or paid for it, and here they can return to life as it used to be. The book is set six months after Larissa’s husband, Andrew, supposedly died. Larissa doesn’t believe that he is dead and searches for him, trying to uncover the mystery of what happened.

My first thought on this book was that it sounded very interesting with great potential. However, as I begun reading it I found it difficult to get into. After the first half of the book I began to just skim read because I wasn’t interested enough and at parts became confused.

The story would often change character perspectives as well as time periods. This can make it temporarily confusing every now and again which didn’t make the experience of reading this very pleasant. This is because it wasn’t clear when perspectives were changing or when the author was going to transport us back to a past event or conversation.

I also felt that the world this story was set in had a lot of potential, but we weren’t given a lot. Technology is extremely advanced while loads of animals and stuff are extinct, the whole world is pretty artificial, so no wonder people were escaping into Nirvana whenever they could. There are places like the Farm, the Barracks, the Bubble in this world, but the descriptions weren’t vivid and didn’t make me interested enough to find out more about them and when we are given information it’s a lot at once and I can’t really retain what is happening.

Halfway through the book I became rather disappointed because the mystery aspect was taken away. While Larissa doesn’t know what has become of Andrew, the reader does and in some circumstances this can work for a book, but in this case it didn’t encourage me to keep reading. This also meant that when Larissa came to the conclusion at the end, the reader hasn’t really learnt any more about where he is.

However, I have spoken very negatively of this book so far. When I finished this book I must admit that the cliffhanger left me wanting more. Despite my opinions on the writing, I can say that I quite enjoyed the characters and the concept of the book. Larissa was the most interesting and I much preferred reading from her perspective.

Overall, the story feels disorganised and doesn’t flow. The world sounds like it would be interesting, but to read about it wasn’t very much and I only kept reading because of the sympathy I felt for Larissa and the fact that I felt I could only review this book honestly if I had read the whole thing. As a result of this, I rate it 1/5.



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