Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

26164334Publication: November 10th 2015 By: Blue Moon Publishers

Genres: Young-Adult, Science-Fiction, Dystopia

Format: e-ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley My Rating: 2.5 Stars


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.


*This review is based on an early copy of this book. As I have learned this week that there has been changes made to the final book, my review is ONLY for the early review copy. I don’t have time to reread the changed book, so please don’t let my thoughts steer you away from reading the final book. If I had been aware of the modified version before I finished, I would have started it over.*

There’s really not much to discuss, other than the few things that I liked about this story.

  1. Nirvana itself is actually pretty cool. I mean, I could use a virtual reality right now. If I were in Larissa’s situation, losing my husband, then I’d want that ease that Nirvana gives. And then there are these doubts about whether Andrew is still alive somewhere. Then, comes the impossibles – things that she sees in Nirvana, are now finding their way into her world. Everything starts to get secretive, and Larissa wants answers.
  2. I actually liked Hexagon’s motives. At least it made the story more plausible as a dystopian / science-fiction world. There has to be more than an antagonist organization, a heroine, and a few rebels to the cause, right? Wrong.

There was nothing that made me think, “this is so awesome!”. I want to know how this world became the way it is. Why are there still Universities to attend college? Every other page is Larissa thinking about how everything looks deserted and whatnot. Most of the time is spent on base, repeating the same mantra in her head about Andrew being alive. And after his “virtual self” asks for help, I thought that everything would be laid out on the table.

There are little mentions here and there about what happened to the world, but it’s scattered and you can’t grasp what it means. The writing isn’t all that great here, so it was hard for me to take it seriously. Too many POV’s for my liking. The characters all seemed to be just stuck with no direction, including the main character. I was going to go with 1 star, but I actually like the premise for this. It has the potential to be a more hardcore story, so there’s that. I’m not sure if I’ll get to read the modified version, but I’m hoping that it gets better than this. Recommend? I can’t say yes or no. Seriously, I haven’t read the final book so it may be totally good or totally bad. You will just have to chance it and see.


4 thoughts on “Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

  1. That is such a gorgeous cover, too bad about the rating. I haven’t heard of the publisher, is it a small press/indie? Very curious how the final will be like, I know sometimes there can be a lot of last minute changes. I can see the writing improving as they do more polishing, but the multitude of POVs? That’s probably something harder for me to get past.


    • Yes, it’s Indie I think. It was a part of Netgalley’s advocate programs a couple months back. I do want to read the reviews for the final version before I consider reading it again.


  2. I know what you mean about dystopians kind of all blurring together lately. There was nothing that particularly stood out about this one so it will basically just fade into the background… but I do like the sound of the organisation having solid motives as well.


I love comments, and try to reply as often as I can. Know that I read each and every one.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s