Author(s): Jason Segel (Yes, the same Jason Segel of HIMYM and Forgetting Sarah Marshall fame) and Kirsten Miller
This is not a game
The tagline for this Hunger Games for nerds young adult science fiction novel is lived out through a fast-paced and action packed novel. It’s an interesting take on what might happen when virtual reality gets out of control. I enjoyed the story and found myself captivated by Otherworld, the virtual land where the majority of the story takes place. The book is written in first person, present tense which is a unique style of writing that doesn’t always sit right with me. It’s hard to follow the thoughts and actions of one character for the entirety of 350+ pages. In order for that to work you have to love the main character, and I just wasn’t the biggest fan of Simon. His heart is in the right place, but his flaws are highly unbecoming and his justifications for his actions don’t always make sense. The story is somewhat predictable, but that is not always a bad thing. The main focus of the book is all of the possibilities of the virtual land of Otherworld. It seems to bring out the worst in people, where people are capable of living out their darkest fantasies. Regardless, the story was entertaining, but it is definitely on the higher end of the young adult age range. There is some rough language, inappropriate situations of blackmail, descriptive details related to violence, murder, and even cannibalism. I read a lot of young adult books to decide whether to recommend them to my 6th grade students, and this is one that will not be recommended for their age. The bottom line when it comes to Otherworld is if you like science fiction, video games, adventure, blood and gore, mysteries, and psychopaths than this is the perfect book for you. I am looking forward to reading what happens in the sequel, Otherearth, which is coming in 2018.