Book Review: Nexis by A.L. Davroe

by - 6:01:00 PM

Title: Nexis
Author: A.L. Davroe
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: 01 December 2015

From Goodreads: "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."

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Nexis is a unique take on a futuristic society where everything is modified and altered and being "natural" is looked down upon. Ella was born a normal in a world where people are constantly changing (modding and altering) their appearance. From their eye color to their laugh, people can change their outside to match how they feel on the inside. Ella's father is insistent on her staying a natural, which is someone who is not modded or altered in any way, but she is determined to be perfect. After an awful accident, Ella is left crippled, and her only escape becomes the incredibly popular game that her father created called Nexis.

The world of Nexis is the complete opposite of the real world. In one scene, Ella is introduced to a straw and she has no idea what it is. It really gives the reader an idea of how much of the past has been forgotten, and that was something that really interested me. I enjoyed how Ella's father included many elements of the past so that people who played Nexis wouldn't forget how the world used to be.

I really felt that the pacing of the book was a bit slow. There were also many times that I found myself wanting to just get through the parts where Ella was in Nexis so that I could read more about what was going on in the real world. Towards the end of the book where it was made clear as to why Nexis was created, it got me a bit more interested in reading the parts about Nexis. Although once Ella discovered why she is being held captive, I was right back to wanting all real world and no Nexis. The plot twist there was a good one and had me completely shocked!

Something that really bothered me was how Ella basically refused to ask Gus for help in the real world. I understood that she didn't want him to see her and potentially not love her in the real world because of her disability, but it was a really annoying point in the book for me. She was being starved and held prisoner and she wouldn't ask for help, despite Gus trying multiple times to offer her help in the real world. Ella came off as really stubborn and way too focused on appearances when it came to that issue, and it really made me not like her. Gus was pretty sketchy at some points as well, but he was less annoying than Ella.

Also, I totally knew who Gus was in the real world and it made me super happy to be right about that.

Well, I may be right. I'll find out in the next book, hopefully!

I'm really hoping that the next book will give more information about how the world got to the state that it's currently in, and how the domes were created. I would love to learn about the bio-nuclear war and about how the disfavored came to be able to live outside of the domes when the air is supposedly toxic. I could definitely see there being a plot twist to where the outside isn't really toxic like everyone has been told!

By the end, I was happy to be finished but was also wishing that the sequel was out already so that I could keep reading! I can't wait to read more about how Ella deals with being out in the real world with Gus and how/if she embraces being the Anansi. I would definitely recommend this title to anyone looking for a unique take on the future and some pretty decent plot twists by the end!


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