Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: The Leveller by Julia Durango

The Leveller
Author: Julie Durango
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
The Leveller Book #1
ISBN:  0062314009
ISBN13: 9780062314000
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Review Copy Source: Edelweiss
Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.

I found THE LEVELLER to be a unique read with interesting characters and an inventive plot.

Nixy is really good at her job and I found her job to be the most interesting part of THE LEVELLER. Wyn was also an interesting character. There is a bit of mystery around him when we first meet him, but we quickly start getting the information we need to understand him and the predicament that he has found himself in. The slow romance between Nixy and Wyn was expected, but I found it sweet and powerful by the end of the book.

I found the world building to be very strong. I loved all the descriptions of the MEEP, it was very imaginative and colorful. I am not a gamer of any kind, but even I would have to try out the MEEP if we happened to have it. The plot was filled with action, twists and turns, but I found some things to be a bit weird and I didn't always understand the characters slang.

THE LEVELLER isn't super long, so it was an easy and quick read for me. I think anyone with an interest in YA science fiction and gaming will find this interesting. I am not totally sold on continuing the series, the second book would have to have a really good blurb to draw me in.

I gave it 3/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.