by A.L. Davroe
Series: Tricksters #1
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen (December 1, 2015)
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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.
Nexis is a post-apocalyptic dystopian that has strict rules for the different classes within society with little to no way to move between the classes. Ella, the main character, started her life in one of the lower classes of society and is known as a Natural, which means she has not been Altered or Modified in any way. Her father has changed their lives forever by creating an altering virtual reality game that ends up raising Ella’s family status to one of the highest levels.
Are you confused yet? Join the club. This book was not terrible but there was a lot, A LOT, of new terminology and new descriptions to learn. It honestly felt like too much. I struggled to make it through the first few pages because nothing was explained until later. The author likes to use a lot of capitalization, which then leads to info-dumping and explanations about how the society spells things differently. There are a lot of characters introduced and it is kind of hard to keep them all straight.
The big thing that bothered me with this story was the pace. Please note that this story does not move at a “normal” pace where the reader feels like they are making good progress and they are very involved with what is going on. This story starts out slow, then speeds up, then slows down to a snail’s crawl, then speeds up again. It was maddening! I nearly DNF’d the book because of the change in pace. The constant change makes this book feel like one of the longest books ever, even though it is only 300-ish pages.
There are parts of this story that I really enjoyed and I liked the concept so it was not an overall terrible book for me. I genuinely enjoyed the characters Ella and Gus (her love interest) and the world building. That leads me to giving this book an OK rating, 3 stars