Series: Otherworld #1
Published by Delacorte Press on October 31st 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
My content rating: YA (Talk of sex, Lots of violence)
The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise
Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.
Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing.
Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.
If you’ve ever tried virtual reality, you can probably imagine how advanced it might be in the future—how we might be able to practically live in it someday. What if it got to the point where you could actually taste and smell and truly feel everything within the game? Would it still be a game, or would it be reality?
What Fed My Addiction:
- Simon. Simon feels like a realistic teenager—he isn’t perfect (by any means). In fact, he’s a bit of a mess in a lot of ways. At first, I was worried he wasn’t going to be likable, but it soon becomes apparent that he’s doing his best in some pretty miserable circumstances and he has a good heart. Simon’s loyalty is what sets him apart. He’s also pretty intelligent and courageous when he’s forced to be!
- High stakes and danger! Simon starts out just wanting to rescue his best friend (who he also happens to be in love with). He isn’t out to expose any huge secrets or save the world from the Company. But as the book progresses, he meets up with others, and he realizes he can’t leave them behind. There are jokes made about Simon being “The One,” which he resists, but he does end up kind of sort of being responsible for saving the world! There is plenty of danger in this book: opportunities to be eaten by strange creatures or killed by humans attempting to play a “game.” Otherworld definitely isn’t pretty!
- Carole and Gorog. I just adored Simon’s eventual cohorts, Carole and Gorog. They added a lightness to the book that it truly needed. And once you find out more about their real-life identities, it just makes them even more endearing!
- The darkness of humanity on display. Okay, I’ll admit that there were times when I thought, “What? Why would people suddenly turn into this when they get put into a game?” They are savage. The game puts the basest desires of humanity on display and then heightens them. Let’s just say, it doesn’t bring out the best in people. Like I said, I wanted to think that would never happen. But then I look at the real world sometimes and I… don’t know. I’m starting to see a whole lot more brutality in the human race than I’d ever like to admit to. And the fact that most people playing do think this is a game—there are plenty of really violent video games that are incredibly popular. Who knows how far people would go in the name of “winning.”
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- The concept of life as a game being overused? Even though I love the concept of Otherworld, I do feel like I’ve seen it before in a few places and I couldn’t help but make comparisons. I’ve read a few books that had similar concepts (Ready Player One and Nexis come immediately to mind), and then there’s the anime series Sword Art Online. I haven’t read Warcross yet, but that one also sounds very similar as well (and I wonder if the fact that it was released so recently might hurt this book). With the rise of virtual reality and gaming, it’s not surprising that this topic is being explored often, though!
Otherworld is a deliciously dark read that gives a bleak look at where virtual reality might take us. If you could go into a game and indulge your every desire, would you ever want to leave?
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via ALA Annual in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Authors
New York Times bestselling author Jason Segel used to have nightmares just like Charlie, and just like Charlie, he’s learned that the things we’re most afraid of are the things that can make us strong…if we’re brave enough to face them. Jason likes acting, writing, making music, and hanging out with his friends. Sometimes he writes movies. Sometimes he writes songs for movies. Sometimes he stars in those movies and sings those songs. You might know him from The Muppets and Despicable Me. Your parents might know him from other stuff. Nightmares! was his first novel.
I write books.
Some of my books are what librarians call middle grade. (Kiki Strike, Nightmares!)
Some should be kept away from small children and people with weak stomachs. (How to Lead a Life of Crime, The Eternal Ones, Otherworld)
I write some books with Jason Segel.
I’ve written quite a few books on my own.
I’m an Aquarius.
My favorite food is cauliflower. (No joke.)
I will eat almost anything. And I’m weirdly proud of it.
I believe New York City is the most magical place on earth.
I love Dolly Parton and David Attenborough. Equally.
I cannot sing or play any musical instruments.
I’m obsessed with sewers and sanitation systems.
I once broke into a Mayan temple with my brother, Spike.
Spike is an alias. It’s not his real name.
I also have a sister. She prefers to remain anonymous.
We have the same birthday.
Yes, that sucks.
I think that’s all you need to know.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of OTHERWORLD, US Only.
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