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Release Date: 31.10.2017
Buy it Here
For fans of Black Mirror and HBO’s Westworld, and readers of James Dashner and Veronica Roth, Otherworld is the first book in New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller’s new YA sci-fi-thriller series. The future is now. And the future is terrifying.
There are no screens. There are no controls. You don’t just see and hear it–you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can live your best life. Indulge every desire.
It’s a game so addictive you’ll never want it to end. Until you realize that you’re the one being played.
Welcome to Otherworld, where reality is dead. Step into the future. Leave your body behind.
The frightening future that Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have imagined is not far away. Otherworld asks the question we’ll all soon be asking: if technology can deliver everything we want, how much are we willing to pay?
“They forgot nothing real can be perfect.”
Slated for a Halloween release, I couldn’t think of a better time for this pre-dystopic world building cyber novel to enter reader’s lives. Yes, it will make for a spooky read for those inclined during the evening of trick or treat. Yes, it will make for a good Christmas present and yes, you will most likely get a copy from me for Christmas.
To write this review I went back to my Good Reads progress comments thinking that would give me a basis and prompt to write. There were so many quotable moments and I knew I didn’t move from my comfy spot to get some post-its. Alas, I didn’t have much written. In fact, I only updated it 3 times. That’s because I was unable to put the book down long enough to update. Only comfort breaks and the need to appear sociable stopped me from devouring it in one sitting. I guess that just means I’ll have to pick it up for another read shortly.
I came to the novel hoping to have it compete for my love of Ready Player One. What I got was so much more. While Ready Player One is consumed by 80s nostalgia and the society is already accepting of the gaming platform in which the storyline is based, Otherworld is less reminiscent, much more relevant and loaded with foreboding and fear of what this technology could bring. It is a fable and Simon is not the only person on a journey of social and technological discovery.
The thing I love most about this book is that stylistically this is a book that has been missing from my reading life for a long time. It’s a cinematic techno-thriller, worthy of sitting on myself alongside the master of the genre and my favourite author, Michael Crichton and his counterpart Robin Cook. (Interestingly enough, Crichton directed the film Coma, which was written by Robin Cook.) I hope I’m right in thinking that Segel was a fan of the original Westworld growing up. I’d even go out on a limb and say he’s seen Coma. There’s too much passion and a labour of love around the creation of this book for there not to be.
The world building, pace and ‘Coma’-like jeopardy and moral ambiguity all make this a must read that will keep you on tenterhooks right until the last line. It reads like it could be lifted right from the pages and placed onto the screen. Its a story that is inclusive, despite its focus theme. I’m the furthest from a gamer and at no point did I feel Otherworld, Segel or Miller were isolating me from the plot.
There are secondary characters that some may feel are underdeveloped. I would agree to a certain degree; I want to know more about them. However, I would argue that this is realistic of some people we meet online. There is also enough hints to prompt people’s imagination and to also feel for the characters. I suspect the two characters in question will prompt many a fanfic over the next few years.
As the book comes to a close, there is enough of a resolution to satisfy any reader, while the set up for the follow up novel is a nice touch and one that should promote many chats, both online and in person while we wait, as patiently as we can for that second book.
In the year that you are waiting for the sequel, you might like to try the following: