Nirvana by J.R. Stewart


So like the cover, which is freaking gorgeous and sinister at the same time, this book was both nothing and everything I expected.

I knew three things about it going in: Dystopian. Post-apocalyptic. Virtual reality.

All I needed to pick it up.

But it is so much more. It makes you think, really think about what virtual reality can do in our world, our lives today. Because the technology already exists – it’s how we apply it that’s questionable.

Of course video games are the main revenue source of VR research, because who doesn’t want to be a superhero, secret agent, dragon slayer, kung fu master, or race car driver?

I know I do.

But Nirvana talks about so much more than that. It brings us a world where VR is an essential need of the human psyche, just like food and water is to the body. In that world, people can see a life they had and lost, people they lost, reliving memories over and over again to hold on to hope and that sliver of happiness.

And I’m thinking, would it actually be a good thing? Would going into a VR world with your dead husband, or child, be in any way psychologically beneficial in the long term? We keep photographs, videos, voicemails – but is that really the same as going to a virtual dinner and actually talking to a programmed shell of the person you remember?

I honestly don’t know. It probably depends on the person. I don’t know what I would want.

But anyway, back to the book.

I knew from the first few chapters I would not be able to put it down, so I took a day and read it all. It was worth it. Sure, there are some things you just have to take as is, like how Canada became a desert because the bees died out, but with dystopia, a lot of looking the other way is necessary no matter what. If you just read the book for what it is – a story about a girl who is looking for her lost fiance in both the real and virtual worlds, it’s pretty damn good.

If you like dystopia and speculative sci-fi, definitely check this out. It will leave you reflecting long after the last page.

(Copy courtesy of Netgalley)


4 thoughts on “Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

  1. It’s kind of strange to see such a positive opinion about this book. I’ve read it and I didn’t like it. The fact that I’ve read the very first version of the book before all the “fixes” didn’t help. But I’ve read the fixed version and although it made a bit more sense, I still find it lacking.


    • I can see why some people wouldn’t like it, but I think as a writer, I look at books in a different way than most readers. I try to take what I can, and engage in the author’s perspective without dwelling on things. Writing is hard, making a world that makes perfect sense is hard, and I really enjoyed the one shown in this book.

      Liked by 1 person

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