My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“The Company welcomes you to Otherworld.
Are you ready to play?”
I didn’t know Jason Segel wrote books?! He is talented in a lot of things he has done, and i, for the most part, enjoy his work immensely but was this book one of them? Yes and no. I haven’t read anything by Kirsten Miller, but I could definitely pick out some of Jason Segel’s humor throughout my reading of this novel. As a gamer, these sorts of books pull me in. I know I know, some may say it has been done before, many connect this book with ‘Ready Player One’ and that might be the case, but i haven’t read that yet, still I think every story has its own unique way of making itself original, whether the original story idea is the same or similar to another book.
Otherworld is about the take the world by storm. Advertised as the most lifelike virtual reality game, that lets you live out the life your best life, indulge your every desire- lets you touch, feel and smell everything like its the real world and your destiny is whatever you make it- The Company will stop at nothing to advance their technology and bring to life a whole new reality which is Otherworld.
Simon is a troubled young man, with parents who are never around, he is forced to move from his hometown and separate from the only real friend he has ever had, Kat. Simon ends up returning with a few new stories to tell, only his best friend will no longer speak to him. The more Simon uncovers the more he knows something isn’t right. Having stolen his parent’s credit card to beta test the new virtual reality game, Otherworld, Simon, and Kat will open a can of worms that could change their lives and the reality they know forever. What lies in Otherworld? What secrets is Kat hiding? And what could the Company really be trying to do?
One thing I loved about Otherworld was the world building! Modern sci-fi stories, especially about gaming are so far up my alley. The idea of Otherworld is really cool, a game so real it’s like a whole other reality, where you can live your best life, choose your own destiny and fulfill your own desires. SIGN ME UP. I think what I loved most about the worldbuilding is that it has left room for so much more, we have only seen snippets of Otherworld so far, there is still so much to explore I can feel it. One thing I would have loved is a map! Most RPG games have maps, and im sure most virtual reality games do as well, its a part of the gameplay because otherwise you’d be totally lost. So why did we not get a map!? Even one where certain areas are locked, until the next book, where we uncover more and more of the world, you know, like in most video games have.
I will say I enjoyed the writing a fair bit. Like I said I could pick out parts that show Jason Segel’s humor and overall, I enjoyed this reading experience. I did find I liked the start and the end a lot more than the middle of the book. It felt like something changed, whether it was the pacing or just plot-wise it slowed down, it seemed to lack a bit in the middle there. Not that we still don’t uncover things and get a few twists and turns in there. Also, the end of the book just felt like it ended out of nowhere, we either needed a little more or a little less, because it felt incomplete finishing like it did.
Simon isn’t a likable character but I think that was the purpose for both Jason Sigel and Kirsten Miller. Simon is the rich, troubled rebellious teen who does quite a few questionable things, even when he is trying to do the right thing, he seems to fuck that up. At one point, is even talks about feminism and how slut-shaming is bad, but the proceeds to threaten that he will leak revenge porn. Not cool. This kid definitely has a weird way of going about the right way to handle things. Kat is the opposite of Simon, the girl from the other side of the tracks, wild, free-spirited, kind. How these two are even friends doesn’t make sense until you find out they were friends from a very young age. If they had met when they were older, no chance there would have been a friendship there.
Simon is definitely infatuated with Kat. Not only is he protective of her but he will risk anything to find out what she is hiding and help her. Which is awesome, until he starts following her. Stalking is never the answer guys. Its creepy as hell and makes you look like you have a few screws loose. The fact it takes him so long to realize he is in love with his best friend was a bit ehh. Come on Simon, wake up buddy.
I did like a lot of the characters we are later introduced too, I liked seeing who they were in the real world too and how different they were to their online avatars.
“My tongue produces words faster than my brain can approve them.”
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t a favorite!I liked the worldbuilding, the plot, Kat and the additional characters, and the writing (for the most part). My issues were with the middle of the book, the abrupt ending, Simon and the lack of a world map.
I think a lot of people will enjoy this, but only if they stop comparing it to Ready Player One, like a lot already have.
Recommended for: YA/Scifi.