Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
|Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller|
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond|
|Summary: All heroes have a unique physical attribute. Hercules had his strength, Harry Potter had his scar and Simon has his nose. Funny, clever, unputdownable, what a fantastic new adventure read! It's a classic epic but so thoroughly modern. Cannot wait for book two.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: Rock the Boat|
|External links: Author's website|
Simon would not have considered himself a hero. In fact, by all accounts, particularly that of his parents, Simon is an epic failure. He's large, he's hairy, he has a ridiculously oversized nose and he's been kicked out of boarding school and kept on a federal watch list. But Simon is sure something is up with his friend Kat. She won't speak to him. So he resorts to buying an incredibly expensive new virtual reality video game for them both - Otherworld. Otherworld engages your senses with graphics so good, you'll swear they are real, and it's here that Simon really wants to talk to Kat. But it isn't real, it's a game… until a turn of events lands Simon in Otherworld in an all together different way. This time, whatever harm his avatar suffers has real consequences. And if it dies? Simon would rather not think about that. If he wants to save Kat, he has to keep pressing on. Simon is the chosen one, this is not a game.
This book is INCREDIBLE! A cross between fantasy and conspiracy, a classic worthy of Homer but in an age of Homer Simpson. This is well written, well plotted, funny, tense, exciting, relatable and original. I just can't use enough adjectives. Using virtual reality as a gateway to a fantasy story was a genius move and works brilliantly. It means the story is relevant (if not slightly futuristic) and gives the authors the freedom to let their imaginations go. And what a story it created!
The hero is a boy called Simon. He's the disappointing son of two very rich lawyers, Simon's always had a lot of money but he hadn't had a lot of love until he met his friend Kat in the woods by his home one day. For the next decade, she was his real family. So when Simon moves to boarding school and Kat won't return any of his numerous attempts at contact, he knows something is wrong. Simon is a wonderfully weird protagonist, distinguished by being large and hairy with a giant nose - his kishka, inherited from his gangster grandfather whom his mother has tried her best to bury. Simon is an unlikely hero in the classic sense but fits perfectly with the video game universe. He's funny, relatable and well crafted, he's just odd enough to make him seem like that guy you once knew from school.
This book is very sensory, it needs to describe its setting as a crucial plot point but the description is never overwhelming. As someone who isn't the greatest fan of lengthy descriptions, I really appreciated this. It's all action, all the time. The pace of this book keeps going as you move backwards and forwards between reality and otherworld. I was desperate to know what was going on and equally didn't want it to end. I don't remember the last time I read a book which was so enjoyable.
It might be a fun book, but it deals with some really dark themes like AI, and how virtual reality lets loose humanity's worst nature, which takes on a whole new dimension. Simon's actual life is on the line. It's very thought-provoking and is actually incredibly on the pulse and insightful.
Thank you to the bookbag and the publishers for my advance copy. I cannot wait to read the next one!
If you fancy reading more of this author, read Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb by Kirsten Miller
You can read more book reviews or buy Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller at Amazon.com.
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