Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: The Leveller by Julia Durango

The Leveller
(The Leveller, #1)
by Julia Durango
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.31
Published by: HarperCollins
Published on: June 23, 2015
Pages: 256

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them. 

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

The Characters: Nix was a character I adored. She was a kick-butt character and so feisty and determined. I loved her take-charge attitude. She was a character that I connected with from the get-go and was a YA character that was actually YA. She seemed like she was her age. I loved reading her.

Wyn was a character that I also adored. We didn't get to learn all that much about him (well not enough for my likings) but everything we learned I adored. He was such a sweet character. And he's not the "bad-boy" character that we see all the time. He was really well-written.

I loved the dynamics between the characters, especially between Nix and Wyn. They were cute. The romance in the novel took a back-burner, which I enjoyed immensely.

The secondary characters were also well-written. I loved reading about them. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  I adored this book. It was unique and original. It didn't feel like a story that I'd read a million times. I'm not a gamer, but I loved the gaming world that Durango built. A world where you can virtually live. 

The world was intriguing and the novel was fast-paced. There wasn't a slow moment and yet nothing felt rushed either. It was fantastic. 

The whole concept of this novel just drew me in from the get-go. This novel is a YA that is actually geared for YA readers and one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to readers of any age.

A read that ia fairly short and thoroughly entertaining. 

So why 4.5 stars? It was just so original. It wasn't necessarily the best book I've ever read, but the originality of it all made it one that I adored. 

Warnings/Side-notes: That's the beauty of this novel. It is super clean. There are a few mentions of appearance (immodesty) and a few very tame sexual innuendos, but there is nothing overtly sexual, violent, and there is no swearing. 

The Wrap-up: I can't wait to read what happens next. That ending left so many things open. I'll be curious to see if Durango can do it again in the sequel. 


Danica Page

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