Ellani Drexel is from a domed city known as Evanescence. She has grown up in a world where most members of the city do alterations and modifications on themselves to make them more “perfect”. Ella is what as known as a natural, she hasn’t had any alts or mods done and her father prohibits her from getting any in order to protect a promise made to Ella’s mother before she died.
Ella’s father is the creator of a virtual reality game known as Nexis. After being honored for the creation of Nexis, Ella and her father are in the middle of an argument about being modified when a pod crashes into their home killing her father instantly and leaving Ella wounded having lost her legs in the crash.
Ella’s new caretaker locks her in her father’s office with only the comfort of her “nanny” robot. With the loss of her legs and being trapped she decides to try out the world of Nexis in the hopes of feeling closer to her father and being able to regain her legs in the virtual world.
Nexis is one of those books that drags you in and doesn’t really want to let you go. When finishing this first installment in this new series I just really want the next book right this instant to see where the story is going to go and what happens next. I really can’t even imagine what the author has in store for the rest of the series as the first book itself was quite complex with the different layers in this post-apocalyptic society.
The city of Evanescence itself reminded me a lot of the Capitol in The Hunger Games series. The residents are the elite in the world that spend their time in different indulgences and do strange things to themselves in the name of beauty. While outside of the city you have what are known as the disfavored who seem to be the lower class citizens that aren’t allowed into the dome with the clean air so they are dying off due to the pollution. While the world building gave a good picture of the current state of things I did think it lacked a bit in explaining the disfavored but hopefully more will be touched upon later in the series.
Nexis itself reminds me a lot of Ready, Player, One. You have this “game” in which you are living through your avatar in your mind and when playing it seems like reality. There were different places that Ella and her companions went to that modeled things in the past such as a land that seemed to be taking place in the sixties.
The story is switching between Ella’s reality since the accident and what is going on with her and her participation and companions in the Nexis. The middle of the book seemed to drag a bit with not giving much detail in either world as it was progressing which brought my rating down slightly. But in the end of the story the things I’d been questioning throughout did end up getting expanded upon with an amazing finish to this book.
I will definitely be looking forward to continuing this series as with the ending of this book the possibilities going forward in this YA dystopian post-apocalyptic world seem to be endless. Would definitely recommend checking it out.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.