This book I read for the group challenge in the Biannual Bibliothon (my meagre wrap up is coming soon) and honestly I don't think I would've picked it up if I hadn't decided to take part in this round. But, my oh my, am I glad I did.
I love MMO's, I'm big into gaming and anything that talks about gaming. I love the manga/anime Sword Art Online and I can't wait to read Ready Player One. Otherworld I'm theorising is somewhat a combination of the two. It has the stakes of Sword Art and the friendships I've heard are in Ready Player One.
We're introduced to Simon, he has everything that money can buy. Unfortunately, money can't buy loving parents or the attention of the girl that was once his best friend. After taking the blame for something his roommate at boarding school does Simon is sent back home. Which he can't wait for. He can finally see his best friend Kat again. But the thing is she doesn't want anything to do with him, which he can't understand. They were best friends. Simon is convinced something is wrong and is determined to find out what. So, he stole his mother's credit card and purchased two sets of the VR equipment needed to play a new game called Otherworld, in the hopes that within the game he'd finally be able to talk to Kat. But quickly he realises theres something different about Otherworld, the game seems an awful lot more real than it should. Before Simon can fully investigate what's up with Kat his parents destroy his VR gear. Alone, he'll try anything to talk to her. Even going to a party in an abandoned warehouse.
Both Kat and Simon, after an accident are flung into a world of conspiracies, conscious AI and tyrannical gamers. Kat is trapped in Otherworld, with a new technology that means if she dies in the game then she dies in real life. Simon is determined to save her and everyone else living in a VR nightmare.
I absolutely loved this book. Simon is an incredibly flawed character, he's selfish and manipulative but will do anything for those he cares about. I always prefer a flawed character, they're easier to relate to and they feel far more real. He knows right from wrong but understands that sometimes there are shades of grey within that. Despite everything he has a pretty strong moral compass, especially in comparison to others within Otherworld. I'm interested to see more of Kat in the next book. From the little time we did spend with her I really liked her. She's resourceful and determined. There were a lot of characters briefly introduced that I'm guessing will play a larger part in the next book. The antagonist of this book didn't surprise me, I had a feeling I knew who it was from the beginning but I was still a little shocked to see how integral they were to the story.
The plot moved with incredible pace. I'd start reading and before I knew it I'd read 30 pages. I flew through this book. I am a little disappointed with the ending, it just seemed to finish. But I'm definitely going to be picking up Otherearth when it comes out!