Today I’m going to be reviewing Nexis by A.L. Davroe as part of the blog tour celebrating the release of the sequel, Redux. Since it’s part of a tour, there’s also some promotional info at the bottom of the post about both books AND there’s a giveaway where you could win a pretty awesome prize pack, so be sure to check it out! Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour, too.
First of all, I want to give a big thank you to YA Reads for letting me be a part of the tour and to both YA Reads and Entangled Teen for having me review this. Overall, I really, really enjoyed Nexis BUT there were some problems with it as well which made it hard for me to justify giving it more than 3 stars.
The reason why I didn’t give Nexis more than 3 stars is because of the ableism. This paragraph is going to contain spoilers, so please skip ahead if you want to avoid them. (It’s very clearly marked where the spoilers end.) Okay, so early on in the book, the main character, Ella, is in a car accident where her father dies and she loses her legs. Once she learns she’s lost her legs, she feels like her life is over and just in general, says some really crappy and ableist stuff. She seems to feel that the bigger tragedy is the loss of her legs and not the death of her father and she literally says that she’s uglier now than she’s ever been before because she’s lost her legs. I don’t think I need to explain what’s wrong with that, do I? Now, I get that it’d be quite an adjustment to all of a sudden lose your legs and so I understand why Ella would be so upset. But I was hoping that throughout the book, she’d come to terms with it, but that doesn’t really happen. Throughout the book, there are comments made about her disability every once in awhile. I was glad to see the comments did diminish, but I really wish that we’d seen Ella come to terms with her disability rather than her continue to feel like it makes her ugly and ruins her life. It just never felt like a genuine or respectful portrayal of disability to me (and that’s coming from someone who is physically able-bodied). Obviously, because I am able-bodied, I’m not the best person to comment on the representation of disabilities, though.
END OF SPOILERS
With that said, I really enjoyed the rest of the book. Many of you know how much I love dystopian books and this was no exception. It reminded me a lot of the Elusion series by Claudia Gabel which, although I haven’t finished it, I really loved.
I thought the concept of the game, Nexis, was really intriguing. It’s basically this virtual reality game that turns into whatever you want it to be. If you want a simulation game, that’s what you’ll get. If you want a quest, you’ll get a quest. It also had this aspect of dimensional travel in it which I LOVED. Even though there were a lot of times where the plot didn’t really seem to be going anywhere, I didn’t mind at all because we were learning more about this game that I was so intrigued by.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the romance between Ella and Gus. At first, I wasn’t a big fan of it because it felt really sudden but I grew to really enjoy it. I also liked that Ella felt comfortable in saying that she felt the relationship was moving too quickly and that Gus then actually respected her choice to slow things down. By the end of the book, I really desperately wanted to know who Gus was in the Real World (as their romance takes place in Nexis) and I honestly want to read Redux ASAP so I can figure it out, haha.
There’s also this kind of dual storyline that I thought might get confusing, but luckily, it wasn’t and it ended up being quite interesting. In addition to seeing Ella progress through the game, we also see what’s going on in her real life. I’ll admit I wasn’t always the most interested in the “real world” plot, but I still think it was generally interesting to read about.
All in all, I enjoyed Nexis and would have gladly rated it more highly if it hadn’t been for the ableism that, unfortunately, persisted throughout the story. Regardless, the world, plot, and romance were enough to keep me interested and entertained and I’ll most likely be picking up Redux when I get a chance as I’m really interested to see what happens next (and who Gus is!).
Nexis (Tricksters, #1) by A.L. Davroe
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2015
Genre: YA Sci-Fi / YA Science Fiction
Published by: Entangled Teen
Summary: In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.
Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.
But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.
Redux (Tricksters, #2) by A.L. Davroe
Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Published by: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Sci-Fi / YA Science Fiction
Summary: The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city.
To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created.
But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.
But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.
Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered.
Or die trying.
About the Author
A.L. (Amanda) Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. She prefers revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. She is the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and her YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, is coming out with Entangled Publishing December 1, 2015!
By day, Amanda lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and makes cheese. She’s a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she’s a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. Amanda also wears purple shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble. She’s a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, a bit gothic, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.
Author Website: www.ALDavroe.com
Author Blog: www.ALDavroe.com
Author Twitter: @ALDavroe
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALDavroeFanPage
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5212441.A_L_Davroe
Click HERE to enter the giveaway! An AWESOME prize pack is up for grabs – it includes a Kindle fire and more!