Review: NIRVANA by J.R. Stewart

Reading time 4 mins

I requested this book like 2 months ago and wanted to review it close to release date. Apparently, the early reviews weren’t good, so the author tweaked the story. I LOVE that the author took early reviewers thoughts to heart and make some changes. I got an email that the book had changed so this is a review of the revised version of Nivana.

Review: NIRVANA by J.R. StewartNirvana by J.R. Stewart
Series: Nirvana Series #1
Published by Blue Moon Publishers on November 10th 2015
Pages: 186 pages
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
eARC provided by Blue Moon Publishers, Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley


When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon.
In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized – even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so.



This story is about a big extinction event of bees that results in a lack of crops, vegetation and animal life. So earth in 2080something gets a bit dystopian with a company called Hexagon controlling all the food and water supplies for the remaining population. Larissa Kenders is an animal activist who is in love with Andrew. Andrew is a programmer working for Hexagon. Andrew’s main job is working on Nirvana, a virtual reality controlled by Hexagon. When Andrew disappears, Larissa escaped to Nirvana to spend time with him. When virtual Andrew starts telling Larissa how to find him in real life, she becomes convinced it is really Andrew. Now she just has to follow his instructions, and not get herself killed, in order to find him.


I have mixed feelings on this story. It wasn’t quite meh the whole way through it, but…let me try to explain.


What worked: The idea of the extinction. I know that there are other animals that can pollinate plants, but what if they died, too? What if we mess this planet up so badly, that no crops will grow? This is a frightening idea. Nirvana was a nice idea as well. I like that we are moving toward this becoming reality. Although I hope that our Nirvana will not be controlled (or cost quite as much) as it does in this dystopian earth when it becomes reality.


The idea of lost love, and trusting your gut. It seems that Larissa knew her virtual Andrew was the actual one. She went with her gut despite the rules of virtual reality. I liked the idea of love being worth the risk of death. Serge was my favorite part of this book. I think Larissa made a mistake with that one. I have a theory, and it has something to do with the ending, will have wait for book 2 to see if I am right.


The cover for this book is gorgeous! I chose this book for the cover way before I read the synopsis.


What didn’t work: There was no enough world building. I think this was a really great effort, but the author could have spent more time on setting up the world. (i wanted to see more of earth at this time) There was another POV for a small part of this story that I didn’t think was necessary. I think we should have stayed in Larissa’s POV throughout the whole story. The other POV didn’t add anything to the story at the time, but it did take away from my enjoyment. Larissa was a flat character despite her background and being an activist, at first. I had a hard time connecting to her personally. In peril, she had pretty shallow thoughts about Andrew and then almost fell in love with someone else. Also, there is a love-triangle. I am pretty sure Larissa chose the wrong guy. Andrew didn’t seem worth the risks Larissa took. I ended up really NOT liking him at all.


In conclusion: This was an okay read. I enjoyed the middle to the ending so much that I will definitely be reading the next book in the series when it comes out. I think some readers will have the same issues I did with Larissa. I think her reaction in the last few chapters made up for her shortcomings at the beginning. I grew to love her much more by the end.


My Rating


About J.R. Stewart

J.R. Stewart has worked on many corporate projects throughout a prolific IT
academic and consulting career, and is involved with many confidential virtual reality
projects. After working on advanced “VR” technologies for over a decade, Stewart
grew concerned about the implications of this work and the possible psychological
effects that it may have on its users.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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By | 2017-12-16T10:25:07+00:00 Tuesday, November 3, 2015|3 kisses, Apocolyptic, Dystopian, reviews, Romance, Science Fiction, YA|7 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.


  1. Raquel
    November 3, 2015 at 6:04 am - Reply

    I love the cover and it sounds like a good read. Great review.
    Check Out Raquel’s most recent post- Review: Pure Justice (Book #2) by Liah PennMy Profile

  2. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance November 3, 2015 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    That’s interesting the author took early comments and tweaked the book a bit. That’s kind of awesome. Sorry you still didn’t LOVE this one but it seems like it had enough going for it to want to read on, which is a plus. Interesting concept, I do agree. I really love the cover as well.
    Check Out Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance’s most recent post- LGBT Book Reviews ElsewhereMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      November 3, 2015 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      I will probably read the sequel, because I HAVE TO find out what happens next. Thanks for checking out my review!

  3. Caroline
    November 16, 2015 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t finish either version of this book. I didn’t quite make it to the halfway mark the second time. I couldn’t connect with the character and everything moved so slowly.

    I agree the cover is awesome, and I loved the virtual reality aspect, but it really didn’t work for me.

    • Karen Blue
      November 17, 2015 at 7:05 am - Reply

      Just goes to show no two people read the same book. I grew to enjoy the book.

      • Caroline
        November 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

        Exactly. 🙂

        I wanted to enjoy the book, but I just couldn’t get there.
        Different strokes for different folks 🙂

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