Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Etherworld by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Series: Elusion (bk. 2, final book)

Genera(s): Dystopia Sci-fi

Subjects: virtual reality, technology, near-future, thriller, adventure

Setting: Detroit, Michigan and a virtual world called Elusion

POV/Tense: 1st person POV: Reagan Welch

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 338 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover 

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Tegan

Summary/ product description: “In this sequel to Elusion, three teens fight a virtual reality program that threatens to destroy their minds. Dangerous secrets and lies add up to a thrilling futuristic fantasy with an Inception-inspired twist.

Elusion was hailed as an exciting leap in technology—until users began to disappear amid rumors of addiction. Regan’s search for the truth led her and her new love interest, Josh, to Etherworld. Etherworld is a dimension hidden deep beyond Elusion's firewall, where players can hide, and ultimately fight back. Regan's father and others are here working to destroy Etherworld, but the longer they stay the less likely they'll be able to return to the real world alive.

Escape means attacking Elusion from within the program. It's dangerous and it’s a puzzle. And even if they manage it, how will they be able to stop Orexis from distributing Elusion to the masses when the people who run it are corrupt?”

My Review:  Ether World is the sequel-finale to Elusion. It’s still from Reagan’s POV and centers around a plot to destroy Elusion and save people who have been trapped there. Reagan has found her dad trapped in Elusion, also and he and a group of young people are in a place called the Ether World.

The Ether World is a less developed part to Elusion that has low stimulus. Elusion itself is about excitement and having great experiences. It uses a drug called trypnosis to but the user into a hypnotized state so the virtual reality of Elusion feels more real. It’s a really interesting concept, different from other virtual reality books like Eye of Minds by James Dashner or Insignia by S.J. Kincaid. This virtual reality in less developed and focuses more on landscapes called “Escapes” and not really about gaming.

Also, outside of Elusion, this book is set in Michigan. Detroit, about 50 years in the future in a world in which Florapetro (some kind of synthetic oil) pollutes the skies around cities and people have to wear O2 oxygen masks to protect their lungs when they’re outside. There’s acid rain that actually burns somewhat and the sky’s not often blue. Elusion becomes a way to escape this miserable polluted world, and the day-to-day jobs and hardships. But is only being used so far in 3 cities: Detroit, LA, and Miami. 

This book had far less romance that I expected. I didn’t mind it. I like that it was more on the sci-fi adventure side of things this times. There was plenty of character interaction and confrontation and funny dialogue. Reagan seemed less quirky than in the previous book. I wonder if it’s because there’s two authors and maybe one wrote this book in a slightly different style than the other. Either way, this was a fun sequel and it’s too bad it had to end at two books. Duologies seem to be popular now. If you haven’t read Elusion or Ether World, then give it a try if you like sci-fi books about technology and virtual reality.

Cover Art Review: I love the colors and details. I just wish it was metallic like the previous book’s cover.

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