I haven't really heard too much about this book - although, to be fair, it was published like 2 years ago. Still, I hadn't heard much about it then, either.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller.

This story follows Simon, a teenager who is trying to re-connect with his childhood best friend, Kat. After being sent away to boarding school, Simon returns after a bit of a run-in with the FBI and immediately goes looking for Kat. Greeted by her new step-father, Simon is told Kat isn't seeing anyone. So he turns to the Otherworld - a virtual reality game that allows users to interact with the world in new and exciting ways. After sending Kat a headset, Simon goes into the game to find her. Unsuccessful, Simon tries to reach out to her at school. Kat is hiding something, Simon knows it, but he just can't figure out what it is. It isn't until Kat has a life-threatening accident that Simon learns that Otherworld is not the game he thought it was - it's the next stage of reality - and the in-game actions have real-life consequences.

So, I know what you're thinking - how is this different from Ready Player One? To be honest, it's not that different. The reality outside the game is set in a contemporary world that hasn't progressed maybe as far into the virtual reality world as RPO has, but it seems to be on its way there. In all honesty, there seems to be an uptick in these sorts of books these days - using technology like virtual reality as part of the plot.

While I personally am not super familiar with that sort of technology, I do think that Segel and Miller did a really good job of explaining the details that needed to be explained for people like me who don't fully understand the ins-and-outs of the technology. I am by no means an expert in VR now, but they explained it enough that I, as a reader, was able to understand it in the context of the book itself.

This book also had some like futuristic Wizard of Oz vibes going on with the 'quest' itself in the game - in fact, I think it was mentioned a number of times by Simon how similar the game felt to that book/movie-line. At times, it felt a little formulaic - here are the bad guys, here's how to defeat them and move on, etc. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I will say, I was hoping for a bit more originality in the game storyline component given how similar the VR concept was to a number of other books.

Overall, I didn't hate this book by any stretch, it just didn't feel as original and unique as I wanted it to and I don't know if I will be picking up the next book in this series.