January 4, 2016

Shelley Loved: Nexis by A.L. Davroe

Series: Tricksters 1
Format: E-Galley | 304 pages
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult | Cyberpunk | SyFy

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.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

NEXIS is the first installment in A.L. Davroe's Tricksters series. The story is set 231 years Post-America, which was destroyed by a Bio-Nuclear War and the subsequent fall-out that left the best and brightest survivors living in Domes. Nexis takes place in a domed city called Evanescence. Here there is a definite disconnect between what are called Aristocrats (Elites) who use modifications and alternations to change their appearances (not unlike Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series), and the Disfavored who are exposed to a very unhealthy environment.

One could also relate this story to the Hunger Games (I.E. the Capitol) since they go to extremes to look different from the rest of their peers. Protagonist Ellani Drexel's father Warren has risen through the ranks from a programmer to an Elite. When the story begins, he is receiving an award for creating a highly popular game called Nexis. Nexis is a virtual reality game that allows players to go on individual quests and gain teammates to help them complete their quest.

Ellani's world comes crashing down upon her when she and her father are in an accident that takes his life, and her legs. Upon waking up, she finds that she is a virtual prisoner under the control of a guardian. Everyone now believes that she is dead. Once she gets past the shocking loss of her father and the reality of her situation, she begins her journey into Nexis and learns that the game has chosen a name (Anasi's Child) and a quest. It is here that she makes an alliance with the mysterious Guster who guides her through the game, and captures her affections.

Ellani is highly unusual in that she is a Natural. She hasn't had any modifications, or alterations and that is mostly due to her mother's request that she remain who she is and not jump into the deep end of the pool with the rest of the sharks who jump at the first chance to alter their appearances so much, they can no longer recognize themselves in the mirror. Ellani has been portrayed as a highly intelligent programmer and designer. But there is so much more about her I can't share.

I have to stop here for a moment and say that NEXIS is one of those books where not overthinking things is a very good thing. The more you over-think who is responsible for Ellani's situation and why, or why a character hasn't caught onto what is happening around her, the more frustrating you can get, and miss important clues. You need to learn to flow with the story as Ellani discovers a whole new world and devious secrets that can change her entire world.

Ellani's journey into the game is really entertaining. I love how detailed the game really is. I love that she finds new allies, and someone who finds a way to break through to her heart. I don't mind flawed characters as long as they grow along with the series. I don't mind that smart characters act confused at times as long as they prove that they have the moxie to carry the series. I have faith that Ellani will do just that and make hard choices in the sequel. 

The final part of this book is highly entertaining and left me with several very important questions about why Guster showed so much attention towards Ellani, and who he really is. One of the things you MUST pay attention to is the various time lines that the author creates. This story actually takes place over a period of 1 full year, rather than subsequent days. I am a fan of stories that actually move forward in time, and are not told in the span of 24 hours. 

Talk Supe


  1. I don't know why but I don't read a lot of books like that anymore though this one sounds good. I didn't know about it but maybe.

  2. The setting and the general idea make for an amazing hook, I'll give you that. I'm not really that good at not overthinking things though... Darn these flaws of mine :D Superb review.

  3. I haven't read a dystopia book in a very long time. I've overgrown them sadly, but this sounds like it was a fantastic reading experience for you.
    Glad you enjoyed it so much! :)

  4. Thanks for the excellent review!!!

    1. You are very welcome! Looking forward to the sequel! Happy 2016!

  5. I haven't heard of this one before until now! It sounds fantastic! Glad you loved it!

  6. Thanks for the tip about not overthinking and just flowing with the story. This sounds like so much fun!

  7. Great review! I'm the queen of overthinking; or so I'm told. I may need to wait on reading this one until I can tamp it down or I may get a serious migraine.

  8. Sci fi like this can be hit or miss for me but I have to admit that I'm very intrigued! I hadn't heard of this one yet but I may consider giving it a try!

  9. I think I'll have to get this one from the library. Great review, it has me intrigued :)

  10. I was thinking this one may not be for me b/c of not overthinking but sometimes I just want to be enthralled with the world the author creates. I might enjoy these.

  11. Sounds like a book that really makes you think. Time lines...

  12. I like books that take place over a longer stretch of time too.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  13. You hooked me in. I'm adding it to the list. Thanks, Shelley!

  14. So I haven't had much appetite for dystopian since...well, forever, it seems. While this book has a great hook, I'm just not into it. :/

  15. Thanks for kicking off the year, Shelley! Muah!

  16. Awesome! I've seen the author pimping the book for a year now on Twitter and have been drawn to the sounds of it. Glad to see you enjoyed it!

  17. I have this one for review through netgalley, but haven't read it. It does sound really good and I am glad to hear you loved it! The virtual realtity game aspect sounds really interesting! Great review!

  18. Gah, I should have grabbed this one up when I had the chance - it sounds like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for the tip on the time lines :)


My reviews are subjective & does not reflect that of Talk Supe's followers.

Also I LOVE commenting back so if you're checking out a post, leave a line or two and I promise to visit your blog back. Let's feed each other's blogger soul!