Author: Julie Durango
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia | Sciene Fiction
Release Date: June 23rd 2015
Review Source: HarperCollins
Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.
Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.
But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?
Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?
Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.
It took me about 5 attempts to read the first few chapters. I don't know why but I couldn't get into the plot. Maybe it was because it was so different from what I usually read, sci-fi books are far from what I usually read, in fact, this may be the first I've read in nearly 2 years. But once the ball got rolling it didn't stop. Once The Leveller had my attention there was an iron grip on it. I was sucked into the world of gaming and MEEP.
I was so entertained by The Leveller. It was something so different from what I read that it was like a whole new experience with books. I need more sci-fi in my life, seriously. Nixy, the lead character, was who made the story. Her parents work on new creations for the MEEP gaming world, but Nixy, she earns her cash by going into the MEEP and retrieving people. Maybe it's a mother wanting her rogue child back in the real life, or a wandering husband needing taming, you name it, Nixy does it. And she's really good at it, too.
It's when Nixy takes a job she knows she can't refuse that situations become sticky. The MEEP creator himself finds his son lost in the word of gaming...because that's how he planned his suicide, and Nixy's the one who's been hired to drag him back to his family. The problem: she's not the only one to have tried. Many professionals have tried and failed to bring Wyn back to the real world, but instead of returning with him, their mental states have shattered---the game literally broke them. It seems Wyn is making it a living nightmare for people to reach him.
The journey of Nixy entering Wyn's world is a tough one, but, eventually she does it. And she does what nobody has managed to do; find Wyn. But when she finds him and gets to know him, things start becoming clear and the puzzle pieces aren't fitting together. There's more to the story than a boy trying to die through virtual reality. And Nixy's going to find out what.
The Leveller was an exciting read. Something new for me with lots of action and mystery. There's much to be revealed and a lot of unknown that I'm so hyped up for book 2. Nixy was an awesome go-getter kind of character. She fed off the challenge and she was willing to give anything a go. I loved her personality and how great she was at her profession despite being young. Suppose practice does make perfect. And I have a feeling Wny is really going to shine the more we get to know him. His father is a dominant man and I have no doubt we're going to see some rebellion. Cannot. Wait!