Review: Otherworld, Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

There are no spoilers in this review. There will be a spoilers part at the end, indicated, that you’ll have to underline to see (if you’re on the blog. If you’re on a WordPress Reader, beware while reading!)

I knew Jason Segel as an actor, I did not know him as a writer. That’s not what made me pick up this book, but I had to say it – a part of me was really curious to see what he could do as a writer. Another part of me was and always is amazed when it comes to new technologies, new realities and everything like that happening in a book. I mean, we’re it – we’re in this strange time where reality blurs, new technologies make impossible things possible, and so on. If Otherworld had me curious right from the start, captivated by this synopsis, a couple things prevented me from loving this book as much as I could have.

A MIX OF VIRTUAL REALITY AND THE REAL WORLD

πŸ’­

First things first: I think you should know that the synopsis is very misleading, at least, it was a little bit for me. I expected to be fully immersed into a virtual reality most of the time, but Otherworld takes place as much in a virtual reality than in the real world, a world we already know as ours. That’s probably what makes it quite different, and a tad more realistic than other virtual realities or gaming kind of books we might see here and there – unlike Warcross, where the protagonist travels by this sort of hoverboard and Tokyo is highlighted all over, technologies taking over. Here, in Otherworld, the reality is what we actually know – only change is this company, the one that invented Otherworld, is here and making crazy things with people.

Otherworld took a bit of time to kick-off, but, in hindsight, this time was necessary for everything to be put into place, for the stakes to raise only higher and higher as the story goes on. Once everything is into place and once our main character, Simon, realizes what he has to do and really gets into gear, the story picks up at an incredible pace, with non-stop action leaving you no time to breathe, nor think. This book throws you on a thrilling ride, with a strange mix of real and virtual world, both worlds in which important lives are at stake, making you grip the book in anticipation for what’s coming next.

The world-building in this story was interesting – even if, at times, I will admit that it confused me, probably because I’m not too much of a gamer. Wild guess here, though. The virtual reality the authors built was really interesting, there is no denying that the authors had a wild imagination to build the worlds, the characters inhabiting it and the players.

AN INTERESTING CAST, BUT A CONNECTION MISSING

πŸ’­

I think what, unfortunately, disappointed me a bit in Otherworld, were the characters. Simon, our main character, is a slightly rebel teenager, sarcastic all that you can imagine, fun at times for sure. Did I root for him? Obviously. Did I want him to succeed? Obviously. Did I love him? I’m still on the fence about that one. On the one hand, I thought he was an interesting characters with its own flaws, which made him obviously, really human. On the other hand, a little something was missing for me to really…hit it off, I think.

The other characters we meet in Otherworld are equally as interesting, but they lacked a bit of development, or maybe something for me to love them. I liked Kat, but I wanted to get to know her better. I really, really liked the characters Simon met in Otherworld and definitely wanted to know them more.Β Maybe this will happen in the sequel to that book – hopefully. One thing I have to say I really appreciated, though, was that one character was stated as “not into girls, nor boys”.Β We do not know more, whether she’s aromantic/asexual, but I was happy to find that representation in the book. Also, her character was pretty awesome so YAY!

Something I have to say about the characters, though, is that the book suffered from the rich-and-absent-parents-syndrom. I am not a fan of absent parents in books, because…Well, this happens way too often, and I doubt that Simon’s parents, as selfish and annoying as they were, did not care about their child to leave him off wandering for the whole book. I will admit it here, though, that this was probably a plot-device for everything to run smoothly for Simon and for him to go off on his adventures without being annoyed by curfew or something, so… in a way, I understand.

πŸ’­

Potential warnings: problematic tropes & content [SPOILERS].

There are definitely some moments that made me feel a bit β€œmeh” overall as well, influencing my decision to rate this lower than I could have. There definitely is the damsel in distress thing happening, a POC is sacrificed (not the only one, though) for the hero to complete his quest. I also thought that at times, the writing suggested that if people were disabled, their lives was not β€œworth it” – a couple of doubtful sentences here and there made me a bit β€œmeh” overall. If you have read this book, I’d love to know your thoughts on the topic.

[END OF SPOILERS]

OVERALL

Despite my criticism, I had a good time reading Otherworld – as I said before, it was a really entertaining story, fast-paced and filled with adventures and people with bad intentions. It was a bit predictable at times, but I still wanted to keep on reading to know what would happen next. Definitely a story with a lot of hidden potential, maybe one that will be revealed as there is a sequel to this series.

Final rating:Β  3 drops!


The biggest thanks to the publisher, Penguin Random House & Delacorte Press for the ARC of this book. This did not, in any way affect my opinion on this story.

Trigger warnings: death, physical violence.


Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller, Otherworld, Β Published by Delacorte Press, October 31st, 2017.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

The company says Otherworld is amazingβ€”like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictiveβ€”that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

 

Do you want to read Otherworld? Why, or why not? Also, did you know that Jason Segel wrote books (am I the only ignorant here?!!)?!

Do you like books dealing with gaming, virtual realities and such? Any recomendations to share? Let me know in comments!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

42 thoughts on “Review: Otherworld, Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

  1. I am not really a gamer either. I mean, the only thing I ever played that required controls was….uhhh…Mario. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ But, BUT…..JASON SEGAL WROTE A BOOK?!?! DAMN! I DID NOT know about it. 😱

    And I am with you on the fact that even when characters are COMPLETELY DEVELOPED, FLESHED OUT AND EVERYTHING, sometimes there that ‘certain something’ which is NECESSARY to evoke emotions for that character and if THAT’S missing, then the charade just fail to leave a long -lasting impression.

    But, now I am confused. TO READ OR NOT TO READ – THAT is the question. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one ahah, apparently he wrote another fantasy series or something before that one, as well. It’s so weird, I never thought he was a writer, ahah. πŸ™‚

      Well… If you’re intrigued by the plot, the whole idea of virtual realities and enjoy a bit crazy-worlds with crazy people in it, also kind of thriller-adventurous kind of books, I’d say, GO FOR IT. It was a fun read πŸ˜€

      Thank you! xx

      Like

  2. I just wrote my review for this book too! I think I would agree with the majority of your points. I definitely thought the blurb was a little misleading and so for me, it took me awhile to get really into because the book took some time to take off.

    I really liked Simon as a character for the reasons you stated – he seemed realistic plus he went through some development throughout the story which was nice. To be honest, I didn’t even think about not really getting to know Kat or the other characters better, but you make good points regarding that.

    Overall, I thought it was worth the read, but I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll pick up the next book.

    Great review! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m glad you felt the same way about this one, Nicole! I agree that it was worth the read, I had fun while reading it, but… I’m still wondering if I’ll pick up the second book. I guess time will tell ahah πŸ™‚ thank you!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was reading this on WordPress Reader so I had to be very careful of the spoilers. πŸ™‚ I managed to avoid them though. Also I had no clue Jason Segel was an actor (well, his name sounds familiar so I probably knew but I’m terrible with names so I didn’t make the connection until you mentioned it.)
    Anyways great review Marie. πŸ™‚ ❀️ I’ve been seeing this book around a fair bit and it’s on my to-read list already, as much as I loved Warcross I am curious about a world that is essentially ours but with this Otherworld added.
    It’s a shame about the character development (though yay for the representation) but I seems like you still managed to enjoy this one despite that. πŸ™‚
    Again great review. πŸ˜€ ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m glad! Sometimes, reading on the WP reader is tricky, so… I thought it was better to put a warning beforehand ahah πŸ™‚
      Despite this little thing missing, for me to fall in love with the characters, I did enjoy it πŸ™‚ I hope you’ll want to give it a try, sometime πŸ™‚
      Thank you, Beth! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, normally I don’t read on the WP reader but I was on my phone and then I do because it’s less hassle. The warning was very much appreciated. πŸ™‚
        Thanks, I hope so too, with everything else on my to-read list the only thing I can say for sure is it probably won’t be soon, and that’s all right! πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m honestly surprised to see that this takes place in the real world as much as in the virtual reality world. Most books that I have read that are focused on virtual reality end up taking place the majority of the book in the virtual reality world. This is one of those that I really want to check out because it sounds so awesome. I don’t read nearly enough books that focus on this topic. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was quite surprised that there were many comebacks to the real world, and that what happened in the game had consequences, and changes, and so on. Both the reality and virtual games are linked, which is something that was really interesting to follow! πŸ™‚ I hope you’ll give it a try πŸ™‚
      thank you, Kelly!! ❀

      Like

  5. I liked Warcross and that dealt with a lot of virtual reality and I think technology is a huge win over for me.I love coding in books to BECAUSE I LOVE TO CODE so like RELATABLE. It’s so interesting to see what authors do with it, so many possibilities. Gaming is not really my thing though haha.comments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I think there are many cool books dealing with virtual worlds – I haven’t read too many just yet, but I WANT TO, because they are quite cool πŸ™‚
      thank you so much for stopping by!! ❀ ❀

      Like

    1. AAAAAAAW thank you SO MUCH Trang, I’m so glad you liked this picture!! ❀ ❀
      I understand – I heard from other bloggers that they could connect and really enjoyed the characters. Overall, for me, it was a fun and entertaining read, but it missed a little something for me to really love the main character. If you're still interested in the synopsis, I'd recommend to try it out for sure, you might be surprised πŸ˜€

      Like

  6. When I first read this, I thought you were talking about another book called Otherworld, but then I realized, “wait, an actor wrote this? what?” I don’t even think I know Jason Segel? I mean I’m sure if I google him, I’ll recognize him…

    But this does sound like an intriguing novel, especially the virtual reality part, even though it isn’t 100% that. I think I would very much like the world-building, but I’m sad to see that character development was lacking. I might keep my eye out for this one, but I don’t think 3 stars is enough to convince me to read it haha. Awesome review Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, well if you watched How I Met Your Mother, you’ll know him for sure πŸ™‚

      The book was really intriguing, I liked how the real world and the virtual one collided and how so much was at stake in the real world. It was quite good when it came to world-building like that, but I just missed a bit of a connection to love it. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it, if you ever want to try it out πŸ™‚
      thank you so much!! ❀ ❀

      Like

    1. Haha well I’m glad I’m not the only one, I was surprised to find that out 😱 😱
      If you’re not a sci-fi fan, I don’t think it’d be a book for you πŸ™‚
      thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohh okay – well if you love these kind of movies, my guess is that you’ll like the written stories, too πŸ™‚ I’m not an expert on that genre, but maybe you’d enjoy Replica, by Lauren Oliver (sci-fi, but quite anchored in reality as well)? I’d recommend Illuminae as well, because that series is quite unique and crazy ahah πŸ˜›

        Like

  7. I didn’t know he was a writer either! But this sounds so cool!! It’s just a shame the characters lacked a bit of development. But I like how you said you felt like this had hidden potential- I feel a bit like that with books sometimes (but never would’ve known how to articulate that exactly until you used that great phrase!) Brilliant review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much ❀ ❀ I'm happy to hear I wasn't the only one not knowing that. I was surprised to see his name on a book haha, but also surprised to see that he was pretty good at writing as well πŸ˜›
      Oh yes – sometimes, some books definitely have potential, they just lack a little something to be perfect. Here's to hoping the second book will have that little thing πŸ™‚
      thank you!! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree – it makes me so sad. Sometimes, when the plot and the world, when, basically everything just leaves me a “meh” feeling, it’s okay. When, like in this book, the world-building is a bit promising, it’s more frustrating ahah.
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. DROPS INSTEAD OF STARS that’s so creative I loved this.

    Half of me thinks the title otherworld is cool… and the other half says that it’s cliche. πŸ˜› Split personalities amiright?

    That’s too bad I like strangling people with emotions especially characters because ya’ know, they don’t really have a choice to hang out with you.
    I’m sorry, I’m making zero sense I’m tired goodnight, great review. XD
    ~Samantha https://redheadwithabook.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you! ❀ Ahah don't worry about it too much, we all have split personalities sometimes πŸ˜›

      Actually, that made sense to me?! I LIKE EMOTIONS AND CHARACTERS, I need to feel all the things to fall in love with a book.
      Thank you so much!!<3 ❀

      Like

  9. I do want to read this one! And sure, in part IS because Jason Segel wrote it haha. I did know that he wrote, but the only books of his I knew of were MG, and I wasn’t trying to mess with that. So I definitely wanted to read his YA. Plus, like you said, the synopsis was quite interesting. I have heard some… mixed things about this though, so I have been hesitant. It’s kind of sad about the characters not being like, super well developed and the book being kind of predictable too. But if it is entertaining, that’s definitely a huge plus! I do want to give it a try… someday πŸ˜‰ Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, right, he wrote MG before! Did you read some of his books already? πŸ™‚
      It is a bit sad, but I’m hoping that everything will be more developed in the second book. I hope you’ll want to give this one a try someday, I’d love to hear what you think of it πŸ™‚
      thank you so much, Shannon! xx

      Like

  10. This book sounds a lot like Warcross by Marie Lu, which I’m reading now 😊 For assigned reading I’m also reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which is also about technology (among so many other things), and I have to say… I’m kinda technology-ed out for books right now πŸ˜… I actually do love books with virtual realities, gaming, and anything revolving technology because as you’ve said, it’s very relevant to the direction our society is headed today. My only worry is that a novel with these aspects in the story will disappoint me when the author doesn’t use the presence of technology to make an insightful commentary about it — if it’s just there to make the story more interesting, then the book probably won’t stick out in my mind. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, are you enjoying Warcross? I really loved this book ❀
      I agree, it is so interesting to read books dealing with technologies, virtual realities and so on. I love that as well ❀
      To be honest, I prefered Warcross than Otherworld, but they're two very different books as well. I found that Otherworld did make quite a commentary about people and how people are when they are not given limits, when they're just, in this virtual world and…well, no spoilers here, but it is interesting to see people evolving in a game filled with possibilities.
      I hope you'll want to try it out πŸ™‚
      thank you so, so much for your comment, Zoie!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Warcross has been okay so far, but it hasn’t been amazing. I’m still waiting until I finish the novel before I come to a conclusion whether I like the novel or not though πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘ Now I really want to read Otherworld and see how it compares to Warcross! I’ll check Otherworld out soon! πŸ“š

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I am totally not interested in this book even though you really make a wonderful plug for it Marie! Comparing it to Warcross was a good call… highlighting its differences and yet giving it a point of reference. β™₯️ it’s a seriously good review even with the flaws you mention! I just am not feeling the VR right now I think…? I’m sad you weren’t feeling the characters… though the other worlds sounds really exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you, Dani! I get it – I really think it’s the kind of book you have to be in the mood for, in order to enjoy it. If you’re not feeling like reading something “virtual” at the moment, this will just ruin the experience πŸ™‚
      thank you for your sweet words, I’m glad you enjoyed my review ❀

      Like

  12. I’m not much of a gamer either, unless you count some visual novels here and there, but reading about realities where technology is an emphasis is really interesting most of the time. I really should read more books that focus on gaming. This one sounds okay, I’m not sure if I’ll read it yet since there are so many other books that I need to get to first. But I’m glad that you liked it despite the issues you had with it! ❀

    Like

    1. Oh thank you so much πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed Otherworld, despite some little issues, it was a fun and entertaining read. I haven’t read many books on gaming either, though I’m interested in reading more! Have you read Warcross, by Marie Lu? That one was really amazing, I loved it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Awesome review, Marie! I’m a Jason Segel fan and I also wanted to try this book to see how he is as a writer. I’m glad you at least enjoyed it even if though there were disappointing parts. Undeveloped characters throw me off too so right now, I think I’ll also be disappointed reading Otherworld. I haven’t read many virtual reality books so I don’t know how I feel about the trope (though I am reading and liking Warcross at the moment so we’ll see).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! I do hope you’ll want to give this one a try – it was still a very entertaining book πŸ™‚
      I wasn’t too into virtual reality kind of books, but… I read Warcross and ended up LOVING IT. I hope you will love it as well!! πŸ˜€

      Like

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