Monday, June 15, 2015

The Leveller (The Leveller, #1) by Julia Durango ARC Review

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Publish Date: June 23rd, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance

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.


A stunning debut with a spunky and feisty heroine that made me laugh, and root for her.  Nixy Bauer is a Leveller. Her job--is to drag kids out of virtual reality and back into the real world. The parents pay and her the kids hate her.  Everything is moving along swell, until the game's creator calls her on a mission that could possibly put her in danger. The kind of danger that is not as easy as resetting the game.

The creator's son is in the game, and he doesn't want to be found--leaving behind a suicide note. At least that's what they thought, until Nixy finds out he isn't hiding, but is in fact trapped. He's being held against his will, and now the game, has gotten all too real.

Nixy, was fantastic character. She was sassy, and spunky, and a video game bad a**.  She never held back, and she certainly didn't let herself be taken advantage of, no matter the situation. She never faltered and she was actually pretty funny, and made me chuckle quite a few times. 

I loved the relationship she had with her parents. They were playful, and close, but yet respectable. I really liked that. 

Now, Wyn Salvador. The name befitting someone with chocolatey brown eyes and hair that made me swoon, just by reading about it. There wasn't a large focus on romance, but I can't help but feel by reading the description he must be a dreamboat.

Wyn, was swoon worthy without even trying, and he wasn't. He was just being himself, and I really liked him. He wasn't cliche, or outright rude. He was just a regular guy, in a good way-well that is aside from being a billionaire's son.

The other characters play a central piece to the story but I won't talk much about them for fear of giving something away. But, I will say, the author used these characters well. 

Well played, Julia. Well played.

Needless to say I really enjoyed this read. The virtual reality, the action, the humor, and the intrigue  kept me reading for pages on end. It's one of those books that you just want to keep on reading because you just have to know what's happening. It was like being in a real live video game but this video game, bleeds into real life.

It was exciting, the characters were vivid, and relatable. The romance was tame but it was present, and I really can't wait to see where the characters go next. I want to say more but I don't think I'd be able to word it in a way, that would leave all the mystery and intrigue--without spoiling anything. 

But, I highly recommend this read. It's fun, it's humorous, it's sassy and action packed. There's intrigue, memory loss, and great first kisses. I loved every minute and I can't wait for book two!


  1. Great review, this sounds really good!

  2. Great review! This sounds like such a good book. Definitely adding it to my TBR :)

  3. Sounds like a very interesting book. I loved this review. I think this book is going on my goodreads tbr.
    Blue Books and Butterflies

  4. I would totally want that as my own job. If only this was real hahaha! I was initially interested in this because it's a virtual reality, and I'm glad you really liked it! Since it's pretty short, I'll be on the lookout for this one!

  5. I think I could imagine this as a movie. Not into sci-fi reads but I promised myself I would read this one since it comes out the day of my birthday. XD Anyhoo, great review! ''Feisty'' heroines aren't necessarily my favorites, but, hell, they sure can be entertaining!

    1. I agree. I think it would make a great film if done right!

  6. Okay, so I'm not sure if my comment went through but in case it didn't (you can delete this comment) hehe I could really see this movie becoming a movie like Lola mentioned above. Do you know if they're going to make it into a movie because I would love to watch! <3

  7. It is hard to resist a spunky feisty heroine! Glad this was such a fun read for you. It looks like something I think I would really like as well.

  8. I see this in Goodreads several times. I never really checked it out though. It sounds like my type of read - great heroine, swoon-worthy guy, scifi action + humor. I'm really keeping my eyes out for this one!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  9. This isn't my typical read but I think you kind of sold me on it. I can always go for a feisty heroine! Great review!

  10. What an interesting concept! Gaming is an uncharted territory for me, but I wouldn't mind reading this one. :)

  11. I've been a bit on the fence about this one and I've read some meh reviews, but after reading yours, I think I'll read it. I love sassy and fun and humorous and the concept does intrigue me. Great review, glad you enjoyed it! ~Pam

  12. This one sounds really good! I've seen the book around on a few other blogs, but your review is the one that's put it on my radar - it sounds like something I may actually be interested in!

    1. I did really enjoy it, if you check it out--I hope you'll love it!

  13. You know how I feel about video games so I'm DEFINITELY picking this up ASAP! It has this Ready Player One vibe to it, and I'm so pumped because HELLO, I loved RPO! Anything that has to do with " virtual " I'm pretty much obsessed with, (hence my love for the Sims franchise) so I'll be adding this to my wishlist. Thank you for the amazing review. I need to get off your blog before I spend all my little monies messing with you! lol.