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Otherworld
Cover of Otherworld
Otherworld
"Full of high stakes, thrillers, and fantastic twists and turns, fans of Ready Player One are sure to love this addictive read." —Buzzfeed.com

"A potent commentary on how much we're willing to give up to the lure of technology." —EW.com

"A fantastic journey from start to finish." —Hypable.com


New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller imagine a world in which you can leave your body behind and give into your greatest desires in the first book in a fast-paced trilogy perfect for fans of the hit HBO show Westworld and anyone interested in the terrifying possibilities of the future of technology.
That's how Otherworld traps you. It introduces you to sensations you'd never be able to feel in real life. You discover what's been missing—because it's taboo or illegal or because you lack the guts to do it for real. And when you find out what's missing it's almost impossible to let it go again.
There are no screens. There are no controls. You don't just see and hear it—you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can live your best life. Indulge every desire.
This is Otherworlda virtual reality game so addictive you'll never want it to end. And Simon has just discovered that for some, it might not.
The frightening future that Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have imagined is not far away. Otherworld asks the question we'll all soon be asking: if technology can deliver everything we want, how much are we willing to pay?
"An engaging VR cautionary tale." —The A.V. Club
"[A] fast-paced adventure." Publishers Weekly
"Authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller keep the action nonstop." Shelf Awareness
"Full of high stakes, thrillers, and fantastic twists and turns, fans of Ready Player One are sure to love this addictive read." —Buzzfeed.com

"A potent commentary on how much we're willing to give up to the lure of technology." —EW.com

"A fantastic journey from start to finish." —Hypable.com


New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller imagine a world in which you can leave your body behind and give into your greatest desires in the first book in a fast-paced trilogy perfect for fans of the hit HBO show Westworld and anyone interested in the terrifying possibilities of the future of technology.
That's how Otherworld traps you. It introduces you to sensations you'd never be able to feel in real life. You discover what's been missing—because it's taboo or illegal or because you lack the guts to do it for real. And when you find out what's missing it's almost impossible to let it go again.
There are no screens. There are no controls. You don't just see and hear it—you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can live your best life. Indulge every desire.
This is Otherworlda virtual reality game so addictive you'll never want it to end. And Simon has just discovered that for some, it might not.
The frightening future that Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have imagined is not far away. Otherworld asks the question we'll all soon be asking: if technology can deliver everything we want, how much are we willing to pay?
"An engaging VR cautionary tale." —The A.V. Club
"[A] fast-paced adventure." Publishers Weekly
"Authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller keep the action nonstop." Shelf Awareness
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
    700
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book There are guys online who swear it was heaven. They still sit around like a bunch of old geezers, swapping tales of epic storms, monstrous beasts and grisly battles. Talk to any gamer in his twenties and at some point he'll say it: "You're too young to get it. You never saw Other­world."

    Now keep in mind, most of these idiots never experienced the original Other­world either. Even at the height of its popularity, it never had more than a handful of subscribers. It wasn't until years after the publisher pulled the plug that it became known in geek lore as the greatest game of all time.

    I always thought that was bullshit. I don't anymore.

    It took a twenty­­something tech billionaire named Milo Yolkin to drag the game back from the dead. Today at noon, his company released an early-­access version of Other­world 2.0. Two thousand lucky gamers were chosen to test it, and somehow I'm one of them. The original Other­world players were all dorks like me, but as far as I can tell, this new group of players has little in common aside from deep pockets. The app itself is free—­you just have to buy the exclusive new headset that goes with the game. Only a couple thousand have been made, and each one costs over two grand.

    I have no clue what the old Other­world looked like on a PC monitor when it came out over a decade ago. But I gotta admit—­when I downloaded the new app and I put on the headset, I wasn't expecting graphics this good. I know everything is CGI, but my eyes are completely convinced that it's real. I've got a plastic brick strapped to my face, there's sweat trickling out of my haptic gloves, and I'd rather die than be seen in the dainty booties I'm wearing. Back in the real world, my body is blind, deaf and helpless. I've been in Other­world for over seventeen hours now, and there is no way in hell that I'm leaving.

    Of course, this world has been trying to kill me from the very first second I set out to explore. I've encountered some truly insane shit so far—­an avalanche, lighting strikes, quicksand and some kind of mutated polar bear that I managed to butcher and eat using nothing but a dagger and my two bare hands. Still, nothing compares to what I've just found.

    I've come to a stone path that disappears into a cavern carved out of a glacier. I run my hand along one of the icy walls. I feel that it's there, but my fingertips can neither confirm nor deny that the surface is as smooth or as cold as it appears. I shouldn't have cheaped out when I bought the gloves, but the best ones were so expensive that they'd have triggered a credit alert. I'm sure I could have found a way around it if I'd known the fancy gloves would be worth it. But none of the rumors prepared me for Other­world.

    When I look up, I see a sun just like the one I've always known burning in the sky. Its light penetrates the ice around me, and the whole glacier glows like an enchanted gem. I can hear water rushing somewhere deep within the glacier. A sharp crack echoes behind me, and I spin around a little too quickly. My stomach drops and hot vomit rises and scalds the back of my throat. They haven't found a way to truly beat the motion sickness yet. I close my eyes, swallow and wait until the dizziness fades.

    Then I take a deep breath and open my eyes again. Stretching out toward the horizon is the empty ice field I just crossed. Somewhere in the distance is the City of Imra, where I began my journey. Apparently that's where all Other­world adventures begin. You design your avatar and walk through a door and suddenly you're outside Imra's gates. In the few minutes I was there,...
About the Author-
  • Jason Segel is an actor, a writer, and an author. Segel wrote and starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and co-wrote Disney's The Muppets, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Segel's film credits include The End of the Tour; I Love You, Man; Jeff Who Lives at Home; Knocked Up; and The Five-Year Engagement, among others. On television, Segel starred on How I Met Your Mother and Freaks and Geeks. He is the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Nightmares! series—Nightmares!; Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic; Nightmares! The Lost Lullaby; and Everything You Need to Know About NIGHTMARES! and How to Defeat Them. Otherworld is his first novel for young adults. Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonSegel.

    Kirsten Miller lives and writes in New York City. She is the author of the acclaimed Kiki Strike books, the New York Times bestseller The Eternal Ones, and How to Lead a Life of Crime. Otherworld is the fifth novel Kirsten had written with Jason Segel. You can visit her at kirstenmillerbooks.com or follow @bankstirregular on Twitter.
Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2017

    Gr 8 Up-Simon is just your average delinquent teenager with a heart of gold until he returns to his New Jersey home after getting kicked out of boarding school, only to realize that his best friend and crush is avoiding him. Kat is hiding something and it looks like she's in real danger. Meanwhile, Simon gets a glimpse at the new VR game, Otherworld, and hopes to meet up with Kat there to figure out what's going on. There is an accident, and the two realize they are in much more trouble than they thought. People around the area are all mysteriously getting wounded and falling into comas, Otherworld doesn't want to let players out anymore-the code is going rogue, and the stakes might not just be a game reboot. The quick pick for conspiracy theory fans gives teens just enough setting for their imaginations to run wild while keeping the pacing quick for reluctant readers. There is just enough character building for an average action novel to keep readers plugged into the drama and enough dangling digital ethics threads to keep gamer geeks interested. Fans of M.T. Anderson's Feed, James Dashner's The Eye of Minds, Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, and Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox won't want to leave Otherworld either. VERDICT Purchase where fast-paced sci-fi thrillers are popular.-Rachel Reinwald, Lake Villa District Library, IL

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2017
    A delinquent teen searches a virtual world for his best friend. Simon and Kat have been best friends since they were preteens, but following a series of peculiar events the two white teens have not spoken for several months. After a disastrous accident leaves Kat unresponsive in a hospital bed, the famous Company behind virtual-reality tech such as the Otherworld offers to plug Kat into a new world using experimental, state-of-the-art technology. When Simon discovers that the Company's plans are less than virtuous he smuggles himself into the virtual world in search of Kat. The authors sketch a believable, not-too-distant future, envisioning the evolution of virtual reality as a truly seductive life choice. The Otherworld itself is fairly standard fantasy stuff, with knights, dragons, witches, wizards, and cities. Simon journeys through this dangerous land and struggles against a chosen-one narrative thrust upon him by the game's indigenous inhabitants and players alike. This thread blends with the Company's corporate-intrigue plot points deliciously, but the book's place as series opener lessens the development in some frustrating ways. Equally maddening is Kat's damsel-in-distress status; she is less a character and more a goal until the novel's very end. An exciting start to a mostly well-conceived sci-fi series that has room for improvement. (Science fiction. 12-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 18, 2017
    Simon and Kat used to be best friends, but lately she has pulled away from him and taken to hanging with a bad crowd. Then an accident leaves Kat in an unresponsive state. The only way for the two of them to connect now is through a new virtual reality game known as Otherworld. When Simon plunges into Otherworld in search of Kat, he discovers bizarre realms dedicated to giving players exactly what they want—even if it kills them—and nonplayer characters that have taken on lives of their own. Back in the real world, he investigates a conspiracy involving Otherworld’s creators and their exploitation of victims like Kat. This fast-paced adventure straddles two worlds as it plays with familiar SF elements that include emergent AIs, virtual reality games, and evil corporations. Though the result is entertaining, Segal and Miller (the Nightmares! series) don’t bring much new to the genre; the real strength of the story is in its supporting characters, such as possibly asexual Busara Ogubu, a fellow student with secrets of her own. Ages 12–up.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2017
    Grades 9-12 An accident at a party in an abandoned industrial site sends Simon's best friend (and love interest) Kat to the hospital, where she's diagnosed with locked-in syndrome, a condition that leaves her mind intact but her body paralyzedand there are three other high-school students with the same diagnosis. Already suspicious, Simon teams up with Busara (whose father envisioned medical uses for virtual reality), and they uncover what looks like a conspiracy connected to an Oculus-Rift-type virtual reality gaming world known as Otherworld. It seems the company is using badly injured people as beta testers for a commercial product, and when they can't find them, they create them. Can Simon get in and get himself, Kat, and a few new friends out before their virtual death means death IRL? VR lovers and other gaming types will be in heaven reading this book, which is an imaginative and entertaining game walk-through combined with mystery and danger. Try this with reluctant readers and use it with fans of James Dashner's Mortality Doctrine series or Emma Trevayne's Gamescape: Overworld (2016). HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The best-selling duo behind the Nightmares! series will be touring in the wake of heavy publisher promotion, so grab spare copies while you can.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • Buzzfeed.com "Full of high stakes, thrillers, and fantastic twists and turns, fans of Ready Player One are sure to love this addictive read."
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    Random House Children's Books
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