Review: The Leveller by Julia Durango

Title:The Leveller
Author: Julia Durango
Published: June 23rd, 2015 by HarperCollins
Series: The Leveller #1
read in: February, 2015

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young adult • science fiction • romance

“Now begins the great adventure. Though I leave behind a body, my soul will live forever in the MEEP.”

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.


The plot idea of this book wasn’t really that original. I have read some of the similar living-your-own game thingy before and I think The Leveller quite did meet the standard there. It didn’t blow me away like I thought it would have been, but it still did an okay job of making me thrilled a couple of times.

First of all the MEEP. I was quite the Playstation junkie a couple years ago, so to have a game such as MEEP right now would be so verrrryy kewl! Well, I do prefer a MEEP for a bibliophile though, so that I could live in the world of the book I read and choose whoever character I want to be. Ha! That was a great idea. But maybe not so much since the side effect of probably-going-to-lose-my-mind percentage is quite big there. I loved how the MEEP could be program to the character’s liking and all those choosing avatar and weapon before the game started was indeed a cool idea. I have no complain at all about MEEP. Period.

The main problem in this book was that it was short. So very short that the character felt superficially built and didn’t connect to me at all. And then there was also this big problem of a short book, which is an insta-love. Okay, It wasn’t really instant, since it kind of written that so many days had past in the story—probably I was being too subjective here—but it did felt really instant and too rushed to me. Well maybe, it was because I was taking my time to get to know the character and BAM! they have already fell in love with each other.

I melt into those chocolate eyes like marshmallow in cocoa.

The action was a bit refreshing though. I mean, it was a bit dull world after all, so the slightest bit of action was really making me thrilled. I loved how it started with the maze with many obstacles and the checkpoint. But after that, most of the story just got to boring-ville. Okay, I did enjoy getting to know the world that Wyn had built but most of the time it felt flat and didn’t really bring the action I was hoping for until near the ending which wasn’t really that surprising either since my guess had been right. So, nothing shocking for me, but I did enjoy the action in those last couple pages when they were trying to get out of Wyn’s world.

Overall, The Leveller did an okay job for me and I do hope that in the second book it will be packed with more action that will blow my mind. And I also want the second installment to revolve around more exciting MEEP world full with dangerous creature and stuff.




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