Similar to OTHERWORLD and OTHEREARTH, OTHERLIFE sets part of the novel in the real world and the other part in the videogame world. Like the real world, OtherWorld is having its own problems. The different realms are changing quickly, and each time Simon goes to visit, the landscape is unrecognizable. Because of this, the authors do a lot of impressive world building. Every place is specific in how it was and how it evolves. In fact, each realm could have its own novella, which means there’s a lot of information the authors have to weave into their action. Despite these complex settings, the book is easy to visualize, and in many ways, has a lot of cinematic qualities.
What makes this series work for me is how much agency the characters have. Each one brings a unique talent or skill to the table, the villains included. No one is dispensable as every character has a purpose, adding to the plot in some way. Elvis is the most interesting character for me because of his tech skills and childish humor. In this book, I’m intrigued by his plan for dodging facial recognition technology.
Beyond that, what I love about this series is the message. The authors are warning us about the ethical dangers of technology invention and the tech companies pushing the limits. Without a doubt, there are already inventions that are on the line or have crossed it, and the authors are asking us to consider what kind of world we want to live in, which is both a timely and timeless question.
With that being said, gamers and fans of READY PLAYER ONE will enjoy this series. OTHERLIFE is a fast-paced, entertaining, cautionary novel that’s full of high stakes, broken allegiances, and love.