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

Series: The Leveller #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure, Gaming
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Pages: 256

Goodreads Summary

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.

My Review

From the beginning to the end, The Leveller delivers a fast and fun read! Right from the start you're pulled into Julia Durango's virtual world, the MEEP as it's called. Where the main character Nixy is a leveller, which means that she's hired by parents to bring their children back from a virtual reality gaming world. Nixy's good at what she does, so it's no wonder that the game's billionaire developer hires her to rescue his son whose apparently gone into the MEEP with the intention of never coming out or so they think.

To be truthful I picked this book up because it sounded like a mixture of Spy Kids: 3-D Game Over/Code Lyoko, my favorite childhood movie and cartoon show. And I'm glad I wasn't let down, I loved being in Nixy's head and in the virtual world with her. Nixy is one tough and smart chick whose determined to save up enough money to go to College and that is where her levelling job comes in. And that's why, when Diego Salvador the game's billionaire decides to hire her, she agrees.

Wyn Salvador, the guy that Nixy is sent in to save is not exactly what she expected. She thought, all she had to do is get through the scary maze/challenge and grab Wyn and go. But it isn't that easy, especially when she finds out that Wyn isn't in the MEEP willingly. Now, their both stuck in the MEEP and have no choice but to work together and try to find a way to go back. I liked Wyn's character, he was sweet and caring and just really seemed like a great guy. As they work together Wyn and Nixy grow to care for each other though she does keep him at a distance in the beginning, she eventually gives in to her feelings. And even though, their relationship could be considered instant love (which I am usually annoyed by) for some reason it didn't feel that way, they just fit together. The only thing I would have liked was to have known more about Wyn but I still enjoyed his character just as much as Nixy's.

Durango's world-building captured me and all the creatures Nixy had to fight off were truly the kind of spooky monsters you'd fight in a game and then some. I've only ever played a zombie game and that was at the insistence of my sister but you don't even need to know of gaming or have to like it for you to be pulled into the world. The monster's and mazes that Durango came up with were pretty easy to picture and shiver at because she described everything so vividly. Nixy was by no means a perfect fighter, just when I thought she was done fighting off a creature she'd get another one or die accidentally, and have to start all over again until she reached the end of this crazy game. 

The Leveller is a book you definitely want to check out when it comes out! It's full of twists and turns that you won't see coming, I sure didn't! It was full of non-stop action and had me at the edge of my seat and though I knew it was just a virtual world like Nixy did, it still made me feel nervous. As for the ending, I was a bit surprised, I did expect something kind of big to happen but not the betrayal that happened in the end. It kind of felt out of place but that's probably just me!

Rating: 3.5 stars


  1. OOOh very nice! I am all sorts of curious about this one! It sounds exciting! Glad to hear that it lived up to your expectations for the most part! I will deifnitely have to check this one out soon! Great review!

  2. This sounds so thrilling! With all this action and twists it will be the perfect book for the summer :)

    Aeriko @

  3. I read this a while back and absolutely loved it! It's so great to see you did to :)

    Most recent post on Enchanted by YA:


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