Reviews of Nexis and Redux (Tricksters Series)


Nexis by A.L. Davroe

Redux by A.L. Davroe

Entangled Teen

Entangled Teen

December 1, 2015

March 21, 2017
Blurb from Goodreads:  In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.

But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

Blurb from Goodreads: The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city.

To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created.

But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.

But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.

Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered.

Or die trying.


Before I started book blogging, I went through a phase of reading lots of dystopian fiction. I’m not certain why I stopped except that perhaps the last series didn’t have an optimistic ending and how much doom can you really absorb before you need fluffy and nice just to maintain balance? The only unfortunate consequence of the end of my binge was the fact that I missed A.L. Davroe’s Nexis when it was first published.

Nexis is set in Evanescence, a domed city that houses an elite who remind me to some degree of the Capitol characters from The Hunger Games, except that the elite in Evanescence go to far more extremes, what they call modifications and alterations, to make themselves unique. The mods and alts are the equivalent of plastic surgery and other, shall we say, unusual enhancements.

Ella is a natural, which means that she was not a “custom” baby. Her mother was a natural and although her father was “custom,” they decided that their daughter should be a natural. So Ella’s features are imperfect and she has no mods or alts. Her father prefers her that way, but Ella feels left out.

Nexis is a fascinating novel in which Ella, the daughter of the Nexis game creator, loses herself in the world of Nexis not only because she has nothing left in her real life, since she is a captive, but also because she meets Guster, an adventurer with whom she falls in love.

It was during these sequences in which Ella is playing Nexis that I became utterably absorbed in the novel. Davroe has essentially built two amazing worlds in this novel: the dystopian one of Evanescence and the virtual one of  Nexis. In the virtual one, Ella is able to do all of the things that she can’t do in her real life.

So many questions went through my mind as I was reading. Who is Guster in Ella’s real world? Why is she being held captive? The novel was so engrossing that it was almost impossible to put down, except, well, WORK and SLEEP.

Not only was the novel engrossing, but I was pretty much awed by the writing and the world-building, especially in comparison to other sci-fi/dystopian novels I have read where there is some world-building, but nothing extremely well-thought-out and linked. Nexis has the components of a mystery and, I hate to use this phrase because it’s used so often, it’s a page turner. But seriously, it is! And, by the end, a lot of the mystery will be solved, but some of it still hangs out there.

Which leads us to:

Redux picks up where Nexis left off. Ella’s situation has changed as has that of Evanescence; the two are irretrievably linked. Ella must deal with her feelings regarding being the pawn in a game and its results, but also of finding out that the boy she loves from Nexis may not be in love with her in real life.

Redux is as much of a page-turner as Nexis, but the adventures are all in the real world and all of the decisions have life and death consequences, unlike playing the game Nexis, where a character can be killed, but will live to play a different game.

Ella discovers all kinds of deceptions, that people are not whom they seem, even the ones she thought she trusted. And, Ella is tested over and over again, realizing that her decisions have far reaching consequences besides just affecting herself.

I received an ARC of Redux in exchange for an honest review.

From Amazon: Nexis

To Pre-order from Amazon: Redux


Nexis : 5-butterflies (5 butterflies)


Redux: 4-and-a-half (4 butteflies and a ladybug)


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