Title: Head Case
Author: Niki Cluff
Genre: Teen/YA, Sci-Fi
Release Date: September 14th, 2018
Synopsis: “Allyson has been in a coma for the last nine months. What’s worse, she can hear everything the doctors say. She knows they’re keeping her in a coma and that she’s at the mercy of the hospital’s First-in-Human trial—a VR system implanted in her brain for a second chance at life.
Attached to the VR, Ally discovers worlds unlike home. She can do whatever she wants, but she misses her parents. With help from Harrison, a rabbit-eared boy, they work together to free themselves from Aishwarya, the mad queen of the world. But when Harrison wakes up and doesn’t come for Ally, she’ll split her soul to the brink of death to save herself.”
When Allyson is being forcefully kept in a coma for the benefit of the hospital, all she can do is lie there and listen to what is going on around her. Unable to tell her worried parents what is really happening, Ally is helpless as she overhears them agree to a decision that will place her in a new virtual reality program that’s for coma patients to participate in which allows them to live a life, albeit a fake one. With no way of telling anyone what is really going on, Allyson is whisked away and undergoes a surgery to have a chip implanted in her.
“Welcome to your simulated world. Would you like to play the tutorial?”
Upon her arrival in the new virtual world, Ally is introduced to many other players. Among them are Chester, a cat-like mischievous boy and a rabbit-eared Harrison who Ally can’t help but feel like she knows. When the self-proclaimed red queen of this new world meets Ally, Ally discovers this world is not the safe haven it appears to be and that although the world is fake in many aspects, some consequences can be very real.
This was a really fun book to read! I was not expecting it to be a spin on the classic Alice in Wonderland but was pleasantly surprised. Ally is a great protagonist, real and likable and the side characters were great also. I wish the character development could have gone a bit more into depth, specifically, Ally’s hacking skills. I feel it would’ve really added to the story. The pacing was a bit all over with it being slow, then quick, then just right. However, the setting of the virtual world was described very realistically and Niki’s writing is vivid and thorough. I loved the ending and with that cliffhanger I am hoping for a sequel!
*I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Thank you Niki for the opportunity to read this!