Today I’m excited to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Nirvana Effect a brilliant dystopian science fiction story that is both entertaining and will make you think about some eerie parallels with our world today.  A big thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for a chance to be a part of this tour as well as the publisher for a copy of this book.  More about the author and the book below.  I hope you enjoy my review and don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour for this amazing book! 🙂

Title: The Nirvana Effect
Author: Brian Pinkerton
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Genre: Science fiction, Dystopian
Book format: Paperback
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Description:  No one goes out anymore.
Society is sheltered indoors. The economy is in ruins. People spend their lives addicted to a breakthrough virtual reality technology, desperate for escapism in a troubled world. The Nirvana Effect has taken over.
Aaron and Clarissa are members of a subculture of realists who resist the lure of a fake utopia. They watch in horror as the technology spreads across the country with willing participants who easily forgo their freedoms for false pleasures. When the young couple discovers a plot to enforce compliance for mind control, the battle for free will begins. What started as a playful diversion turns deadly. The future of the human race is at stake.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a gripping novel that I was hooked from the first page. In just a few years from now US citizens have embrassed a new technology that allows them to experience anything in their minds without ever having to leave home. All sorts of experiences and sensations are delivered via a chip that’s inserted near the brain. While the majority of the population enjoy the new technology that keeps people occupied in a sort of virtual reality, others like Aaron and Clarissa don’t, and prefer to live in the real world experiencing real things. But when the US government plans to make it mandatory for all citizens to be chipped, the two find themselves on the run.

This is such a good book that I just couldn’t put it down as soon as I started reading! The story begins by following Aaron who lives with three housemates in his home in California. While Aaron enjoys the pleasures of gardening and the real world, his housemates have all embrassed the chip technology and enjoy living their days hooked up to a virtual reality of experiences. With the majority of the US population also embracing the chip, the state of the environment and society is bleak with people prefering to zone out into a virtual world instead. The story alternates between different characters with most chapters following either Aaron, and Clarrisa, or Marc. I enjoyed reading both stories but I especially liked Marc’s tale as an employee of the company that created the chip technology and what happens to him as the story progresses.

The book is exciting and shows the dark side of embracing technology for escapism and things like the cloud which we take for granted in our own world today. In fact, while reading this I couldn’t help but feel an eerie sense that this could very well be a creepy future scenario that could easily happen in our own world! The story is split into three parts, with the first part taking place a little into the future, the second a year after and the third another year after that. I like how dark this story became and how things progressed for all the characters involved and what happened to everyone The book ends up turning to quite a dark and bleak scenario and I love how I didn’t know what would happen at any moment. The writing is so good with the action constantly switching between different characters in some chapters that it felt very much like a movie at times, with the fear and threat of being caught causing a constant and tense atmosphere.

I just love how exciting this story got and how dark and eerie things became. I don’t want to give away what happens but things get darker as the government gains more control. What happens to individual characters as well as the wider population is interresting and I enjoyed seeing how such a simple technology could progress to such a dark and different future. The story has a good climax with moments feeling like they came straight out of an action movie, and the ending is one that was very satisfying, and grander than I had expected. I actually really loved how this ended, what eventually happened to everyone, both the society as a whole and the individual characters in the story. Even the last scene of the book made me smile and laugh a little with what happens and I couldn’t help but sympathise with certain characters actions after all the had been through. The book has just a few uses of strong language/swearing with the f word being used occassionally. It also has some violence including quite a few shocking moments of sudden violence that might upset some more sensitive readers.

This really has been an amazing science fiction dystopian story and one that I’d recommend to everyone even to non sci fi lovers. This is set only a little into our future and shows the reality of how bleak and bad things can get when governments take control and people give in to technology too much. It’s a brilliant story and I can’t help but feel it has some spooky parallels with today’s society on the whole. The things that happen in the tale are definitely things that will stay with me for a while and will probably make you think and question our dependance on technology and what can happen when people give away a lot of their own control and power. It’s such a good story I just can’t get it out of my head and I would love to see this turned into a movie, it feels like one already! The only thing I disliked was the paperback copy I received had quite a small font which made reading it a bit more of a struggle for me, but that’s it, that’s my only complaint! 😀 I just loved this from start to finish, it’s a book I definitely recommend to everyone and it’s made me keen to read more from the author too.

Buy the book

The Nirvana Effect book cover

Buy from publisher’s website    Buy from Amazon UK

About the Author

Brian Pinkerton Author Pic

Brian Pinkerton tells stories to frighten, amuse and intrigue. He is the author of novels and short stories in the thriller, horror, science fiction and mystery genres. His books include The Gemini Experiment, Abducted (a USA Today bestseller), Vengeance, Anatomy of Evil, Killer’sDiary, Rough Cut, Bender, Killing the Boss and How I Started the Apocalypse (a trilogy). Select titles have also been released as audio books and in foreign languages. His short stories have appeared in PULP!, Chicago Blues, Zombie Zoology and The Horror Zine.

Brian has been a guest author and panelist at the San Diego Comic Con, American Library Association annual conference, World Horror Convention and many other literary and genre events. His screenplays have finished inthe top 100 of Project Greenlight and top two percent of the Nicholl Fellowship of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Three ofthe scripts have been compiled in a collection, Unreleased. Brian received his B.A. from the University of Iowa, where he took undergraduate classes of the Iowa Writers Workshop. He received his Master’s Degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Brian lives in the Chicago area and invites you to visit him on Facebook,Goodreads, Twitter and at Brian is also a cartoonist and his web site includes his deranged cartoon series, The Ruts.

Click to visit author’s website    Click to visit author on twitter


I hope you enjoyed my spot on the tour today and please do check out this book, it’s a great read and will definitely make you think!

What do you think of this book?  Do you like books featuring a dystopian future?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂