Book Review: “Miira” (Innerscape: Book #1) by A.C. Flory

51r5HIQ4ckLMiira tells the story of Miira Tahn, a dying woman who enters a virtual world where she can live in a perfectly realistic simulation of health and youth. However, the medical team tasked with performing the procedures necessary to prepare her for this are not all to be trusted, nor is the corporation overseeing it innocent of unsavory business practices. 

The first half of the book tells of Miira’s preparation to enter Innerscape, her psychological distress at leaving the physical world behind, and fear at the procedures necessary to prepare her for it. 

I should warn readers: I actually found some the descriptions of the surgeries unsettling to read. They were actually more disturbing to me than many books I’ve read that depict actual violence—I’m not sure why this is, as obviously there is no harm or peril intended in these scenes, but that was my reaction. That’s not a criticism, though; indeed, it shows how well-written these scenes are.

The second half of the book deals with Miira adjusting to the new world of Innerscape, all while dealing with the machinations of the various staff members assigned to help her adjust. At times, in the whirlwind of all the tests they need to run to ensure that all Miira’s senses are functioning properly, it seemed like a sex comedy set in a cyberpunk world. Again, that’s not a bad thing. I’m all for genre-mixing.

I admit, I thought the last quarter or so of Miira felt a bit rushed. Throughout the book, there are also several sub-plots and hints of a dystopian real world outside the virtual Innerscape. These are never fully explored, and the ending felt rather abrupt. But then, this is only book 1 of a trilogy—it’s clear that there are many questions to be answered in subsequent books.

And, make no mistake, I love the premise here—virtual worlds are a neat idea, especially to a gamer such as myself. It was fun to read this after just recently re-reading Ben Trube’s Surreality earlier in the summer. Both books, while very different in style and tone, examine how virtual reality grants a chance at an “idealized” new life, and how it brings out different facets of different people. 

Miira is a fast-paced read with a compelling premise. I’m curious to see how the plot and characters introduced in it are developed in subsequent books.

4 Comments

  1. It’s interesting how new story ideas come about. With so many medical advances, some of these ideas don’t seem so far fetched. I guess that’s the trick of a good science fiction – to make it so you think it could happen!

    1. Yep. And I honestly could believe some of the medical processes described in this story might happen someday. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Thank you! What a lovely surprise to log in and find this notification. Much appreciated Berthold. And I’m thrilled you found those medical procedures disturbing. They’re obviously impossible at the moment, but logically, I could see how they might become possible, one day.

    And you’ve definitely made /my/ day. Cheers Meeks

    p.s. I haven’t read that book you mentioned, but I will. And just because I’m a gamer too…what do you play?

    1. My pleasure! I enjoyed the book, and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

      I mostly play single-player RPGs. Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, Fallout and Deus Ex are some of my favorite series. I’ve never done much online gaming because I have a slow internet connection.

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