Reality Testing Review
Updated: May 26
A creative take on the future of our world!
Welcome to Berlin. Population: desperate. In the throes of the climate crisis the green tech pioneers are king, and if you aren't willing to be their serf then you're surplus to requirements.
Carbon credit for sleeping on the job. That's the offer a dreamtech puts to Mara Kinzig, and she jumps on it. After all, the city ain't getting any cheaper.
Then somebody changes the deal while she's dreaming in the tank.
Now Mara has a body on her hands, an extra voice in her head, and the law on her tail. Only the Vanguard, a Foreign Legion of outcasts seeking an alternative path in the dust between the city states, might be able to help her figure out what went wrong. First, though, she'll have to escape the seething streets of Berlin alive.
I received an ARC book of Reality Testing through Blackthorn Book Tours. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I really enjoyed reading this one!
I will say right away, you could probably just ignore my rating. I struggled with what I should rate this one. I believe my rating is fair for how I felt after reading this. However, I can easily see this being a 5-star read for the right reader. That being said, I don’t know if this is a book for everyone.
Reality Testing is a science fiction novel set in the future of Berlin. Where global warming has ravaged a majority of the world. Technology though has become so advanced that major cities have managed to survive, but only just so. Unless you’re rich, most struggle to simply survive. We follow Mara who takes a chance to gain some cash by signing up for a dream tank study. All you have to do is sleepy for 5 months? Sign me up! That is until Mara wakes up early and finds a dead man in front of her and a voice inside her head. Now Mara is one the run. She seeks out a resistance called the Vanguard, who live outside the city in the ruins. Mara believes they can help her.
Right away I was getting so many vibes of similar books and movies. When it came to books I primarily thought of The Maze Runner series by James Dashner, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, and The Running Man by Stephen King. For movies… oh man, there were so many! They were mostly older movies like Total Recall and Demolition Man. However, when it came to all these that I was reminded of, I had enjoyed all of them. But I didn’t love them. That’s how I felt about Reality Testing.
Right away I was getting so many vibes of similar books and movies.
The main reason I didn’t love this for me was I think this fell much deeper into the sci-fi realm than I’ve gone before when it’s come to what I read. There was a lot of world-building, and some of it was hard for me to wrap my brain around. Not everything was fully explained like word choices for how the characters spoke, the type of technology we were seeing, and just the overall way these people lived in this futuristic world. Some of the major terms described, but not everything or they weren’t explained until after we’ve seen it mentioned a few times. This took away from the story only slightly for me, as I didn’t fully understand what might be happening in the story or what I should imagine. There was a little too much guesswork for my tastes. But as I said, this could simply be due to the fact I don’t read science fiction that often and this was much deeper into sci-fi than I’m used to reading.
This fell much deeper into the sci-fi realm than I’ve gone before when it’s come to what I read.
Besides all the worldbuilding, I truly enjoyed the storyline. There were plenty of shocking twists along the way too! I didn’t see any of them coming. Even though this had given me several vibes of other movies and books, I thought this was still a very unique story!
There were plenty of shocking twists along the way too! I didn’t see any of them coming.
Going into this, I knew it was written to be a trilogy, but with how it ended, I’m curious what could happen next! I’m definitely intrigued and want to read the next book when it comes out! I totally want to learn more about this version of the future.
I mentioned that I didn’t think this would be for everyone. I think you’d have to be really into science fiction to enjoy this book. I enjoy sci-fi on occasion and I struggled to keep up with the worldbuilding in this. That’s not to say don’t pick this up unless you’re a major sci-fi buff. If you’re new to the realm of science fiction this might be a hard one to get through. But if you’re up for the challenge, I highly recommend trying it out! I still think this was a great read.
If you’re interested in books like The Maze Runner series or movies like Total Recall, then I think this would be the perfect book for you! It’s definitely a creative take on the future of our world!