Sensored Reality: Beta

Original title: Sensored Reality: Beta

Published: 2018

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Young Adults

Pages: 400

Divergent meets Assassin’s Creed in this YA adventure set in a futuristic world where only video games offer an escape from rising sea levels.

It is 2117 in a flood-ridden world, 16-year-old Bug’s mother uproots their lives from Sea-Tokyo and moves her unwilling daughter to Helsinki Island after Bug’s father dies in an accident. Devastated, and rejected by her new schoolmates, Bug retreats in to the world of video games. When a mysterious parcel containing a virtual reality gaming suit arrives on her doorstep, Bug is drawn into a beta version of a new game set in feudal Japan. But the game proves to be more realistic and far more dangerous than expected.

Beta is the first novel in the YA series Sensored Reality, historically-inspired cyber trilogy about video games and virtual realities with suspicious corporations looming in the background. It also tells a relatable story of an outsider struggling with friendships and family ties.

The Sensored Reality series will continue, delving deeper into the conspiracies and mysteries of the corporation-ruled sunken world. Stay logged-in for more soon: Book 2: Glitch and Book 3: Replica to follow.

“The first book strikes smack in gamers’ nervous system” – Tilt.fi website

“Under the fast-paced surface the authors have hidden a lot of food for thought, so the book is well suited for example for school reading.” – Kirsin kirjanurkka blog

“Beta is a YA novel of international level.” – Risingshadow website

“Water-covered Helsinki is depicted so skillfully, it was easy for me to live there in my imagination, with the characters of the story.” – Kirjapöllön huhuiluja blog

Beta is aimed at young adults, but it was also enjoyable for a thirty-something gamer. The protagonist is written accessibly and also the other characters’ behavior was credible and working.” – Level Up! blog

“The setting of the book is especially interesting, because it focuses on life and surviving in a world of risen sea-levels caused by the climate change.” – Lukijan roolissa blog

“Quite an excellent start for a trilogy! A compelling story, a good plot, an imaginative and credible milieu, well-described places and events and well-written characters carry the story smoothly and naturally.” – Teatterinna blog

“The book stands out in the Finnish dystopia book scene, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next part in the series.” – Literature Is Pink blog

“So, what was it that made me devour Beta? That I don’t know, but there was something in it.” – Vieraita ja omia sanoja blog

“Even though Beta has similar style as Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (which is one of my favorite books, mind you) it still is its own unique thing.” – Expelliarmus blog

“I must say that Vacklin and Parhamaa have the ability to write so that even an anti-gamer like myself is spellbound. They have created a plausible depiction of the future. Above all, the authors write about the world they have created – about high tech, drowning countries, world domination of game corporations, sea slums, new energy forms, environmental effects and space colonization – in a way it’s easy to believe in it.” – Luetaanko tämä blog

Anders Vacklin & Aki Parhamaa


Anders Vacklin is a prize-winning screenwriter, dramaturge, script doctor, and author of several manuals on scriptwriting.

Aki Parhamaa is studying creative writing at the University of Jyväskylä, and writing a Finnish superhero movie.

Beta is the duo’s first novel, based on a script for a short film called Suited Reality, a success at PAGE International, International BlueCat, and ScreenCraft screenwriting competitions.

Bibliography