Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Emika Chen, an 18-year-old hacker turned bounty hunter, ekes out a life in New York City by tracking down criminals who are turning illegal profits in the virtual world of Warcross, an immersive game accessed by a "brain-computer interface." Facing eviction, Emi recklessly hacks into the game to steal a valuable power-up. When a glitch exposes her identity to millions of viewers-and Hideo Tanaka, the game's 21-year-old billionaire inventor-Emi is summoned to the Henka Games headquarters in Tokyo. There, Hideo recruits her to find an elusive hacker called Zero, and she enters the high-profile games as a wild-card player. With a keen eye for detail, Lu (the Young Elites series) vividly imagines a future society where gaming is woven into daily life, and easily allows readers to sink into Emi's reality. Readers will enthusiastically follow clever, independent, and empathetic Emi, who is driven both by the memory of her father and a strong sense of morality. Think The Hunger Games meets World of Warcraft, with exactly the sort of massive appeal that crossover suggests. Ages 12-up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-Emika Chen is a hacker. At only 18, she has a criminal record a mile long and is unable to find any legitimate work. Luckily, there is the opportunity for her to work as a competitive bounty hunter for illegal gambling in Warcross, a virtual game that has taken over the globe. Looking to make some quick cash by stealing some powerups at the international Warcross Championships, Emika accidently glitches herself into the game and becomes an overnight celebrity. Instead of being arrested, Emika is contacted by game creator Hideo Tanaka and whisked away to Tokyo to work as one of the elusive billionaire's hackers. Thrilled at the prospect of a better life, Emika is slow to realize how dangerous this job really is. With love, betrayal, conspiracies, and more, Warcross will keep listeners hanging on narrator Nancy Wu's every word. VERDICT Perfect for discussion groups, gamers, reluctant readers, and dystopian fans alike. Listeners will be eagerly waiting for the sequel.-Amanda Schiavulli, Finger Lakes Library System, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Lu takes a sharp turn out of the dark fantasy universe of The Young Elites (2014) and into the glittery, high-tech sci-fi world of a futuristic Tokyo. Emika Chen, hacker extraordinaire, has been scraping together a living on the streets of New York, working as a bounty hunter who tracks down people betting illegally on Warcross, an insanely popular virtual reality game. But it's not enough to get by, and a desperate Emi hacks into a Warcross tournament game to scavenge. But she gets more than she bargained for when she's invited to Tokyo by Hideo Tanaka, Warcross' creator. There's something insidious going on behind the scenes of the game, and Hideo needs the help of a hacker-spy. But the world Emi has entered is one of twists and double-crosses, and even her skills might not be enough. Despite some technological deus ex machina, this is an inventive first in a series that showcases Lu's versatility as a storyteller. STEM tie-ins abound, and the thrilling plot turns will have readers happily strapping in for the ride. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Dystopia, dark fantasy, and now a sci-fi thriller what can't Lu do? Her boatloads of fans can't wait to find out.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist
Horn Book Review
One minute Emika Chen is a hacker and bounty hunter in a futuristic New York City, struggling to make ends meet, and the next minute--after shes hacked into Warcross, the phenomenally popular virtual reality game--shes on a private jet to Tokyo to meet Hideo Tanaka, the young inventor of the game. It turns out shes only the second person to hack the game, and Hideo promises her an outrageous sum of money if she can track down the first, a shadowy villain known as Zero, but in order to do so Emika has to join one of the teams competing in the Warcross tournament, a virtual reality version of Capture the Flag. As Emika gets closer to uncovering Zeros identity and motive, she also becomes romantically involved with the notoriously aloof Hideo, while sorting out her often-competing loyalties to her team and to Hideo. The story ends with a bombshell revelation and--of course--a cliffhanger. Written in a first-person, present-tense style similar to that of Suzanne Collins, and with shades of Cory Doctorow, Lus (the Legend and Young Elites novels) book is a blend of action, suspense, romance, and speculative fiction that will please her legion of eager fans. jonathan hunt (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
A down-and-out teen, days from eviction, competes in the championships of the world's most popular virtual reality game.Emika Chen, 18, has been on her own for six years, living in poverty with a juvenile record, supporting herself by bounty hunting. She survives on ramen, with $13 and a debt of $3,450 to her name, and few joys: memories of her dead father, her crush on the world-famous 21-year-old inventor Hideo Tanaka, and her passion for Hideo's game, Warcross. Universally adored, Warcross is an immersive battle game with CGI-ready virtual combats. When Emi exploits a Warcross bug in a last-ditch attempt to make some cash, she glitches into the game. Suddenly, she's a media darling, and Hideo Tanaka himself summons her to Japan for a top-secret job. Whisked away on a private jet, Emi is flabbergasted by the perks of her new positionone of which is membership on one of the world's top pro teams. Emi (an American with an implied Chinese heritage) grows fond of her multiethnic team (with a wheelchair-using captain), but could one of them be a saboteur? Brief shoutouts to Lu's Legend series will intrigue ardent fans, though they don't seem to imply a connection between the worlds. A stellar cyberpunk series opener packed with simmering romance and cinematic thrills. (Science fiction. 13-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.