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Review of Warcross

by Marie Lu
High School    Putnam    357 pp.
9/17    978-0-399-54796-6    $18.99

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 she’s hacked into Warcross, the phenomenally popular virtual reality game — she’s on a private jet to Tokyo to meet Hideo Tanaka, the young inventor of the game. It turns out she’s 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 Zero’s 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, Lu’s (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.

From the November/December 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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