Emika Chen is a teenage bounty hunter who uses her hacking skills to track criminals who are wanted for illegally betting on Warcross. Warcross is a game that allows people to use the Neurolink to escape reality and play a game. After losing her bounty for $5000 dollars, she is unable to pay her rent and knows she will be evicted. Nevertheless, she watches the opening ceremony game. When she sees an in-game item worth $15,000, she knows that she needs to steal it. Using her hacked game, she is able to grab it, but doing it causes her to glitch into the dome. Immediately, she is kicked from the game, and she loses the item. Then, she gets a call from Hideo Tanaka, her idol and the creator of the game. He wants her to be his spy and his wild card in the tournament and offers her a hefty sum of money to do so and figure out who might be trying to sabotage him. She agrees to do so, but she doesn’t quite know what she is getting herself into.
I had 3 free periods today in school because 3 of my teachers were absent. This is about 2.5-3 hours of time just sitting in the class. I finished the sub work and a bit of extra homework, but I also finished the book during that time. This means that I finished this entire novel in a little under or over 2 hours. I just could not put this novel down.
I enjoyed how the beginning of the story showed how hopeless life can feel sometimes. Emika is doing her best, but everything seems to work against her. However, instead of simply accepting her fate and escaping reality with the game, she decides to keep going and try to do something to change her story. This perseverance continues throughout the story as she doesn’t let anyone or anything get in her way.
The storyline and inner workings of the game were super fun to read for me. I enjoyed the idea that the tournament would include “wild cards” and everyone would play against each other for fun, almost like a Super Bowl but rather randomized.
The only issue I had with this book was the romance. I felt that it was unnecessary in some ways and took me out of the story for a bit. However, it did work and it did shift my focus from the real mysteries like it did to the main character.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced YA action-adventure thriller with a creative and smart female main character.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5