Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 07/01/2017 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. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2017 Gr 8 Up—A highly engaging and incredibly exciting science fiction novel for young adults. Emika Chen is a bounty hunter living in a futuristic New York City. Emika has a juvenile record and spent time in the foster care system after her father died. She is struggling to pay her bills, and is banking on getting enough from the next bounty to settle up with her landlord. In the midst of her troubles, Emika gets involved in Warcross, a virtual reality video game played by nearly everyone. Players put on virtual reality glasses and can play others, build their own worlds, and keep memories there. There is a huge tournament where the best players from around the globe come together as teams to compete for the ultimate prize. When Emika tries stealing a valuable item in the opening ceremony, she glitches into the game and finds immediate fame. With this fame comes a job offer from the young Hideo Tanaka, creator of Warcross. He flies her to Japan on his private jet, and he asks for her help to find someone who is threatening the game. Emika is also a skilled hacker, so she accepts. The teen becomes a key player in the tournament and in Hideo's life, as they develop a romantic relationship. Readers will move effortlessly through Lu's fantastic writing, and they will enjoy getting to know this international cast of characters. The author adeptly weaves together exciting video games scenes, virtual reality, and romance. The great plot twist and cliff-hanger ending clearly leaves room for a sequel. VERDICT An enticing first purchase for YA collections, especially where Lu's other books and science fiction are popular.—Nancy Jo Lambert, Reedy High School, Frisco, TX - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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