Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 08/01/2018 Bounty hunter turned reality game superstar Emika Chen thought she had her hands full when she became an internationally known competitor in the virtual-reality-game Warcross? championships. But that was before she learned the truth about her one-time love Hideo Tanaka, a young billionaire and creator of Warcross?—and the inventor of an algorithm that puts everyone who uses his high-tech lenses under his control. Sure, Hideo’s not trying to rule the world or anything—­this all started as a war on crime, after his little brother went missing years ago—but Emi can’t agree with his methods. But she’s got even bigger plans: there’s a bounty on her head now, and if she’s going to escape the assassins who are after her, she has to turn to Zero, the infamous, if not exactly trustworthy, hacker and his team. But they’ve got motives of their own, and Emi might get so tangled in a web of subterfuge that she can’t break free. There’s plenty of high-stakes double-crossing here, and this finale moves along at a breakneck clip. Series fans will be only too happy to zoom along for the ride. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 09/01/2018 Gr 8 Up–Emika Chen has been betrayed by Hideo, the man she cared most about and tried to help. Blinded by his all-consuming need to find his long-lost brother, he now controls most of the world through an algorithm in the lenses that everyone uses to connect to the NeuroLink, the system by which they access the virtual world. Only a very few people, like Emika and her old teammates on the Phoenix Riders Warcross team, are still using beta lenses that allow them to circumvent the algorithm. This is encouraging crime bosses and criminals to turn themselves in, but others, maybe even innocent people, are committing suicide. Emika, convinced that she alone must stop the algorithm, agrees to work with mysterious hacker Zero and his Blackcoats to undermine Hideo. But there's a thin line between right and wrong, and she's not sure whom she can trust, other than her old teammates. Fans of Warcross will enjoy even more time spent in the game, along with intrigue, action, and mystery. Emika owns her flaws and still tries to do the right thing, even when she's unsure what that is. While the character development of some of her teammates feel a little flat, Emika, Hideo, and Zero shine through. VERDICT A necessary purchase for libraries that have Warcross; those where science fiction circulates well, should pick up both volumes in this duology.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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