Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Availability' section below.
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews
New York Times Review
Emika Chen is a rainbow-haired, electric skateboarding teenage bounty hunter in a futuristic New York City who, on the verge of getting evicted from her ratty apartment, glitches her way into a massively popular virtual reality game to steal a valuable power-up. The book opens with a mock news story about the game's 21-year-old creator, the mysterious Hideo Tanaka; an appended correction notes: "An earlier version of this story mistakenly described Hideo Tanaka as a millionaire. He is a billionaire." Whoops. Hideo, impressed that Emika has managed to breach his system (this is also a metaphor), flies her to Tokyo in his private jet to compete as a wild card in the international Warcross championships and figure out the identity of a certain nefarious cybercriminal. The book is as visual, kinetic and furiously paced as any video game; Lu, a former art director for video games as well as the author of the best-selling Legend series, has quite the way with otherworldly action scenes. Each round of the game is played in a different immersive environment; special NeuroLink glasses allow the real and virtual worlds to mesh. One particularly vivid round takes place in an icy wilderness filled with glaciers, "shifting and cracking under their own weight," with monstrous animals frozen inside them - a white wolf with a missing eye, a snakelike dragon, a woolly mammoth. There's romance, a lost sibling, spying, a diverse cast of gamers, and nifty tattoos. It's "Gleaming the Cube" meets "Strange Days" meets "Blade Runner," and it's a lot of fun. If the Cliffhanger ending seems irksome, never fear, this one's a series opener. RENEGADES By Marissa Meyer 556 pp. Feiwel and Friends. $19.99. So much cool stuff but, alas, so little editing. Set in the Gothamesque Gation City, this first in a series introduces powerful superheroes and their down-but-not-out nemeses. Years ago, the Renegades (the good guys - or are they?) defeated the Anarchists, who have retreated to crumbling subway tunnels. Teenage Anarchist Nova (villain name: Nightmare), who blames the Renegades and their governing Council for her parents' murder, goes undercover to infiltrate them. But she doesn't count on an attraction to the enigmatic and hot Adrian, whose two dads are Renegade royalty, Captain Chromium and the Dread Warden. He and Nova debate the idea of vigilante justice and question whether Renegades allow regular people to shrug off responsibility for creating an ethical society There are dozens of characters and secret identities, and awkward phrases like "his pallor was ghastly pale" and "his face took on a look of exultation." It can feel like a too-long X-Men movie. But some of the characters' powers are superfun (creating tattoos and drawings that become real, controlling an army of bees) and when everyone learns everyone else's identities and secret pasts - presumably in the next book - well, Holy Surprise Party, Batman. WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER By Leigh Bardugo 369 pp. Random House. $18.99 Feminism is the invisible jet powering this literary revamp of the Amazon princess. Bardugo's version offers a new explanation for Princess Diana's departure from Themyscira. A young woman named Alia Mayeux Keralis is shipwrecked off the coast, and Diana rescues her. But Alia is a Warbringer, a descendant of Helen of Troy whose very presence causes conflict and chaos. If Diana can help Alia get to Helen's final resting place before time runs out, she can change Alia's destiny... and the world's. After a slow start (the somber Themysciran scene-setting and stilted, formal way the Amazons speak aren't much fun), the plot takes off, with a lot of action and humor. Alia, who is half Greek-American and half black, brings Diana to her country (When the duo magically land in New York Harbor, Diana looks up to see "a vibrant yellow torch held aloft by the statue of an Amazon, her stern face framed by a crown like a sunburst.") They team up with Alia's older brother Jason, crush object Theo and best friend Nim, racing to change the course of history Meanwhile, terrifying gods of war and chaos, as well as human soldiers, keep attacking. Nim is a delicious character - an asymmetrical-haircut-sporting IndianAmerican girl with multiple piercings and a wicked sense of humor. Bardugo makes her both fat and hot, describing her as a "sparkly, round-cheeked sparrow." As always, Diana's interactions with the Western world are a good time ("Is Google one of your gods?" she asks). And it's lovely that this is a hero's journey times two. Alia taps into her own bravery and Diana learns about sexism, racism and something the Amazons have always dismissed: the courage, resilience and ingenuity of mere mortals. RELEASE By Patrick Ness 277 pp. HarperTeen. $17.99. Every sentence in this gorgeous little novel feels perfect and necessary Ness, a Carnegie Medal winner, has said that "Release" is influenced by two classics: Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway" and Judy Blume's "Forever." (I know, right?) The book has the structure of the former - a vast amount of emotional action packed into a single day - and the hyperintensity, sexual heat and empathy for teenagers of the latter. Adam Thorn is 17 and gay, a conservative preacher's son trapped in rural Washington State. He wants to love and be loved, and he wants to feel understood. He picks up a rose at a flower shop (who will he give it to? His best friend, Angela? His ex, Enzo? His current boyfriend, Linus?) and pricks his thumb ... and as the drop of blood falls we're suddenly in a different world. There's a Queen, a faun, a vengeful spirit, a murder and a sense of encroaching doom. The action switches back and forth between the two worlds, both filled with grief and loss and mistakes. Gradually, it becomes clear that both narratives are about the power of a single moment to change everything. It sounds heavy, but it isn't - Adam and his friends are very funny, and seeing flawed characters trying their hardest to forgive and to grow is truly touching. Also, the sex scenes are so hot they practically set the pages on fire. Ness's writing is lush without seeming to strain: A bad boyfriend is "all neck and rage," Mount Rainier at sunset turns "an unseemly, intimate pink." In an era when young adult books often feel bloated and meandering, this focused, humane book is a joy IN OTHER LANDS By Sarah Rees Brennan 437 pp. Big Mouth House. $19.95. "In Other Lands" is at once a classic school story, a coming-of-age story and a parody of Harry Potter. It's hilarious and sneakily moving. Elliot Schafer is Harry Potter if Harry had been abandoned instead of merely orphaned. Convinced of his unlovability, he wields sarcasm and braininess as weapons. As the book opens, Elliot is 13. On a field trip to Devon, England, he sees a wall few other kids can see. On the other side: the otherlands. Elliot, a huge reader of fantasy novels, is thrilled. Alas, the humans and harpies and trolls and elves and mermaids and vicious red-eyed, virginity-obsessed unicorns populating the otherlands turn out to be perpetually at war, and Elliot is a pacifist. "Oh no," he moans, as a dagger flies by his head. "This is magic Sparta." But he has no reason to go home, so he enters the Border camp's councilor-in-training program. And he makes two non-nerd friends: A gorgeous elf named Serene-Heart-in-theChaos-of-Battle and a perfect-seeming blond human jock. Brennan subverts the familiar Y.A. love triangle in uproarious, touching, unexpected ways, and her commentaries on gender roles, sexual identity and toxic masculinity are very witty Elven culture, for instance, views men as the weaker sex. "A true gentleman's heart is as sacred as a temple, and as easily crushed as a flower," Serene informs Elliot. When another elf tells him, "I was saddened to hear Serene had launched a successful attack on the citadel of your virtue," Elliot assures her, "The citadel was totally into surrendering." Best of all, over four years in the otherlands, Elliot grows from a defensive, furious, grieving child into a diplomatic, kind, menschy hero. MARJORiE ingall is a columnist for Tablet and the author of "Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children."
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.
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1