Emika Chen is running out of options. Orphaned, poor and out of work, she is about to be evicted from her apartment when she accidentally hacks into the opening ceremonies of Warcross. Warcross is a multi-million dollar business and millions are watching when she glitches into the game. Instead of getting in trouble she embarks on a journey she could not have ever dreamed of. It isn't long before her heart and her life are on the line.
I loved this. Nonstop action, a fantastic hacker female protagonist with a conscience, loved the Warcross game concept, and life or death decisions. Twists and turns keep the plot interesting and great visual details make it easy to envision this world. Recommended for ages 11 and up.
This book takes place in a futuristic western United States 100 years after an alien race has invaded and colonized the planet. The Zhree aliens have chosen to share their technology with a small group of humans, while the remaining humans live in less than perfect conditions. It is in these unprotected areas that some humans are part of Sapience, a terrorist movement that aims to drive out the alien invaders. It is on a raid against suspected Sapience operatives that the main character, Donovan, a member of the Special Forces, finds himself kidnapped. Donovan is much more than just a Special Forces operative, he is the son of the Prime Liaison who is the highest ranking human in the government.
You are dropped right into the action, which is nonstop from the first paragraph. There is a lot of book related vocabulary introduced in the first few chapters, that takes some time to understand. Sensitive readers may object to the use of torture and derogatory slang. Deaths are numerous, but not graphic in nature. The plot struggles in some areas, but overall it is well done. It will leave you thinking about certain things long after you put it down. Appropriate for grades 7 up.
Two interwoven stories about a mysterious scientific facility called Haven, and two girls whose paths cross because of it. You do need to read the stories in a specific order starting with Lyra's story.
Lyra's only memories are of Haven. She is one of many replicas(otherwise known as clones), and one of the oldest. She interacts with nurses, doctors and other replicas, but doesn't know anything about the world outside Haven. An attack on the facility causes her to join forces with a male replica to try to survive. This is where she bumps into Gemma.
Gemma's story is quite different. Gemma grew up in an affluent house, but has very few friends. Her parents are extremely overprotective. When she finally convinces them to let her go on a road trip with her best and only friend, they relent. Then the attack on Haven happens and they change their minds. Gemma starts listening in on her parent's conversations and for the first time in her life becomes suspicious of her life. When Haven's name keeps coming up she takes off in pursuit of answers.
The story moves very quickly. There are a few twists and turns that will surprise you, and some that probably won't. The characters are interesting and overall like-able. I did feel like Gemma's characters focused a little too much on the "I'm overweight so I'm not pretty" idea and I didn't like that at all. It's a mashup of sci-fi, adventure and romance. I think some of the ideas around cloning and the ethical issues surrounding it are interesting, but not heavy handed. Overall, a good book.
Appropriate for 11 and up