Posted in LitRPG

Wildcard

Goodreads synopsis: Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Ya’ll. Read it. Lu has out done herself. I have found a new favorite series.

She continues with all the plot twists.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

LOOK AWAY NOW.

LAST CHANCE!!

OK. So. Taylor, the master mind working with Zero and the assassin, Jax, turns out to be the leader of this entire crazy group. She is so terrified of eventually dying that she took terminally ill children for a “clinical trial” of sorts, and pumped them full of drugs and tests in order to try and find a cure for death.

You guessed it. Sasuke was one of these children. So was Jax. Both children terminally ill. So sick that this test trial was their last chance to live. Jax was an orphan adopted by Taylor, but eventually, Sasuke’s parents took him out of the trial which forced Taylor to go to drastic measure to keep her prized test subject- KIDNAPPING.

She’s deplorable.

She semi-succeeds with Sasuke since he showed the most potential, but eventually, even his body gives out, but not before she has accomplished a major goal: copying the human life and mind into a stream of data and keeping the essence of that individual alive within a virtual world.

Sasuke isn’t real.

He is not alive.

He is a program. Solely controlled by Taylor.

BUT. As I said..his essence is still alive.

Do with that information what you will, but I shall leave the rest of the book a mystery. Go read it. It’s WORTH IT.

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Posted in LitRPG, sci-fi

LitRPG Paradise

https://warcross.fandom.com/wiki/Emika_Chen Link for Title Photo

Goodreads Synopsis:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS: I MUST GUSH ABOUT THIS BOOK

YA’LL. This book is ultimate boss level good.

My personal Synopsis to fill in any holes that I will discuss:

Emika Chen is a poor orphan girl from New York trying to survive.

Hideo Tanaka is a rich brat from Tokyo that has a British accent and woes from his childhood that surround his missing brother, and is the creator of the Neurolink device and Warcross.

Hideo hires Emika as a hacker to bring down his enemy, ZERO, that is trying to destroy the Neurolink through the Warcross championships after she glitches herself into the game.

Sasuke Tanaka. The missing brother of Hideo. The plot twist.

I have to say, I wasn’t sold on it until the last few chapters, but Lu threw in a plot twist like no other and blew my brains away. I feel as if my brain has actually been affected by the Neurolink devices that are in this game. I am in LOVE with this book.

Okay, there are several main points I want to discuss and gush over, so here we go.

  1. Let’s talk VR. I have never used VR, but I want to. That being said, I believe that the Neurolink is the direction that the world is going with gaming technology. Games such as Pokemon Go and Wizards Unite already allow for access to a virtual world that overlays our own. Neurolink makes these games child’s play in comparison, but from my limited experiences, this is the closest thing we have to Neurolink since I have not yet used VR technology .
  • The events that happen this book are valid fears. Hideo plans to use the Neurolink to control the actions of each individual in the world all because of his inability to deal with his brother’s supposed kidnapping ( we have no clue what actually happened that day). Dude. See a therapist. Don’t try to be a dictator in the name of keeping the world safe. People have free will. Let them exercise it. I commend you for wanting the world to be safer, but mind control is NOT the solution.

2. The typical -troubled teen trying to make their way in life and is rescued by the rich and powerful for one convoluted thing or the other and then they inevitably fall in love- plot line.

Ok. Hideo and Emika. While I would have been fine with seeing this happen, I am SO glad that it didn’t. I personally think that if this plot had unfolded, it would have been the downfall of the book. The love story wasn’t told very well and seemed a bit forced, but dang if Lu didn’t ruin this story and give me exactly what I wanted. A BREAK-UP. WOO! Emika could do so much better. I personally would like to see her and Roshan together, but that’s just me.

3. Zero. Zero is trying to prevent Hideo from taking over the world’s population and is striving to hack into the Warcross championships to destroy the Neurolink by planting a virus within the game. He would have succeeded had Emika not unknowingly been fighting for the wrong team. He is by far the most interesting character in the book and the game. Fight me.

BIGGEST SPOILER-LOOK AWAY IF YOU AREN’T READY

LAST CHANCE.

https://blog.supercoder.com/my-skill-sharpener/dont-let-these-coding-mistakes-cost-your-practice/

ZERO IS SASUKE.

ZERO IS THE MISSING SASUKE TANAKA. AND HIDEO DOESN’T KNOW. AND HIS BROTHER IS TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN. AND NOW EMIKA IS POSSIBLY WORKING WITH ZERO?!

Lu, you have out done yourself. I need more. I immediately went across the street from my workplace to the public library and checked out Wildcard as soon as I finished Warcross and will be starting it today, so please stay tuned for the continuation of this review!

Also, if you like Anime, I highly recommend Sword Art Online..another amazing RPG theme!

Posted in Fantasy

A Darker Shade of Magic

Goodreads Synopsis: Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

To the die hard fans of V.E. Schwab, and this novel, I am so sorry, but I don’t understand the level of hype. Yes, the book is very well written, informative, has a handsome male protagonist, a lovable, feisty female protagonist, and an amazing primary antagonist, BUT.. I was not thrilled.

I found myself needing breaks from the book because I would get bored and my mind began to wonder. Though, there are several brilliant and strange topics/theories needed to be discussed.

Slight Spolier Warning:

Ok. Delilah Bard. She HAS to be an antari of some kind. I feel like her magic was taken away when her eye was removed. (Also, if this is true, then I say that Kell just takes his eye out and be done with all the BS. Don’t come for me).) Also super convenient that she doesn’t remember the circumstances behind losing her eye either, suspicious? I think so.

While Lila is such a badass, fearless female character, I found myself frequently annoyed with her childlike tendencies to steal things and touch things that she shouldn’t, such as magically warded items in a London she has no knowledge about. Common sense should have kicked in, but obviously it didn’t.

Kell…poor, lonely Kell. Do I feel bad for Kell for essentially being the property of the rich, sweetly enslaved for his powers? Yes. But he has MAGIC for pete’s sake. RUN AWAY. There are so many other options than staying enslaved in by a King and Queen who supposedly love you, but only use you for your abilities.

Though, I would definitely bargain with him for his coat. That thing is awesome and is a garment I would gladly add to my personal wardrobe.

Now my favorite character: Holland.

Holland is the rival Antari enslaved to the sibling rulers of White London.

Holland is the only character in this story that I truly pity and love. While he may be ruthless killer, an evil among evils, he is a true slave to his rulers. In White London, magic is scant, and any magic a person has is bound to them by seals to make sure they keep their magic rather than having it stripped from them by those more powerful.

Siblings Athos and Astrid torture Holland by forcing him to do their bidding by having his covered in seals infused with their magic so they might assume complete control. Holland was never a pleasant person, but he was made worse by the twins control.

I won;t give any more away about the story, so let me end with this.

I will be reading the second book because I can’t stand leaving a tale unfinished, and the tale is interesting enough for me to want to know what happens. All I can say is that A gathering of Shadows MUST be up to par with what Arya Stark will eventually do on her journey outside of Westeros. (Delilah and Arya are the same for wanting to adventure, therefore that comment was necessary-Thanks to Sara for that idea that I can now obsess over).

All in all: