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!

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Posted in Dystopian, sci-fi

The Girl in Red

Post apocalyptic Little Red Riding Hood? I’m so down.

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic “Little Red Riding Hood”…about a woman who isn’t as defenseless as she seems.

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods….

I loved the idea behind this book, Aliens vs Predators recreated into Little Red Riding Hood AND mixed with the Hot Zone, what more could a person want?

Red is an exemplary female role that refuses to let anybody boss her around, including her parents and snotty brother.

After the news showed that people were coming down with a mysterious sickness, Red began packing her survival pack to be prepared to leave once the apocalypse hit. Her family scoffed at her, but she ended up being the lucky one.

Her mother contracted the Cough, but was murdered along with her father by a band of racists for them being an interracial couple. They sacrificed themselves so Red and Adam (snotty brother) could escape into the woods.

Oh, and did I fail to mention that in addition to being an absolute boss, Red is also an amputee and wears a below the knee prosthetic? Even more boos-like, right?

Anyways, Adam ultimately dies from his hive mind mentality and Red is left alone in the woods with only her small axe, her back, and her own determination left to get to her grandmother’s cabin 300 miles away.

Along her journey she discovers that the Cough isn’t the only thing killing people, that the CDC had engineered a parasite that lives in a humans stomach until it is ready to burst out and kill everyone,(here’s where Alien vs Predator comes in). She also takes in 2 children (8 & 10) and kicks some fake militia butt and she eventually finds Grandma’s house.

Now, for the criticism. Henry ended the story very abruptly as if she all of a sudden tired of writing and was like “OH, here’s a nice spot to wrap it all up 25 hiking days away from grandmas in which I will supply no detail or story as to what happened! Let’s do this!” So while the book was amazing, the ending fell short. I felt as if the story could have continued on for several more chapters, maybe by getting Sirois (which sounds like Cirrhosis) to spill the beans on what the stupid “classified” information about the Cough and the alien parasite bursting out of people’s chests were? Like COME ON, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO LEAVE THAT UNEXPLAINED!? *crying face*

I give it a 3.5 flower review.

Posted in Dystopian, sci-fi

The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind

Ok. SO. I need to start this off with the fact that this book had SO much potential and it went straight to the crapper in the last 3 chapters. INFURIATING. I read that entire book about a bad ass feminine heroine, for it to end like THAT?!

I HOPE YOU HAVE A PROFESSIONAL RACING LICENSE BECAUSE YOU’RE ABOUT TO ENCOUNTER SO MANY PLOT TWISTS.

Per NetGalley, I cannot quote the book before final publication, but let me just say this. Don’t read this book if you are a feminist. I am so bothered by one paragraph that it diminishes every other amazing thing about this book, and I’m not even super feminist.

NetGalley Synopsis:

Full of imagination, wit, and random sht flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind. For Teagan Frost, sht just got real.
Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers — a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.
But then a body turns up at the site of her last job — murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name – and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding

Super intriguing, right? Yeah, I thought so too, who wouldn’t want super powers? Also, in the book it’s only every referred to as psychokinetic, so I’m not sure if this is a mistake in the synopsis or what.

Jackson Ford,

Never again make a book end with a woman this powerful deciding she should wait around for a man to love her. Talk about a REALLY crappy ending to an otherwise phenomenal book. This is also written at a wrong time for women who are actively having their rights taken away. I doubt the publication time was intentional by any means, but as a woman, I suggest that entire paragraph be taken out before publication. Because it is crap. Teagan has survived so much that she can be perfectly content without a man in her life that cannot accept her for who she is.

I am not a big enough person to move past this issue, so I give the book a 2.5 flower rating of 5.

Posted in sci-fi

L’Engle Flamingle Part 1 : A Wind in the Door

I was quite fond of L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time as a child, though as an adult, I couldn’t remember which book it was that I read that had those elements in the story that I loved. I remembered scenes and images I’d created in my mind, but couldn’t remember what book it came from.

While working on a “New Realms” display, I was recommended by my boss to include A Wrinkle in Time. That sparked a memory and a nagging feeling that this was the book that contained the vague elements I remembered.

I then decided to reread it, and discovered that the book was the book that I had been searching for and that is part of a quintet series! Imagine my excitement! Thus my L’Engle Flamingle officially began.

My brief review of A Wrinkle in Time can be found under my ‘Battle of the Books Results’ post (yet to be posted).

So here I’ll start with A Wind in the Door: 3.5 stars.

Meg and Calvin meet a cherubim, Proginoskes, and go on another epic journey, but this time to save Charles Wallace from being Xed (extinguished, or killed) by the Echthros (Monsters of Nothingness). Accompanied by Mr. Jenkins, the unlikely quartet finds themselves inside one of Charles Wallaces mitochondrion where they try to convince Sporos, a farandolae (a being that lives in mitochondria) to mature and help the mitochondria to survive. In the end, Progo sacrifices himself to save everyone else and Charles Wallace lives.

“The Echthroi are those who hate, those who would keep you from being Named, who would un-Name you. It is the nature of love to create. It is the nature of hate to destroy.”

-Meg

After starting A Wind in the Door, several of questions came to mind that I believe were left unanswered from A Wrinkle in time. Such as “What the hell exactly happened? Did IT get vanquished? Does the darkness still cover Earth? Did I overlook an entire explanation? Also, what the heck happened to the Echthroi?”

I am still confused about these questions, though I do believe Earth is still covered in darkness due to the presence of the Echthros, but if anybody can provide me with some clarity, PLEASE comment and give my confused brain some resolution.

Throughout this section of the Murray’s life, I honed in on the fact that Meg is incapable of making decisions and handling situations on her own unless it is literally life or death. I am annoyed. In A Wrinkle in Time she expected her Father to fix all the problems, and in the mean time, Calvin.  Now, in A Wind in the Door, she still depends on Calvin, is upset that her father can’t handle it for her since he’s on a business trip, tries to depend on Teacher to do everything, then clings to Progo. Talk about falling into the weak female stereotype. I understand she’s a terrified child, but nonetheless, I am annoyed by her character.

On a more positive side note, I love the Osmosis Jones vibes that L’Engle creates while Progo, Meg, Calvin, and Mr. Jenkins are inside of Charles Wallace’s cells trying to save his life.

I also love the mention of Calvin’s science experiment involving plants and love. The concept it simple, 3 plants, 1 placed in a horrible negative environment, it inevitably dies. The next placed in a neutral environment and given the basic necessities to live, it lives, but doesn’t thrive. The third is placed in a  neutral environment, given the necessities, but is also spoken too, encouraged, and this plant thrives and grows above and beyond. This gives way to the belief that love and encouragement are the root of all.

Lastly, I found L’Engle’s ending quite appropriate. In wondering where Progo has gone after sacrificing himself to save Meg, Calvin, Charles Wallace, and Mr. Jenkins, a huge gust of wind comes through the door, blowing it open. I guess guardian angels really do exist, huh?