You already know I love this author and I love this world. I should just find a huge image or GIF that proclaims, “SO MUCH LOVE” and call it a day, right? That would be too easy. Instead, you lucky reader you, I’m going to give you a review worthy of this masterful novel and worthy end to the duology that stole my heart. (I’m also not falling victim to the slew of negative reviews on GR. I LOVED THIS STORY.)
Short recap: Emika Chen has survived the Warcross Championship and has one heck of a battle in front of her. She has discovered the real reason behind Hideo creating the NeuroLink program and it isn’t as peachy as it first seemed. She has to stop Hideo and is able to form a plan with the help of the Phoenix Riders. Can Emika really stop the man she loves? Can she do what might be necessary to put a stop to his plans?
I tried to so very hard to read this book slowly because I wanted to soak up every word like a sponge. Did it happen? Nope, not at all. I tore through this book like I was on a deadline. And then there was the overwhelming sadness of being done with yet another Lu book that tore out what little was left of my heart.
Just when I thought Emika’s character couldn’t be developed more or grow more, Lu swoops in with the sweep the leg kick to knock me over. I should have known better than to ever doubt Lu. For me, this author writes gold and can do no wrong. Emika and Hideo are one of my biggest ships ever. EVER. Just thinking about them know has me all fluttery in the stomach and weak in the knees. Now, please know I’m not all rainbows and kittens about this book (let’s be real, yes I am), I am also a reviewer. I read stories and mentally critic them. I make note of things that did and did not work for me. I’m not blinded by my unyielding adoration for this author (ok, maybe a little). I know that as a reader/reviewer, I really did love everything about this story. I very much enjoyed how Emika and Hideo had a very complex relationship (think hate to love to hate to love), while at the same time always growing and always evolving. Emika did not start this story the same person she started Warcross as. She saw things, survived things, and knew things that changed her forever in the first book. Hideo ended Warcross not being the super hunky billionaire he started the story as (well, he was still super hot and a billionaire… but you know what I mean). Both of these characters adapted to what life put them through and both came out stronger on the other side. Both were products of the challenges put in front of them. That made them very relateable and believable. Also, both of these character stayed true to who they were, they never compromised for the sake of money or fame. They did what they believed was right and true.
The world that Lu created was masterfully done. It really did remind me a lot of Ready Player One, one of my top 5 favorite novels ever. The technology, the creativity, the lush world made this story come to life in my head. I felt completely immersed and I never wanted to leave.
I really do not know what else I can say about this book. I know that some people stated they were let down by this story but that wasn’t the case for me. I implore you to read the story for yourself and make up your own mind. Go in with an open mind and give the story a chance. Give Lu the chance to finish Emika and Hideo’s story, it certainly deserves to be told.