Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Page Count: 353
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Notable Notables: Diverse Main Characters
Recommended Readers: Y’all like video games and action, right?
I’ve only ever read Legend by Marie Lu, so I’m glad I gave her latest series a chance. I have a soft spot for virtual reality stories (thanks, Tron: Legacy), and Warcross promised to be in a similar vein.
Every day all around the globe, millions log in to Warcross, a virtual reality game that blends seamlessly with real life through special glasses technology. Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter in New York City, tracking down those who bet illegally on the official Warcross games. The job is the only thing keeping her from being evicted from her apartment, having lost her father and only parent. When the job goes awry and Emika needs some fast cash, she hacks into the opener of the international Warcross Championships out of desperation—but in doing so, she glitches herself into the game, something that should be impossible.
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Title: Iron Cast
Author: Destiny Soria
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Notable Notables: POC characters, LGBTQ+ characters, Friendship-focused
Recommended Readers: Fans of magical realism, 1920s-era
Ah, gosh, I loved this. Magical realism, 1919 setting, diverse characters, thoughtful prose. Consider me swept away!
Iron Cast is Destiny Soria’s debut, standalone novel, and I am an instant fan. The cover alone stole my breath, and the contents inside delivered, taking me to this historical yet magical Boston that I didn’t want to leave.
The novel follows the fierce friendship of two young women, Ada Navarra, the daughter of immigrants, and Corinne Wells, the daughter of an elite Boston family. Neither of them seem to have much in common besides the fact that they’re both hemopaths, or people whose blood cannot tolerate iron and who possess certain gifts. Corinne is a wordsmith who can bring people into her thrall, experiencing any emotion and memory she desires by reciting poetry, and Ada, a songsmith, does the same with her violin.
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