Title of the book: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Science Fiction
Number of Pages: 353
Rating (On a Scale of 1-5): 5
Reviewed by: Antonia

Major Characters:
  • Emika Chen: Emika Chen is a bounty hunter trying to scrap out a living while on her own. She’s mired in her father’s debt, trying to pay her rent with the little money she has. Emika goes after people the police don’t have time to look for, hoping to score the bounty reward. These people are illegally betting on the game Warcross. Neurolink (virtual reality) glasses contain a game called Warcross. People use Warcross to achieve financial success or escape from reality. Emika is rarely in a good mood due to the consuming task of chasing bountys.
  • Hideo Tanaka: Hideo Tanaka, the Warcross creator, is extremely rich. Hideo made Warcross with the Neurolink glasses when he was just 13 years old. He describes them as: “A thin, wireless pair of glasses with metal arms and retractable earphones”. In the book, others describe them as feeling exactly like regular glasses. The book tells the story of him at his current age of 21 and labels him the most famous man in the world.
When the official opening ceremony of the Warcross games are going on, Emika sees a chance to make quick cash. During the first game, one of the players snatches a rare powerup worth enough to get Emika out of debt and she smells the opportunity. There’s a moment when Emika realizes the player with the powerup is in a vulnerable state and attempts at hacking into her inventory. To her surprise, she slips into the coding and into the live game. The game shuts down due to technical difficulties and Emika gets scared and takes her Neurolink glasses off. She then becomes an overnight sensation and all anyone can talk about is Emika Chen. Emika tries to hide because she believes she’s going to be arrested, but instead gets a call from Hideo Tanaka, the billionaire who made the game. He pays of all her debt immediately and gives her an irresistible offer. He offers a 10-million-dollar prize to catch a spy lurking in the coding of his game. However, as Emika digs deeper, she finds a plan with a devious plot, which will have major consequences around the world.

The New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu’s writing isn’t old fashioned in any way and I appreciate her writing style because I think she is in touch with a younger generation like my own. Her writing style adapts very well to our current environment and which is why I can relate so much to her message. Ms. Lu does a fine job of describing the main characters so that the reader gets a full sense of who they are and what they stand for. She embraces new updated technology as well as character themes and unexpected plot twists.

I believe other teens will thoroughly enjoy this book just as I did. There are unexpected twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Buckle up!

Literacy Suffolk

Literacy Suffolk, Inc. is dedicated to providing a variety of literacy services to adults, thereby enabling them to achieve their personal goals. Literacy Suffolk recruits volunteers to tutor fellow adults in basic language skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking.
What Literacy Suffolk does:
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James Gouras



Long-time Smithtown resident, James "Jim" Gouras enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1944 at the age of 17 and served actively from April 1945 through December 1946.  As part of the 221st Military Police Company, Mr. Gouras participated in the occupation of mainland Japan.  For his service he received the Army of Occupation Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.  Mr. Gouras still lives in Smithtown and is an active member in the local chapters of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Mr. Gouras' oral history interview was recorded in The Smithtown Library's Long Island Room on July 6, 2017.

The photographs below were taken during Mr. Gouras' service in the U.S. Army, mostly while participating in the occupation of mainland Japan, 1945- 1946.  Click on each to enlarge.


Photographs courtesy James Gouras.