Opening where Rush (2013) left off, this sequel sees Miki’s virtual, gaming life and her real life dangerously merge.
Miki and love interest Jackson both have a mix of alien and human DNA, and the inscrutable Committee intermittently pulls them without warning from their teen lives into a live-action, video game war against the alien Drau, who are bent on destroying humanity. Injury in the game can be agonizing, and death is final. Miki’s existence is hard enough, as she struggles with grief over her mother’s death and her father’s alcoholism. The adrenaline ramps up when the Drau find a way to push through the virtual boundaries and enter real time, infiltrating a dance at Miki’s high school and instigating a massive, calamitous battle. The lightning-quick shifts in reality are positively diabolical, as those she thought dead are discovered to be alive and those she thought on her side are revealed not to be. The story spends less time than did the predecessor in battle scenes with the gruesome Drau, exploring more deeply the growing relationship between Miki and Jackson. This episode ends on the edge, positioning readers for the leap into the next adventure.
This second volume has up-to-the-minute appeal for gamers who like a byte of romance with their sci-fi. (Adventure/romance. 13-18)