Author: Julia Durango
Publication: HarperTeen (June 23, 2015)
Description: Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, a virtual-reality gaming world, thanks to Julia Durango's cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance, constant twists, and a vivid, multidimensional journey through a tricked-out virtual city will keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.
Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she's a bounty hunter in a virtual-reality gaming world—and she's frequently hired by irritated parents to pull kids out of the mazelike MEEP universe.
But when the game's billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn't some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he's left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn's not hiding—he's being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?
Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they've encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?
My Thoughts: So, there's this virtual-reality game. Nixy's parents work for the billionaire who owns and controls it. Nixy plays it and is also an unsanctioned bounty hunter. Parents hire her when their kid stays in the game too long. However, she is startled when she is hired by the games developer to track down his son Wyn Salvador who left behind a suicide note and who went into the game and hasn't come back.
The descriptions of the maze and the hazards in it that Nixy has to navigate in order to get to Wyn are very graphic and make me glad that the games doesn't really exist. They are really scary - sharks, anacondas, ghouls. When she does track down Wyn in a version of 1959 Cuba that he has created, she is surprised to learn that he is being kept prisoner.
Now both Nixy and Wyn are trapped and they spend days in the game trying to find the way out. Along the way, they learn about each other, become friends, and even start to fall in love. They also learn about a terrorist group called the Legionnaires who are convinced the Wyn's father has evil intentions about future uses of the game and who want the game shut down.
I'm really hoping that this is the first book in a series because there are so many unanswered questions at the end. It was an exciting story and I really liked both Nixy and Wyn.
I don't yell this time when I wake up in the Landing. Instead, I allow myself to daydream about all the things I will say to Wyn Salvador when I find him. They are very unpleasant things, things which should never be uttered aloud, lest you be struck dead by whichever God is currently on duty. It's a risk I'm willing to take.I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.