The Ruby Code
Author: Jessica Khoury
From Jessica Khoury comes a high-action sci-fi adventure about a video game AI come to life. Warcross meets Ready Player One in this thriller set in a high-tech near future.
Bullied at school and home, Ash finds respite from his unhappy life in virtual reality games. One night, he spends his meager savings to help a stranger, who thanks him with a copy of an old fantasy game called The Glass Realm.
While exploring the game, Ash meets a seemingly humble shopkeeper named Ruby. But from the start, Ruby seems different than the other townsfolk—especially when she and Ash stumble across an in-game quest designed not for the player, but for Ruby to solve. When Ruby begins developing powerful abilities that can rewrite the very code of the game, they realize she is far more than a pre-programmed side character.
Following the quest left for her in The Glass Realm, the pair discover that Ruby is actually a sentient AI who’s been hidden inside the game. Originally built as a weapon, her developer stole her from his employers and hid her away, hoping to keep her safe.
That safety vanishes when Ash and Ruby are targeted by the powerful shadow organization who funded Ruby’s development, and who would use her to spark a world war to rack up huge profits. Caught in a deadly game that blurs the lines between real and virtual, Ash and Ruby must flee for their lives. If they lose this game—they might just doom the world.