Warcross by Marie Lu – REVIEW
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.
“Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.”
This book seems to have been on my Twitter feed for months so I had to pre-order it to see what all the fuss was about. Warcross was my first book by Marie Lu and I adored it. I now can’t wait to read the Young Elites and Legend trilogies I have sitting on my TBR pile. This was one of those books that draw the reader into its world immediately because it seems so realistic and detailed. The premise regarding the potential of virtual reality is exciting and plausible – it feels like the very-near future. Warcross is a virtual reality game played globally, with the best players earning fame and fortune. As someone with a disability, it was refreshing to see disabled players competing and to contemplate the possibilities of such an enhanced virtual reality for those with physical limitations.
“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact”
Emika is a complex and fascinating character. She’s fierce, independent, and likeable. It’s inspiring to see a female hacker and gamer take the spotlight for once and to demonstrate the capabilities often assumed to be the province of males. At the beginning of the book, it was easy to identify with Emika’s lack of money and I can understand what it’s like to count pennies the way she has to. The diversity of the characters is another positive and the Tokyo setting was a refreshing change. The relationship between Emika and Hideo is gradual and believable, and I was quickly invested in them. I also loved the relationship between the Phoenix Riders and each team member was fully fleshed out. I especially loved Roshan and hope he features even more in the next book.
“But beauty can make people forgive a thousand cruelties.”
The game of Warcross itself sounds amazing and was described in such depth that it seemed completely plausible. The different virtual worlds were each as detailed as the next, adding to the incredible world-building. Even though I guessed the identity of the antagonist Zero, I didn’t see the other twist coming at all – I am in complete awe of Marie Lu’s devious plotting. This was such a fast-paced and fun book with an inspiring female main character that I would definitely recommend. I flew through this book and can’t wait for the sequel (which I need asap!). On a side note – the UK edition is absolutely gorgeous under the dust jacket, with a rainbow prism!
A fascinating premise with a great female main character. Perfect for all gamer girls.
|About the Author
Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist and art director. Now a full-time writer, she lives in Los Angeles, California, where she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic.