Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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 Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. 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.
If there is one thing I can say for certain about Warcross it is that I am pleasantly surprised by how much I truly enjoyed this story! It was fun, fast paced, held my interest, and kept me wanting to come back for more. I think I am so surprised at myself for enjoying this book because I absolutely *disliked* (I’m trying to be nice here!) Batman Nightwalker. It is to this day my lowest rating for a book ever so my perception of going into another Marie Lu book was slightly skewed but I’m glad I was proven wrong!
I think the prime focus of Warcross and what it gives best to its readers is the impeccable world building! Warcross is essentially a virtual reality, so as you can imagine there are infinite possibilities with how this world can be laid out! We see epic snowy mountains full of dangerous creatures along with entire worlds that are able to be twisted and manipulated to the users desire. The premise of the story also takes place in Tokyo which I thoroughly enjoyed as well and I hope we are able to see even more of in Wildcard! World building is one the essential things I look for in a book to determine how I am going to rate it, well, that and character development.
The characters in Warcross are what brought my rating down a little if I’m being honest. I liked Emika because she felt like a free spirit that for the most part only wanted to do right by her father and make a living for herself. Then we have Hideo who comes riding in on his high horse of power and money to save the day and give her MILLIONS of dollars to be a bounty hunter/hacker for him during the Warcross games. Which is all fine and dandy but then of course they like, fell in love? It just never connected with me, one minute Hideo is being cold and distant with Emika and the next they are making out on his couch and like??? You just met??? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something about Hideo just always felt a little off to me.. and also I think in Sci-Fi/Fantasy books there is a very fine line with romance being involved and it definitely has to be done right for me to enjoy it. Give me some of that slow burn and enemies to lovers and you can 100% count me in.
The ending of this book is what ultimately made me decide on 3.5 stars. I listened to the audiobook of Warcross (which, props to Nancy Wu for doing an incredible job narrating) and the last couple chapters were SO tense?? Like where did this come from? All of a sudden I’m on the edge of my seat and gasping out loud at work?? I love a good ending that can surprise me. I am definitely not the person to go to for figuring out a mystery. So when we have a situation where the entire plot is based around trying to figure out who this anonymous person is I am always the last person to figure out who it is! I love that Lu was able to keep me on my toes and kept me guessing until the very end!
Warcross had some very good points like the world building and overall the characters and story but the romance really undid everything for me. I teetered back and forth between 3 and 4 stars for a while and ultimately decided on going with 3.5 stars! I hope to read Wildcard soon!