6.18.2018

Teen Book Review: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu


Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #1
Publication Date: October 4th, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
Genre: YA
Pages: 402
ISBN: 0241321441
Source: Publisher
Rating:

Synopsis (from Publisher):



From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu - when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths. For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn't just a game - it's a way of life. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. When Emika hacks into the game illegally, she's convinced she'll be arrested, and is shocked when 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. 

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all. 

Amazon | Goodreads

Marie Lu is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy and The Young Elites trilogy. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

If you fancy being transported into a fictional world within a fictional world, this book is for you. If you like a main character who can really show others who’s boss just by being her smart self, this book is for you. In fact, if you enjoy something as general as amazing, super descriptive and creative writing, then this book is most definitely for you.
Warcross was written for you, my dear fellow book lover, as it was made for me.
It follows Emika Chen - rainbow-colored-hair, all around super chick – around a futuristically situated world where a virtual reality game, the one-and-only famed “Warcross”, becomes more of a reality for some than real life actually is. She’s a bounty hunter, a hacker, and most importantly a teenager trying to make ends meet after her father dies with massive amounts of debt leftover to pay.
Warcross, to her, was a way of life. Without it she wouldn’t get paid and probably would be rotting away on a street corner. That’s why when she accidentally glitches herself into the next Warcross championship, life as she knows it… will never be the same after Hideo Tanaka (aka Warcross creator, aka genius, aka most times annoying, aka predictable love interest but overall a puppy who cooks and takes care of his parents, also, he is a liar and that makes him real but so infuriating) calls her as a wildcard in the next games. She is suddenly thrown into a darker world, with the promise of the light at the end of the tunnel being just beyond her reach (also 10 million dollars which made me go on a mental rant because c'mon Hideo, why?! Just 'cause you're rich doesn't mean you can bribe people with money, geez).
I went into this book as blindly as you can get. Seriously, I didn’t even read the description. At first, I thought this would be a slightly-twisted version of Ready Player One because when it started mentioning glasses and virtual stuff I was all like… !!!. Turns out I wasn’t close. The two books touch on some similar technology but they cannot be compared in the slightest, story-wise. This is a YA, pure YA.
The thing I loved about this book was the immense detail Marie Lu used to describe the world. I have no knowledge whatsoever in coding and programming, even less with VR, but it made me want to understand Emika and the decisions she had to make throughout the story. This book was like a pure shot of adrenaline, all set in an alternate world where technology rules. Even though in reality, I’m not a huge fan of unnecessary tech but that’s beside the point. There are also lots of quotable quotes (??) in this book that I want to reuse.
The ending though!! I have to say that my senses have been honed down to a sharp point when it comes to guessing endings and plot twists (because I’ve read so much, in so many genres) but man… this ending caught me off guard.
**SPOILER**
Half-completely (hey I guessed Sasuke would make a comeback and he did, I just never imagined him ACTUALLY BEING ZERO and wanting to murder his brother).
**END OF SPOILER**
I don’t want to spoil anything else so I won’t say anything else about it. Just, wow. That ending.
Also, major cliffhanger so beware.
Anyways, this is great for when you’re in the mood of something not quite like any other books in YA but still want that teenager-y feel to the story. I found myself falling in love with the idea of the game, not so much with the characters (though Emika was pretty great, she just seemed to be conveniently placed throughout). Also, be prepared to fangirl over the Phoenix Riders because they’re absolutely amazing and the diversity is insane. I give this a whopping 5 stars.
Great job you genius Marie Lu. Now give me the sequel, pretty please.