Warcross by Marie Lu ARC Non-Spoiler Review

Title: Warcross (#1)
Series: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA SciFi Thriller
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books
Format: ARC Paperback
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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. 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.

***Thanks to BookCon and Penguin for providing an ARC.


Here you have Virtual Reality, Bounty Hunters, Tokyo, plus tons of Diversity! Warcross, the biggest known virtual reality game across the whole world. Everyone links in to watch, this is one huge phenomena. 10 years ago, Hideo Tanaka who’s Japanese created this virtual reality called NeuroLink through a pair of glasses and since then, the world has changed. Emika Chen, a Chinese American bounty hunter and hacker, struggles in real life to make ends meet and pay her bills. She and her roommate, Keira, are about to get evicted within days. Due to the virtual reality world, gambling has become a serious issue where people buy things off through NueroLink and sell them in the real world, converting notes to money. After Emika loses a bounty and the money that came with it, she gets impatient about how she’s going to survive another day. During the Warcross championships, Emika comes up with an idea to hack the games and take a power-up in order to gamble and make it into money. What she doesn’t know is that when she hacks into the game, the game glitches and she is automatically thrown into the game to be seen by everyone. LITERALLY EVERYONE IN THE WORLD. In an instant, Emika Chen becomes an overnight sensation and her life changes in an instant. Emika Chen is worried about getting another arrest due to her hacking the Warcross Championships but what she doesn’t know is that Hideo has other plans for her, he flies her off to Tokyo and the rest is for you to read.


I am not new to Marie Lu, one of my favorite series happens to be Legend and if you’ve read Legend, then you’re in for a nice surprise with this one. Marie Lu has created such a detailed rich world in Warcross, she transported me from my own life to Warcross. She isn’t complicated with her words, Marie Lu knows how to explain everything smoothly and still have you imagining a vivid world. She draws you in with her plot, characters, and setting. I was addicted to this book and couldn’t stop reading it. Marie Lu is an amazing writing.


I loved every single character. We meet a wide range of characters filled with diversity and I am so happy that Marie Lu made this organic, as it should be. It never felt forced and I wanted to hug ALMOST (some I couldn’t stand) all of these characters lol. We first meet Emika Chen, our Chinese American MC with rainbow hair. Who is this amazing kickass chick from the boogie down ayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! (aka the bronx for those who don’t understand NYC lingo lol). Emika has been through a lot in life and Marie Lu definitely tells us how she got to where she is, her story was very heartwarming. We also meet Hideo Tanaka, the Japanese billionaire who created Warcross and everything that comes with the NueroLink. I feel like his character was a little trope-y lol (if that’s a word), if you like the “guy who has a shitload of money but has tons of secrets” trope, then you are going to love Hideo.

We also meet TONS of side characters that I really enjoyed and look forward to maybe reading more in the next books to come *fingers crossed*. We have from the Warcross Championships: Asher, Hamilton, Roshami, and Ren. I enjoyed all these characters and how flushed out they were. Marie Lu definitely gave us great insight to them.


I LOVED THIS BOOK AND I NEED THE OTHER BOOK RIGHT NOW BECAUSE HOW IS THAT MARIE LU IS GOING TO DO THIS TO ME WITH THAT ENDING?!?!?!?!? *THROWS A TANTRUM AND DOESN’T CARE WHO’S WATCHING*. This book was just utterly amazing. A lot of people compare this to Ready Player One, I tried reading that book and couldn’t get into it so if you are like me, then I would say to still give this one a shot because it’s amazing and vastly different. I loved the way she gave us enough information on the characters but it never felt like info-dump. Marie Lu always gave a smooth transition (in my opinion).

I really cannot wait to see what Marie Lu does with the rest of the series and how it ties into some of my theories. If you read Legend, then you’ll know what I’m talking about lol. I remember staying up for a few hours researching connections. You can still read Warcross without reading Legend though.

Marie Lu is definitely an auto-fave for me and now I need to marathon The Young Elites trilogy for sure. I definitely recommend Warcross!


have you read Warcross or anticipate it?? or any Marie Lu book at all? let’s chat in the comments! i would love to know your thoughts!

Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @chicnerdreads

39 thoughts on “Warcross by Marie Lu ARC Non-Spoiler Review

  1. Yikes. What a glitch! Did Emika swear lol. I would love for this virtual reality global gaming thing to become a reality. And if you can make a heck of a lot of money doing it. Imagine that. Thank you supervisor guy. I quit! Enjoyed reading your review very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TWIN! I skimmed through this review because I feel like such a failure for not having read the Legend trilogy smh lol! I can feel your excitement though & just how much you enjoyed everything about this world & it’s characters, very infectious! You already know, I now have the trilogy and will binge it before starting Warcross thanks to your tip on those easter eggs 😉

    P.S. I’m totally coming back to your review once I’ve read the books & then calling you for a full out fan girl convo lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emika from the boogie downnnn lol i loveeeee it , this review was awsome the book was beyonnnnd amazing . Marie lu never seems to fail me the characters were amazing and the theories oh man the theories i can sit up alll night reasearching can we pleaseeee get the next book ty very much. Glad you enjoyed it . I’ll just sit here now, waiting for you to read the young elites lol . Keep up the great work !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wasn’t super excited about this book until everyone started talking about it. I’m glad you really liked it though, so it gives me another reason to check it out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had to skim this review because I haven’t read Warcross yet, probably not surprising given it’s not been released. It sounds amazing though, and the fact that you clearly love it so much means I can’t wait to get my hands on it as well. I’ve read Marie Lu’s Legend series, and want to try and get around to The Young Elites books soon as well but not sure how likely that is with the backlog of ARCs I need to get through. Either way Warcross is going to be a book I grab the second it’s released! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh this is a non spoiler review but that’s okay!!! i really hope you like this one but you’ll definitely be in for a nice surprise once you read warcross. ugh this one was so great. marie lu just doesn’t disappoint at all. i definitely need to read the young elites as well. i would love to marathon it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I did see that in your review, but this is a book I want to go into blind, to the point where I haven’t done more than skim the blurb. 🙂
        I’m so excited to get around to it, and I hope you enjoy The Young Elites, I’m guessing that’s a series we’ll both love though given it’s by Marie Lu! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. These are books I definitely want to read soon, I have yet to read one of hers, I know what? But, I’ve been hearing so many good things about this one and her previous’ series, really want to check them out. Hopefully soon, my TBR list is overflowing right now lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so so much!!! Ugh I am a theory aficionado lol. I theorize everything a little too much haha. I really hope you like Marie Lu’s book, they are amazing and just so worth your time. PLEASE READ THEM!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely review!! Oh my goodness, I am soooooo excited for this book, like you don’t even know. MARIE LU IS AMAZING, AND I KNOW THIS STORY WILL BE TOO. You got me at “Chinese American MC with rainbow hair” :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have yet to read The Young Elites but I am definitely going to marathon them, and I’m happy I am! I noticed Marie Lu loves to leave us hanging with her endings and I cannot deal with it lol. I am super excited to get to them though. I went through so much hell to get that ARC at BookCon, I never want to experience that type of hell again lmao. Thank you ❤


  8. I am super excited to read this book– I’ve never read anything by Marie Lu, but I saw her live stream reading the first chapter of Warcross on FB and I fell in love. Like you mentioned, I appreciate her simple writing style. And I could tell that just from the first chapter being read to me! I don’t like to read series until they are complete, so I’ll have to check out Legend or The Young Elites first, then.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Gretchen! Well thought out, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jackie!! I have yet to read The Young Elites as well, I am excited to get to them. I really hope you like both Legend and The Young Elites. I completely understand wanting to read series when they are done. Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. […] Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu A 5 star and all of the above read!!!! This futuristic YA Sci-Fi novel will set you in a technological advanced world where you get to live in a virtual reality and still live in the real world. This book was definitely a favorite read for 2017. I cannot wait to read the next books!! The title of this book will lead you to my rave review. […]


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