Title: Warcross (#1)
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!