I received this book for free from Penguin Random House, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Warcross by Marie Lu
on September 12th 2017
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Fiction, General, Love & Romance, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Source: Penguin Random House, Publisher
Amazon // The Book Depository
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.
Warcross is a mashup of all my favorite!! things!!
i was hesitant on Warcross before i began. mostly for three reasons: 1) i’m tired of reading dystopian novels and i’m not a huge fan of sci-fi. but against all odds, i loved the setting of Warcross (more on that later). 2) i had overly high expectations for The Young Elites – thanks to my love for Legend – and was kinda disappointed. i didn’t even finish the final book of that trilogy (yet?). 3) i’m going to sounds like such a snob, but i wasn’t… a fan of… the cover??? i didn’t think it was that bad at first, but the more i stared at it, the more i wanted to rip the cover off. no offense. however, it’s starting to grow on me. just a bit. JUST A BIT.
ANYWAY, my expectations were low but i decided to read it because i still consider marie lu as one of my favorite authors. and MAN THIS BOOK WAS SO. GOOD. in a teeny tiny way, there were elements that reminded me of Legend; i was reminded why i love Marie Lu’s writing so much in the first place (no offense to The Young Elites!! i love you too but not as much as Legend). Warcross was a combination of the best things: futuristic technology, competitive games, eccentric characters, rich/poor romance, and MARIO KART OMG. there were so many parts of the game that reminded me of Mario Kart; my seven-year-old-self died.
one of my favorite aspects was – surprisingly – the dystopian part. i guess it shouldn’t reaaaally surprise me; dystopian used to be my favorite genre but i got tired of it thanks to its repetitive tropes and unrealistic ideas. but one reason i loved Legend is that of how insanely possible that future may be. the same could be said for Warcross. it follows a world that becomes obsessed with a virtual reality device and the game linked to it. the way Lu shapes the world makes me believe THIS IS US IN TEN YEARS. maybe even less.
now let’s talk about these characters. i really enjoyed reading from Emika’s perspective because she’s SO SMART. (another reason why i loved Legend’s June!!) there’s something wonderful about reading from a character so clever, you can’t predict what they’d do. *cough Kaz Brekker cough* Hadeyo, on the other hand, makes me feel CONFLICTED UGHHH. View Spoiler »regarding the “big twist” on his betrayal, i kinda saw it coming. like, Marie Lu is NORTORIUS on pulling shit like this so i should’ve known (the world wasn’t wide enough for my OTP to b e a t p e a c e.) i disagree with whatever Hideyo is doing but i can see where he’s coming from and when i think about his past or whatever i just want to weep. #protectmyCHILD also i realized i have a thing for anti-heroes. i should’ve realized this three years ago but whatever we’re here now. « Hide Spoiler
one thing i want to point out is that i found parts of the plot predictable. i don’t know if it’s because i’m becoming a “better” reader and pick up on foreshadowing/other signs quicker or if it’s the writing. but even though i predicted it, that doesn’t mean i didn’t feel the PAIN and EMOTION – i did – so i forgive it.
in conclusion, Warcross is amazing. if you haven’t read anything by Marie Lu, read Warcross (and the rest of her books); if you’ve read TYE, read Warcross; if you’ve read Legend, READ WARCROSS. i love it so much i spent hours making a mood board and have 0 regrets.