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.
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.
I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 Stars
In 2011, Marie Lu captured my heart with June and Day. The Legend trilogy became an instant favorite of mine – with two inherently good characters that I couldn’t help but fall in love with. Then, in 2014, she took that same heart and broke it with Adelina’s story. The Young Elites trilogy was a darker one, told through the eyes of a villain whom I couldn’t bring myself to hate. Now, in 2017, Marie Lu has taken my breath away with Warcross. It is unequivocally her best work to date. Somehow, Lu has managed to combine the goodness and lightness of the characters from Legend and the darkness of Adelina in The Young Elites to form a set of characters who leave me happy, sad, and confused all at once.
Emika is down on her luck hacker who, in a bold move, manages to catch the attention of her idol, Hideo. I was enamored of her from chapter one. Though she is great at something that is usually frowned upon in society (hacking), she has a strict set of morals and is just a good person. She reminds me a lot of June in that way – stuck in a tough situation and making do however she can. Admittedly, Emika is a bit more sassy than June – something that just made me like her that much more. I do love a sarcastic lead.
Additionally, the secondary characters, though not quite as focused on, interested me. There are hinted at relationships that I am anxious to explore moving forward, and team dynamics that brought a smile to my face on more than one occasion.
The immersive world Lu created is rich, colorful and wonderfully imaginative. Her virtual reality landscapes transported me, and made me feel like I was wearing my own pair of NeuroLink glasses. Everything from the modernized versions of current cities to the Warcross arenas and levels captivated me.
Best of all, about halfway through the book, I was SURE I knew who the enemy was. I convinced myself I had the rest of the book figured out. Then, out of nowhere, Lu managed to wipe the smug smirk right off of my overly confident blogger face – surprising me with a twist that I never saw coming. Guys, I almost always see the twists coming (when you average 3-4 books a week, you learn to spot them). Though I was able to predict one rather large bit of plot, the direction of the series caught me completely off guard.
Those of you who are as excited as I have been for this release have, I’m sure, been reading every review you can get your hands on. I’ve seen a fair amount of reviewers comment that this series is aimed towards a younger YA audience. I must politely disagree. Warcross ticked off all of my 28 year old boxes – action, adventure, unexpected villains, romance, and stomach dropping twists.
My Takeaway: Another of my most anticipated reads of 2017 did not disappoint! I genuinely believe that this is Marie Lu’s best work and will wait with baited breath for the next book in the Warcross series. I only hope that Lu doesn’t keep me waiting for too long. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have the sudden urge to dye my hair rainbow colors…