Author: Marie Lu
Published: September 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young adult, science fiction
How I got the book: I bought it
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.
If I remember correctly, this book was recommended to me by Nthato long before the book was released. It intrigued me and I put it on my Goodreads wish eventually forgetting about it. But I saw it in the bookstore the other day and I immediately remembered the book because of the cover. So I grabbed it. And I have to say, I haven’t read a book this fast in a while, it was that good.
Emika Chen is an 18-year-old bounty hunter. She is also an excellent hacker and certainly knows her way around computers and technology. So, when she accidentally hacks into one of the biggest virtual reality games, Warcross, during a live match, she assumes she’s in big trouble.
However, Hideo Tanaka, the 21-year-old creator of Warcross, offers her a job instead.
Emi is hired as a bounty hunter to go undercover in the games and hack into it to find and catch another hacker, only known as Zero. Between her skills and Hideo’s, they work together to catch the unknown man… or woman.
Books about hacking into video games are not uncommon. However, this plot was woven so intricately that it really made it its own. There’s hacking, there’s video game playing, there’s romance (eh), there’s humor, there are dangerous moments… it’s a roller coaster.
While I did figure out who Zero was fairly easily before Zero’s real identity was revealed, there was a twist at the end that I certainly didn’t see coming. And it was the best twist I’ve ever seen in a book.
But I’ll stop talking about the plot now. I could talk about it all day and I know I’ll spoil something…
I found all the characters to be likable in some way or another. Emi was a great protagonist and had a humorous personality. I could relate to her a lot.
Hideo was a great character as well. However, he was just okay for me. He was nice, smart, polite, but I don’t know. Something was off for me, but I did still enjoy him as a character. And I think he was the perfect fit to play the “21-year-old genius.”
The side characters, such as Emi’s Warcross team, Asher, Ren, Roshan, and Hammie, were cool as well. They each had their own unique personalities and contributed in one way or another. It showed their friendship with one another and they each had one goal in mind – to win Warcross. Still, they considered Emi a friend and was willing to help her own in any way they could.
Then there’s Keira. And here’s my only complaint about this book. Keira was Emi’s roommate back in New York, when they were poor and about to get evicted, before Emi accidentally hacked into the game. Once Emi is hired, she flies to Tokyo leaving Keira behind. She’s never heard from again.
I know she was a minor character, but I did like her, and I would assume that she would at least text Emi to see how things were going. Especially since Emi was blasted all over the news a couple of times. There seemed close enough friends that I was hoping they’d keep in touch. If Keira really wasn’t needed, she shouldn’t have been in the book at all.
The book is written in Emi’s first-person point of view. We see everything she sees and knows everything she knows, especially her thoughts. She had a humorous personality which definitely made her a fun character to follow around. It made the narration easier to read.
There was a lot of description in this book mostly of the Warcross game and overall world and all the technology that came with it. It was interesting and it honestly makes me wonder if we’re going to have something similar to that in real life at some point. It reminded me of VR Super Smash Brothers.
But it wasn’t just a came. It was a way people communicated with each other as well. It was very well done.
Can you tell I liked the book? I could gush about it all day if you’d let me. It was well written with a twisty plot and fun characters. I’m looking forward to book two.
Warcross by Marie Lu gets…
5 out of 5 stars
“Death has a terrible habit of cutting straight through every careful line you’ve drawn between your present and your future.” –Marie Lu, Warcross
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