Title: Warcross (Warcross #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Son’s Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2017
Page Count: 368 (Hardcover)
Age Recommendation: 13
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. ~ Goodreads
With a world as exciting and eyecatching as its cover, it’s hard not to get sucked into Warcross. Warcross is set in the future, where virtual reality has become a part of every day life. It was all started by a young, attractive man named Hideo. Despite virtual reality playing such an immense role in society, there only seems to be one virtual reality company–Warcross. (Where the title comes from. Clever, right?) Our main character, Emi, is a young bounty hunter. She tracks down people who gamble on the dark web and turns them into the police. Speaking of money, she’s a bit low on that and is about to be evicted from her appartment. In a desperate attempt to get some mula to pay off her debts, she hacks into the opening world Warcross games. She is then put into the games to try and stop a hacker who is doing some suspicious things. What could happen?
I really enjoyed Warcross. It was basically like reading about modern times, but with more magic and adventure thrown in. I don’t read many books about the future, but I think I might now seeing how much I enjoyed this one. It is basically an action and adventure book, with magic and fighting all set in a virtual reality. It is honestly exhilarating reading about the coding and sketchy places and worlds that Emi comes across. The author does a wonderful job of showing just how much virtual reality influences everyday life, instead of just telling. (i.e. Your Warcross level determining your wealth and popularity. Warcross is intertwined with everything.
While I did enjoy Warcross, I felt that the author lacked strength in the character developement. Emi was basically the same person from the beginning of the book to the end. I liked her, but she literally didn’t change, or learn anything at all. There was Romeo and Juliet worthy insta-lust that had me groaning all the way through. There were so many missed opportunities to develope or strengthen other, more interesting characters, but they were completely brushed off to focus on the two most predictable characters of the series.
I also have to point out that the two biggest plot twists of the book I predicted halfway through the book. That NEVER happens! I am usually as clueless as a lost puppy when it comes to plot twists. But no, it came as no surprise when the identity of Zero was revealed and when (spoiler) happened. The fact that the characters had weak relationships and poor development in general also made the shock even less impressive.
All in all, a flashy, if not reaching its full potential kind of book.
Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.
It is hard to describe loss to someone who has never experienced it, impossible to explain all the ways it changes you. But for those who have, not a single word is needed.
Zooming in on it only makes it blurrier.