Wow. Where do I even begin? Marie Lu solidified her place as one of my auto-buy authors when I finished Champion. (Yes, I read The Young Elites trilogy first.) So when I first heard about Warcross, I did a little happy dance–happiness for my favorite author releasing another book and that it would definitely make my gamer girl heart very happy.
It didn’t disappoint.
Title: Warcross (Warcross #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 12, 2017
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Length: 368 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “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.”
I am living for the sequel! Warcross has snatched a spot as one of my top favorite books published in 2017! Emika Chen is a fantastic main character. She’s smart but she’s also vulnerable. She struggles letting people inside, but when she does, I don’t think she regrets it (okay, maybe once, but I can’t say anything about this because of spoilers). I’m such a sucker for backstory, so Emika and Hideo’s tugged at my heartstrings. I admired Hideo’s dedication and determination to have accomplished so much at a young age.
Truthfully, I’m not even sure I can form coherent words for how amazing and mind-blowing this book is. I was not prepared for the ending. It didn’t end on a cliffhanger (sort of!), but I’m still left wanting. How can this only be a duology? Will Warcross 2 be double the size of this book? I have so many questions!
I will say this book took a turn I did not expect. I was rooting for a handful of characters, but when it didn’t happen, and there was that darn plot twist, I felt my emotions take a turn for the worst! How can Marie play with my emotions like that?! lol But seriously. Marie is at the top of her game with Warcross, and I couldn’t be more excited. I love how easy it was for me to step into Emika’s New York City and Hideo Tanaka’s Tokyo. Tokyo seems so enchanting, and the fact that Warcross is basically a virtual reality game, what else could my gamer girl heart want?
I think the most fun for me was being able to relate to a lot of the game experiences. Granted, I’ve never been the person to watch international championships (I’m definitely more a casual player), but Marie interwove well-known games and scenarios into this book. I could easily pick out references (that Leeroy character), and found myself wanting to go back to play Mario Kart. 😉
I’m definitely excited to see how the other characters will play a role in the next book. It seems like the first time, Emika has a group of people she can depend on, and it’ll be interesting to see how this’ll play out for all of them, including her.