book review

Review – Warcross by Marie Lu

Title: Warcross

Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date:  12th September 2018

Format: Hardback

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Page Count: 353

Summary: “For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. 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 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. 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.” (Source: Goodreads)

Content Warnings: grief, gun usage, injury detail, intimate scenes, manipulation

Rating:  ★★★★★  (5 stars) 

Spoilers in this review? No

I’ve never been so hooked on a book from the beginning than I have with Warcross. Warcross could have been 1,000 pages long and I still would have been hooked.

The concept behind Lu’s novel is just fantastic – I’m a sucker for slightly dystopian sci-fi. I am a massive fan of Black Mirror-esque sci-fi, and Warcross is quite similar in its premise to some Black Mirror episodes. In the same vein as Black Mirror, Warcross is a reality that is very much in the near-future, I believe anyway. I think that’s what hooked me? I hope Warcross is made into a movie or a TV series as I’m fascinated about how it all works!!!

Anyway, enough talking about film/tv adaptations and Black Mirror, onto the novel! 

Warcross is one of the most well-written novels that I’ve read in a while. Lu crafts their near-futuristic world well, so well that I wish that the novel was a bit longer so I could find out more about the augmented reality (AR hereafter) gaming. I don’t like long exposition or descriptions in some books, but extra chapters on the minor characters and the AR would have been fascinating! 

Emika Chen, Warcross’ protagonist, is intriguing from the get-go. First of all, she has rainbow hair?! (Hence the rainbow quote image above!) Secondly, Emika is do-er and gets shit done even if it’s not the most conventional way of doing them, e.g. hacking herself into the official Warcross games. (Emika is definitely a chaotic good) The most important aspect of Emika is that she is a rounded character, not a typical bland YA heroine. I can’t wait to see more of her in Wildcard. 

The plot kept me on my toes, and the stakes just kept rising?! I struggled to put this book down, to be honest. AND THE PLOT TWIST!? EXCUSE THE HECK OUT OF ME. I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil it. JUST READ IT. 

Until next time, be brave and bookish!

That’s all for now.

-MJ

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