Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu
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From Amazon:

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 Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. 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.


The characters

It’s quite strange that I don’t recognise anything in the character of Emika, but I do connect with her character very early on. I’m invested in her story and her relationships.
She’s comparable to the likes of Katnis, Tris and even Ready Player One’s Wade. However, I feel as if boiling Emika down to this does her a disservice. She’s head strong, independent and modest; she is someone you will route for. She is a likeable character who charms her way into your heart in that first chapter.

Then there’s Hideo, the Billionaire creator of Warcross. He’s part mysterious, part icon of power and a whole lot of charm, for the right person. He’s a beautifully flawed character who I fell for very quickly. I am looking forward to seeing this character develop in the sequel.

The narrative sees Emika interact with many other characters and it’s amazing how her gut instinct about them shines through. It really does influence my own opinion of them, mainly because of my trust in her.

The plot

The plot is rich in world building; both in and out of Warcross. It takes time to breath and allow you to become familiar with the environment. Emika is hired to find a rebel force within the virtual world; and the novel explores the effort to find the culprit and the conspiracy that unravels as a result.
There are some questions left unanswered by Warcross’ closing chapter, but there are enough reveals to leave you feeling satisfied.


The writing was clean and pacey; so much that I devoured Warcross in much the same way that I did with Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.

New phrases used to describe new elements and technology within this world are well integrated and utilised without exposition to the point that you are not lost in this world or left feeling patronised.

It is a book where the action reads like it’s being played out on a silver screen; a talent that will forever be comparable to the work of my beloved Michael Crichton. It welcomes you in and leaves you begging for the sequel.

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