I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting to be a fan of Marie Lu‘s Warcross. The book was hyped across all of the YA communities, and I’ve been finding that books that get too much hype don’t live up to my expectations. I am so glad I was proven wrong. In fact, Warcross was one of my favorite books of 2017.
I was also worried because I saw comparisons between Warcross and Ready Player One and Fifty Shades of Grey. Unlike Ready Player One, Warcross isn’t nostalgia-obsessed hipster fodder. The only similarity is that parts of the story take place in a video game. The Fifty Shades comparison is even weaker. The male love interest is rich and the female heroine is not. That’s where the comparisons end, so don’t let those things scare you away.
Warcross follows the story of Emiko Chen, a Japanese-American teen that accidentally hacks her way into the world championships of the biggest virtual reality game in the world. Impressed by her skills, the creator of the game, Hideo Tanaka, hires her to find out who is trying to hack the game and ruin the championship.
Emiko is a snarky, rainbow-haired, tattooed bounty hunter that does everything she can to stay one step ahead of her creditors and starvation. On her own since her father died several years before the story starts, Emiko Is used to being on her own and trusts no one. It is great to watch her grow into having friends and finding love, and, most of all, discovering new parts of herself.
The book is full of friendship, diversity, exciting games and amazing worldbuilding. It immediately sucked me in and often had me up way past my bedtime reading. The only downside is that it takes a while to really get into the virtual reality aspect of the world, which is a shame since that is what so much of the plot builds on. Also, it is very obvious a romance would happen, but the feelings between them were very abrupt. These are minor things that shouldn’t get too in the way of enjoying the book.
Warning: the book ends on a cliffhanger, but the sequel is supposed to be released later this year.
All in all, I would recommend Warcross to anyone who loves video games, hacking, and mysteries surrounding conspiracies. I know I am looking forward to the sequel. In the meantime, I will catch up on Marie Lu’s other series.