Monday, July 30, 2018

Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Book: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #1
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
Release: September 17th, 2017
Pages: 353

When a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths. 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. When Emika hacks into the game illegally, she's convinced she'll be arrested, and 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. 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.

I will admit, I was a bit wary of reading another book about virtual realities. BUT this is Marie Lu, and Marie Lu is awesome. Unlike other virtual reality books, there is less of a geeky aspect to it, and more badass coding, hacking, and bounty hunting vibes. Which made this awesome.

The concept of virtual reality isn't a new one. But I thoroughly enjoyed how Lu took this familiar idea and made it fresh with the idea of the main character, Emika, as a bounty hunter trying to catch someone outside the game by working within the game itself. Included are daring hacking abilities and associating with in-game black markets with very real and dangerous real-life consequences (all of your data and personal identity being exposed for anyone to take, etc.). 

I really liked Emika as the main character! She was just so present. Didn't let her backstory affect her actions, didn't dwell on what happened to her, just used it to increase her drive forward and be a better person. So what, she has a criminal record? She was doing the right thing and would do it again. So what, her schemes had some unexpected bumps in it? Work around it, keep going, and don't lose sight of what's important.

Every locked door has a key.

Hideo (Hi-day-oh) was an interesting offset to Emika's character. Not quite the depth I wanted from him, but there's a good reason for keeping him so cloistered in the novel itself. His backstory is one of both brilliance and pain, and he has a good heart. It kind of proves that multi-billionaires can be good people and care about the safety of their users, rather than just being completely engrossed in the profit sign. But that being said, he isn't without some forms of rather...interesting thinking about the world and it's operations.

And the sudden major overall plot reveal? Did. Not. See. That. Coming. At all! You thought the stakes were high, that lives were on the line? Try again. It's much more sinister, much more scary of a topic. This book continuously built up in subtle changes from a normal, harmless virtual reality to a much more concerning and topic with ethical questions and implications. Such is the nature of a mastermind like Lu, of course ;)

Also, you have to be practically blind to not notice Daniel Wing's mention--as in Day Wing, from Lu's Legend series. Or, more specifically, how Asher is Day's younger brother, aka EDEN. It's Eden!!! Though in a different world, of course, as Day's middle name is Batu rather than Altan. But that's beside the point--this book is a different world, a world that literally is a globalized version of Legend's Antartica (Antartica had a similar virtual reality concept to govern its people. I guess the author loved the moral issues so much she wrote one based on it!). So! Cool!

All in all, a spectacular book. I do wish Zero had a bit more depth to him, but I suppose that will be better revealed in the next book (also, I totally called his identity!!!). I'm curious to know what will become of Hideo, and whether he will ascend or descend. And I'm super pumped to see Emika working in a team! If the final bit was any indication, it's going to be awesome!

Happy reading!


  1. I've been wanting to read this for a while now! Your review just pushed it way up my TBR! Thanks!

  2. Glad you enjoyed this! I didn't love it, but I agree about Emika. She was amazing :)