Sci-Fi, Young Adult

[Review] Warcross by Marie Lu


Warcross by Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Oct 12, 2017)
Series: Warcross #1


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 received a copy of Warcross for review from Penguin Random House USA International.

Rating: 4/5


Let me begin this review by mentioning that Warcross was probably the most hyped book of 2017 ever since ARCs were produced and bloggers started receiving them.

I don’t doubt that there’s a reason why people loved Warcross and how that build up the hype surrounding Marie Lu’s upcoming book. But we know that the thing about the hype is that with it, came the expectations for the book to deliver.

“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.”

Okay, I have to admit that I didn’t really love The Young Elites series—though I’ve only read the first books—but I just couldn’t find myself enjoying the books as much as I wanted to.

Therefore, I went into Warcross with low expectations. And I am glad that I did because as much as I enjoy a good sci-fi fantasy novel like the next person, I have to sadly admit that aside from the great world-building, it was quite predictable in terms of its plot.

There’s always the good and bad so let’s discuss what I enjoyed most in Warcross. I know this might come as a surprise to people but I actually dig the cover. It’s cute and it caught my eye the moment Marie Lu shared it on Twitter.

“Everyone has a different way of escaping the dark stillness of their mind.”

I liked the premise of Warcross, especially when it reminded me of Ready Player One. I don’t know if I can get away with making that reference since I’ve not read Ready Player One, but I should and I will. So, calm your little rambutans.

The thing about Marie Lu is, she’s an exceptional writer. I just love her writing style and it’s incredible that she can write with such versatility.

I enjoyed the world Warcross was set in and it was wonderful, reading about futuristic New York City and Tokyo! I just wished that Marie Lu had explored more and expanded the universe, especially in terms of the world’s technological advancements. I mean, come on, it’s a sci-fi book!

The characters in Warcross were a thrill. I did find myself laughing and being genuinely amused by their dialogues and banter, especially among Emika’s teammates. And I really liked Emika!

Emika was quite a feisty and interesting heroine because I liked her spunky attitude and how she’s determined to succeed on her own. Then there’s Hideo. I swear to God. YA books need more brooding, Mr Darcy-esque male characters like him. I liked that throughout the book, he maintained an air of mystery around him.

Now, let’s talk about the plot which I thought was quite simplistic and undeveloped because based on the blurb, I was expecting way more depth.

Maybe a few subplots? Because I really liked the other characters and I felt like she could have expanded more on them. I don’t mean that what went down in Warcross wasn’t entertaining, but I was obviously expecting more Warcross matches and conflict!

“Zooming in on it only makes it blurrier.” 

And forgive me for being a bitter lemon but come on, I smelt that supposed plot revelation ages away. Like, dude. Sure, it was quite nice to have that revelation at the end of the book to stir possible drama and a potential love triangle in the next book. But I was quite shook by the other plot twist. I mean, Marie Lu, you sneaky genius!

The lack of a solid plot probably influenced my enjoyment of the book, hence, I am sad to admit that though Warcross was a fun, entertaining read, I wouldn’t consider it as a solid first book in a duology. When I finished reading, I felt like something was missing from the book.

Granted, I am expecting more answers and explanations in the next book because I felt like there’s more to it than meets the eye. Warcross had its moments and the characters’ backstories and the story behind the creation of Warcross was interesting and finding out Zero’s motive in destroying the game did keep me intrigued throughout the entire book.

All in all, Warcross was a quick, fun read for me and I do look forward to finding out what happens in the sequel. I do hope Marie Lu decides to step things up and infuse as much action as possible because she is one of those rare authors in YA who could do action scenes like a boss. And please, Marie. I know you’re going to try to create some tension between Emika, Hideo and Zero, but please, can Emika have Zero so I could have Hideo?


4 thoughts on “[Review] Warcross by Marie Lu”

  1. Love your review, Kevin! I’m glad you ended up enjoying Warcross – I really liked it just as well, it was very entertaining and I loved the ending – did not see it coming, which makes me even more impatient to get to the sequel :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with you, I really like the cover. I have Warcross sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, now I feel motivated to pick it up, thanx :)

    Liked by 1 person

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