warcross – marie lu | review

Warcross by Marie Lu
Series: Warcross
Published September 12th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult, science fiction, fantasy

rating: ★★★★.5


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.


for gaming-centric books, i tend to watch the tv show/movie adaptation instead of reading them since i find it more comprehensive through visuals than words (eg. i watched the ready player one movie & have no plans to read the book). i had put off reading warcross for ages because of this reason. buuuuuut, marie lu blew my mind with warcross. the vr game felt like the anime, sword art online. warcross is a multiplayer game where five team members tries to get the other team’s artefact (aka capture the flag). everyone in the team has a specific role–the thief, architect, captain, shielder, and fighter. i want to see game live, so badly.

marie lu captured my attention immediately. because of what emika is tasked to do and the nature of the game, i don’t know who i could trust. are the people genuine in befriending emika or are they working for zero? what’s his or her plan? there are many mysterious characters in warcross especially dj ren, hideo tanaka and asher. emika’s sharp, smart and brilliant. she thinks out of the box and quickly when she meets an obstacle. emika is a flexible thinker and a fast learner. all good qualities to be a professional warcross player.

“Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.”

another thing i love about warcross is the vibrant setting. tokyo is a bustling city, with the vr filter on top, it augments the colors, sounds and people. marie lu did a fantastic job in bringing that across with her writing. there’s no confusing gaming jargons that i have to google and that made reading even more enjoyable. i loved everything about warcross including the underground dark city that emika visits once in a while. things are getting more complicated and i’m HERE FOR IT.

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