I received this book for free from Won in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Putnam Books for Young Readers on September 12th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
Marie Lu has got to be one of my favorite authors! She dominates in every world and genre she tackles and never fails to deliver well-rounded stories from start to finish. I’m so very happy to say that Warcross was another amazing book to add to my favorites!
I have to admit I was slightly nervous heading in, something that easily dissipated early on. Sometimes science fiction and the technology within can get a little confusing and go over my head. Warcross has some super cool yet scary technology going on, yes, but I was easily able to pick it up and get sucked into the world. Basically, a device was invented that allows the wearer of NeuroLink glasses to slip a virtual world on top of reality. You basically have a computer directly connected to your brain. You can change the setting around you to look like you are somewhere completely else, from a famous city to something more fantastical. You can even store memories to replay or share as you wish, something I found particularly fascinating. This invention led to the creation of Warcross, an immensely popular virtual reality game allowing players to battle against each other in crazy game world simulations with the purpose of capturing the other team’s Artifact before they can catch yours. This story follows Emika who is a little down on her luck and desperate for money to survive. She is a brilliant hacker and uses her skills to hunt down criminals. In an act of desperation, she hacks into the Opening Ceremony Game of the Warcross annual tournament. When it all goes wrong she finds her life turned upside down as she is whisked away to Tokyo by the creator, Hideo, to not only join the Warcross tournament but to also secretly hunt down Zero, an unknown person who is trying to interfere in the games with a deadly objective.
Everything about this plot was exciting – the games, the virtual world, the real world, the characters. Emika is very driven, pushing herself even in the wake of danger, especially to help those she cares about. She’s sort of badass with the technology and in real life as well. A romance brews with Hideo and I found it incredibly swoony. The secondary characters aren’t super prominent as Emika is the type to do things on her own, but the pieces of them we do get left me intrigued with hope of learning more in the next book. And the ending! Of course Marie Lu would throw the plot in a tailspin leaving me with so many questions and dying to get them answered! Honestly, the entire book was filled with excitement and it flowed at a great pace. It left me thinking about technology and where we could be heading in the future and if ours will look anything like this. It seems plausible, and that’s what makes it so cool and scary! Warcross was so much more than I expected and definitely one to pick up!