Author: Marie Lu
Publication date: September 12, 2018
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 was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. I actually almost didn’t even read it, because sci-fi is not a genre I read…like, ever. I also haven’t been hugely interested in Marie Lu’s books in general like the rest of the book community. However, when I saw ARCs of WILDCARD going around and making the hype machine buzz, I was tempted to request it, so I decided to give WARCROSS a try, and…I am SO glad I did! This book quickly became an unexpected favorite of the year, so today I’m going to share some of my thoughts about it.
- I loved Emika. Emika Chen is a super badass warrior woman and she’s just really cool. I was intrigued by her instantly, though I couldn’t relate to any part of her personal story. I thought her relationship with her father was so well portrayed, and liked how Lu showed the good and bad sides of it with her father’s gambling.
- The writing was great. I think what ultimately won me over in this story was Marie Lu’s writing. It was very addictive and even in the beginning when I was still a bit unsure about it, I couldn’t stop reading because I enjoyed her writing so much. The hard and smart voice she gave Emika made me want more of this story, even though I wasn’t certain I’d like it at first.
- The world building was amazing. I wasn’t sure that I would understand what was going on world-wise because I’m not huge into sci-fi, but Marie Lu depicted the world of Warcross perfectly. It was so unlike anything I’ve read, and everything about the world of the story was incredibly vivid.
- I could have done without the romance. On the one hand, I shipped the romance. On the other, I really could have done without it. It wasn’t a big part of the story. There wasn’t enough build up, so it felt kind of sudden, and then it was only part of the story for a short amount of time. I’m still a Hideo fan, but I think the romance either needed to be more of a focus or not be part of the story at all. WARCROSS is a book that could stand without a romance, so honestly I kind of wish it just wasn’t part of it.
- I wanted more of the Warcross team. I really wanted to get to know the other Warcross players on Emi’s team better, but it seems like we’ll be getting more of that in book 2. So I guess I don’t need to say too much about that here.
Though I had a couple qualms about it, overall WARCROSS is still a 4-4.5 star read for me. I ended up really liking it, and it far exceeded my expectations. I’m definitely looking forward to reading my ARC of WILDCARD during ARC August, and hope it lives up to my now-very-high expectations!