Series: Warcross #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons (9.12.2017)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Source: I own it
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.
“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.”
For once, a book that lives up to its hype! I was on the fence about this one, because a) honestly the cover is awful (but it is growing on me), b) I tend to be the black sheep on super hyped books, and c) Marie Lu’s books are hit or miss for me (Legend was great but the finale fell short, Young Elites was amazing but I didn’t like the second book at all). But I really enjoyed this one!! It has a very similar feel to Ready Player One, without the 80’s pop culture. Honestly, it’s kind of like a modern day, gender-bent version of Ready Player One.
I loved Emika. She’s a very relatable character – in the beginning she’s struggling to pay her bills and barely keeping her head above water. I think we can all relate to that, amirite? Scoring a job with the biggest industry for multiple zeroes is a dream come true. Oh and P.S. not only is she Asian (yay for diverse books!! I haven’t found enough sci-fi/fantasy books with Asian protags! Hint: So if you have any please recommend *waggles eyebrows*) but SHE HAS RAINBOW HAIR. Winning.
I will say that I was never really fully invested in Emika and Hideo’s relationship. He was built up too much to the point that he seemed untouchable, thus a relationship with a street rat seemed rather unbelievable to me – too good to be true, I guess. *shrugs*
My favorite part of this book was definitely Warcross itself! I love the idea of virtual realities (although it IS a bit scary – have you ever seen Surrogates?!) and this one was epic! The premise was definitely the selling point of this book.
How about that crazy twist at the end?! I was starting to wonder a bit but never really thought too much into it. I’m very interested to see where Marie takes the story in book two!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5