Warcross by Marie Lu
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.
THIS BOOK THIS BOOK THIS BOOK THIS BOOK.
I can tell you honestly what I thought before I started this book: pretty side cover; I’m buying this because it’s signed; I’m intrigued by the Marie Lu hype (I’m looking at you, Rendz); but there is no way that this will be anything beyond a three to four star. DEAR GOSH, WOW, I WAS WRONG. I’m now ready for the Marie Lu spiral because this book was wonderful.
Where do I even begin? This book made a non-gamer interested in gaming. I kept sitting there going, I really wouldn’t be so captivated when they get into the game world; I can’t relate; etc. However, Lu takes the concept of gaming and changes it on its head. This world was lush, fascinating, complex, and thrilling. There are books that the moment you read them, you know they will make a good movie. This book is made for movies. The world was captivating and each detail created a whole new landscape in my mind. For the most part, I tend to skim quite a bit of descriptions, but I read all of them that I could.
Lu has a wonderful writing style as well. It is so easy to read, and I pretty much did this book in two sittings. She has a way of sucking her reader in and making them need to know what was coming next. Her plot developing skills were excellent. There are quite a few twists and turns in this story, and I only managed to figure out one – and one I had no clue that was coming, so I have to give major props to Lu. I’m definitely ready to get my Lu jam on now, because I have to believe all of her books are most likely as magical as this one.
The characters were great as well. Again, I doubted this book’s ability to have me remember all of the names of the other games, but I still remember five plus days later most all of the names of the group and even super minor characters. My favorite character was definitely Emika. She was strong, brave, and smart – seriously smart. I really connected with her, and I forever will be rooting for her. She’s definitely become one of my favorite characters in the YA game right now. And the father-daughter relationship? AMAZINGLY DONE. *so much screaming*
The only issue that I had was that I felt a little bit of disconnect from it. This was a captivating novel with fantastic characterization, writing, and plot, but for some odd reason, I can’t say that it is a favorite. I’m not even sure why. But it’s such a high five crowns. This book is definitely well deserving of the hype, and I can’t wait to explore Lu’s work further. I can see why she is one of the queens of YA, and this book is a fine example of it. Five crowns and a Tiana rating (but can we just have a visit from Pocahontas because I’m pretty sure all the colors of the wind painted Emika’s hair?)