Friday, December 8, 2017

Warcross by Marie Lu Review

Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Warcross, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

Warcross was chosen as the November book for one of the library book clubs that I go to, and I’m not gonna lie; I was stoked when I received the news. I’d already had it in my stack earlier in the month, but I hadn’t been able to finish it before I had to take it back. When I was told about it, I ordered it the night that I got home from the September meeting. I put it on the top of my stack the weekend before book club, so I’d have ample time to read it. First of all: the cover! It’s so pretty and futuristic-looking! Marie Lu is one of my favorite authors; she captured my heart with The Young Elites series, and so now, I’ll pretty much read anything that she writes. (Cue Hopelessly Devoted to You!) Warcross is a series opener, a science fiction debut that explores themes such as the meshing of technology with real life, the true meaning of family, free will, and what it really means to be independent and how to stand on your own two feet.
Emika Chen is someone who has lived on the outskirts her whole life; ever since her father’s untimely death from cancer, she has become a scavenger, an outsider looking in. Never mind that she is a genius hacker and gamer. Desperate for cash and on the verge of being evicted from her apartment, she hacks into a game of Warcross; think of something like Warcraft and Minecraft mixed together and you’ve got something close to it, only it takes place in virtual reality—literally. When she is caught, the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka, demands an audience. Expecting the worst kind of retribution, Tanaka offers her just the opposite: a job, all expenses and debts paid off, and the only catch is that Emika catch the mysterious fellow hacker that is determined to derail the international Warcross Championships. But the deeper that Emika digs, the more she realizes that everyone has something to hide, and some secrets are worth killing for…

This book was a great series opener, and I really enjoyed it! It was a fun, colorful and unexpected departure from her usual dystopian futures and fantasy. The writing was beautiful, sharp, and descriptive, and the pacing was breakneck; I was glued to the pages and finished the book within two days. But even more than that, I was totally seduced by the futuristic Tokyo that Emika lives in, full of color, excitement, and next generation technology. And the way that games were incorporated into the book was really fun and exciting! And Hideo Tanaka! Oh my gosh, the romance between the two of them was heart-melting and had me fanning myself! I also really enjoyed the other characters, particularly Emika’s competitors.  The added mystery of Zero, deep inside of the dark net, just added another great layer to the book. And that ending! Oh my God, Marie Lu, how could you do that to me?! I can’t possibly wait another year for the sequel! The bottom line: A slick, futuristic series opener, Warcross captivated my mind and stole my heart, and I can’t wait for the next book! Next on deck: Odd and True by Cat Winters!

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