Marie strikes again. My heart is bleeding. I am in agony. Why did I do this to myself…
I love this book to BITS. This was a REREAD and it felt like I’d read it for the first time ughhh Marie Lu you sly, sly writing queen.
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 Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. 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.
So it’s been nearly a year since I read and died from this book and I figured I might as well review it too while I was at it. The highly anticipated sequel Wildcard is coming super soon at the end of this month (yes. I’ll be waiting by the door for my pre-order to arrive cause I had to get the matching hardcover cause book size inconsistencies make me go crazy). Therefore I thought I’d better reread it cause I couldn’t remember all the details except for the general plot and the shock twist
that had me sobbing on the floor of my bedroom. For this review, let’s do categories! Don’t get annoyed if this is vague because all my reviews are non-spoiler unless said otherwise (very rarely though).
Writing & World Building
The thing I love about all of Marie’s books is that her writing is just so freaking easy to read. It’s like drinking a nice glass of cold water after roasting in the sun. It’s refreshing and twice as relaxing as any other fantasy sci-fi books I’ve read before. She manages to somehow fit in the best world building that is so immersive and complex and believable. I mean, if this wouldn’t make a kick-arse fantasy sci-fi book to movie adaptation with two Asian leads I don’t know what will.
We’re introduced into this world similar to ours but changed drastically by one aspect. Warcross. The game that came with the revolutionary technology invented by a young man called Hideo, which ultimately changes everything about how we interact, we relax and we spend our time in this world. Please ignore my old sunglasses in the photo above, I don’t have a pair of Neurolink glasses to make it believable but how Marie explains how the science works, honestly, can someone make that now or not? At least work on it right…? Science fiction can lead to reality people! Anyway, the complexity of how Marie manages to show the full capabilities and societal changes Warcross made for humans is astounding.
This book is so ridiculously fast paced too which is always amazing and SO action packed. The scenes are written so well, imagining them is a breeze and at many times I was literally on the edge of my
seat bed. I want to play Warcross myself so bad, this book actually got me in the mood to download freaking Steam and look into getting back into serious gaming since my Nintendo DS addiction days.
I really really hope there’s a movie. Can Netflix make it too? They do movies so well.
Characters & Plot
We meet Emika Chen, the protagonist and a tough rainbow-haired, tattooed, hacker chick trying to get by with a painful past and a criminal record that stops her from achieving her dreams. Until her unfortunate glitch drops her into a totally different lavish lifestyle with a job, it’s bounty price and the sexy creator love interest she could’ve only dreamed. I love her character so much. She’s so relatable and so morally good and honest. Despite being just that, the way she’s portrayed doesn’t scream out CHOSEN ONE like many other books do which gives her character the best sort of ingenuity.
Hideo was such a great complex character and honestly gave another meaning to the “tall, rich and brooding in the corner” stereotype in YA. I ship him and Emika so hard, it hurts. The romance was so well written, flirty to serious and intense and just so CUTE. Although he’s rich and she was hella poor (Marie. You’ve been watching K-dramas haven’t you?) the romance was so cute and omg the best way to write this trope ever.
Other side characters were so well written and incorporated too. Marie always includes the best diversity and it was crystal clear in this novel as well. She described and introduced them just enough that you’d almost want to read more about them all to get the inside scoop. Roshan was personally my favourite because, for some reason, I could hear his British accent so clearly whenever he spoke in the book – way more than Hideo in fact. The tension between Tremaine and Roshan, can we get a spin-off??? We want the whole story, Marie! Asher was also an awesome character and a great leader.
This whole story was just so well woven together like the cosiest knitted scarf in winter and I love it. Everything about it was amazing and it seriously left me wanting more. There are so many questions that need to be answered and I can’t even deal with that horror twist ending that bRoKe me. This was a favourite last year and is still a favourite now. Marie never lets us down. I am now left with even more excitement for the highly anticipated sequel to come out this month.
Have you read Warcross? What did you think? How many baskets of apples would you pay for a copy of Wildcard?
Until next time,