Warcross by Marie Lu

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Warcross is the ingenious first book in Marie Lu’s latest duology. Marie Lu is one of my absolute favourite authors ever and she did not disappoint with Warcross. Her background working in the video game industry as a Flash artist really shined through in the storyline for this novel. I fell in love with this book the moment I heard what it was about. But when I opened the book and started reading? It swallowed me whole, heart and soul.

For fans of Marie Lu who have read the Legend series, you might actually be somewhat familiar already with this ‘world’, where everything is a game. It’s not actually a new world per say. It’s set in the world we live in, but it’s very futuristic when it comes to technology. I think that’s one of the greatest appeals of this book; it’s a generation that might come to pass, if the constant evolution of newer and better technology is anything to go by.

I can tell you right now that by the end of the book, you’ll find yourself starting to realize just to what extent technology can actually be harmful. It’ll make you question your use of it and anticipate what our world could look like if the world in which Warcross has ‘taken over’ were a reality. It fills you with awe and terror, all at the same time.

I can’t even begin to explain how blown away I am with the whole idea for this book. All the carefully weaved plot twists and the surely complex structural map for how everything would work. Marie Lu came up with a whole video game that lives can revolve around, brought it to life, and threw in characters to run the show who storm right into your heart and start a war there.

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Especially the main character, Emika Chen, and obviously, Hideo Tanaka. Emika is one hell of a fierce female character, keeping readers engaged throughout the book. And if Hideo isn’t the most alluring character ever, then I don’t know who is. He’s very different from all the leading male roles we normally see. He’s mysterious and closed off. Forget about keeping your cards close to your chest, Hideo keeps his hidden out of sight. His character turned the whole story around at the end with only a few words.

The biggest plot twist takes place at the end of the book. Well, there’s two, actually. One right after the other, just in case the first didn’t knock you off your feet efficiently enough. They leave you breathless in your shock, unable to process anything.

For me, it felt like I’d simply gone numb and was unable to process anything further. I was not expecting the book to end the way it did. It made my heart squeeze painfully because I wanted so badly to demand someone to rewrite it so that I didn’t feel so dead at the end, but I knew it had to end that way. As I said, the book will swallow you whole, heart and soul. That’s a given.

But it is definitely worth it. Because despite all that, I’m ready to dive head-first into the next book, Wildcard. Although, I’ve got to admit that I am a bit terrified of what might be to come. Marie Lu’s books always make me cry at least once before a series is over. I’m sure this duology is no exception. So… let the games continue.

 

Blurb:

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 away 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. 

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.  

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