Review: Warcross by Marie Lu
I cannot believe it had taken me so long to read Warcross! I knew that I would enjoy reading this book - I mean c'mon, it's Marie Lu, but this book kept me on the edge of my seat, frantically flipping the pages the entire time. Because Warcross is the first book in the series, it's too early to say where this series will rank compared to Marie Lu's Legend trilogy and Young Elites trilogy, but I need the next book like right now!
This book takes place in a world where a virtual reality game called Warcross has taken the entire world by storm. It has come to the point where this game has surpassed being just a game; it has become more of a way of life. Warcross follows a young bounty hunter and hacker named Emika Chen, who is strapped for cash and is looking for a quick way to make money. But when she accidentally hacks herself into the opening ceremonies of the International Warcross Championships, she becomes an overnight gaming sensation and is tasked to investigate a security problem that threatens the world of Warcross. But more has been going on than she initially suspected.
Starting with my non-spoiler-y thoughts, it's safe to say that I LOVED this book. As I mentioned earlier, this book had me engaged and on the edge of my seat. I will say that it was a bit slow in the beginning as we're setting the stage for the main conflict of the story, but once I had gotten over this hump I couldn't put it down. I loved the setting because it's sci-fi but you could see that our world could realistically become this world. The virtual reality was well incorporated into reality more seamlessly than other books that attempted something similar such as Otherworld by Jason Segal and Kirstin Miller, which to me had felt more disjointed.
The protagonist, Emika kind of reminds me of Felicity from the CW's Arrow because she's a badass hacker and a wiz with computers. She puts up a front where she is suspicious of everyone and doesn't trust others, however, she has this need to trust someone or build a relationship with someone because she has been without her father for so long, who was almost like her entire world. Emika is intelligent, resourceful and flawed, which I think makes her a great protagonist and makes me very excited to see where her story goes next.
Overall I gave Warcross 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
That's all for my spoiler-free thoughts, but I do have a few spoiler-y things I want to talk about. So if you've read the book, let's chat! If not, you've been warned and please come back after you've read it. Bye people who haven't read the book!
Hi there, people who have read the book! (If you haven't, you were warned earlier. If you are spoiled, it is not my fault.) As I mentioned above, I loved this book and I'm highly anticipating the next book already. Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty details.
I was loving every single moment between Emika hacking herself into the Warcross Championship and when she met Hideo in Tokyo. Up until this point, we had only seen the potential of Warcross and the extent of the virtual reality technology in this world through Emika's hacked, out of date visor and that's it. But when she gets on Hideo's jet, goes to Japan and is given new technologies (like those contact lenses!), we get this new layer of how Warcross is integrated into the lives of everyone. In Tokyo, you would get points for going to different places or doing certain task, which was super cool.
Fast forward to Emika entering the Warcross Draft to spy on other contestants for Hideo to try and stop Zero. So by being in the draft, we know that she's going to end up on a team, but she ends up being the FIRST draft pick. I probably shouldn't be that surprised by this, but because she was only around level 24, surely they would've gone for one of the level 80s that were there. But no - Asher went for Emika! It definitely made her the one to watch more than she already was.
Pretty soon after this, Emika starts suspecting her teammate, DJ Ren to either be Zero or to be in with Zero. Ren being a suspect so early was a bit surprising to me. I thought it would take longer for Emika to have a suspect because there are so many teams in the championship, so it felt a bit easy that he was on her team. That being said, this had got me thinking: Could it have been easy on purpose? Maybe Zero already knew what Hideo and Emika were up to and wanted Emika to be on his tail so that he could convince her to join him instead of helping Hideo?
I loved all of Emika's other teammates, especially when she was finally honest with them and they were helping her prevent Zero's virus during the final game.
Also speaking of conspiracies, that twist with Hideo at the end! The morality of Hideo's plan to be able to control everyone through Warcross's neurolink in order to prevent crime is kind of grey. It's an appealing idea to be able to prevent crime by convincing people not to commit a crime in the first place using mind control because this would essentially wipe out crime in one swoop. However, I agree with Emika in that it takes away free will that is fundamentally human and takes technology too far.
Ever since the brother character was introduced, I had a feeling that Sasuke was Zero. This feeling turned into certainty when Hideo shows Emika that his brother had been taken from a park when they were young. Also is the younger brother being named Sasuke a nod to Naruto? Is Hideo secretly Itachi because he's doing something not necessarily morally right "for his brother"? I don't know, maybe I'm crazy but I see parallels (However, I also haven't read/watched all of Naruto).
That's all for my thoughts on Warcross by Marie Lu! Let me know what your favourite part of this book was and until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome.