No spoilers in this rapid review of Warcross. I give it 4.75 stars. I LOVED it! It’s an immediate addition to my favorites list! Marie Lu’s Goodreads profile says she was an art director at a video game company before she began writing, and this helps explain the genius behind her creation. She has experience in this area, and she capitalized on it in a BIG way! In her straightforward yet engaging prose, Lu built a world and characters I won’t soon forget.
The story is about Emika Chen, a young woman who has suffered several traumatic events in her life. These lead her down an unexpected path: She uses her hacking skills to earn a living as a virtual bounty hunter. But she’s in a rut and needing some quick cash. Emika decides to capitalize on a glitch she’s noticed in Warcross, a virtual reality video game that has taken the world by storm. She hacks her way into a global Warcross event in hopes of quietly stealing enough to pay her rent and accidentally ends up in the main game sequence. Suddenly she’s recognized around the globe. Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross, soon contacts her. He wants to make use of her hacking skills, and his offer is hard to refuse.
Why do I love this book so much? Let me count the ways:
- Nothing pulls me along faster than a set of circumstances I can’t decipher, and Lu hinted at many mysteries I was dying to figure out. All my theories ended up being wrong, by the way. 😉
- I had some fangirl moments about several things Emika experiences as she’s pulled from her ordinary life into an exciting one most people can only dream of.
- I got major Hunger Games vibes in a few scenes. It was fun to have flashbacks to my joy when I initially read one of my favorite series!
- I was immersed in a high-tech world with many cool features. All of them would’ve sounded like science fiction a few years ago, but several could easily make an appearance in the real world someday soon.
Basically, Marie Lu appealed to many things I adore as a reader. She also tackled a few tough issues. Lu touched on how people react to tragic circumstances in their life and how it shapes who they are. She alluded to social commentary on our current reliance on technology and our absorption in unreality. This definitely gave me pause. And finally, she presented a very interesting moral dilemma. Lu seamlessly mingled these heavier topics with the fun and mysterious elements of the story.
And then that ending! I cannot stop thinking about this book. I’ve already re-read parts of it twice: the final few chapters as well as a few other key scenes a bit earlier on. I caught more the second and third times around. And I could easily pick this book back up for a full re-read immediately. It’s just that good.
What else can I say? Believe the hype! Warcross is an excellent book for many reasons, and I definitely recommend it! I cannot wait to read the next installment. With the brilliant way Lu crafted this book, I shouldn’t be worried about book 2. But I just can’t imagine how everything’s going to be resolved. How can this come together in a logical manner? Do the questions posed in the final chapter contain clues about things I’m dying to know? How can the situation ever really be okay? While I have no idea how she’s going to do it, I have faith Marie Lu can and will conclude this series with a book just as amazing as Warcross.
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