Title: Warcross

Author: Marie Lu

Series: Warcross, #1

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: September 14th 2017


Five Stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. Needing 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 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. 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.

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.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Some people still say that Warcross is just a stupid game. Others say it’s a revolution. But for me and millions of others, it’s the only foolproof way to forget our troubles…Tonight, I can join in with everyone else, put on my glasses, and watch magic happen.”

Despite the problems she faces in the real world – the eviction notice pinned to her front door, the loss of her bounty to another hunter – Emika can still escape into the virtual reality world of Warcross. In a bid to make some quick cash and pay off the rent on her apartment at least Emi risks hacking into the International Warcross Championships from the shadows of the audience, only to glitch herself into the middle of the spotlight.

The beginning of Warcross throws you right into the middle of the world, it shines a light on Emi’s way of life and what the technology she sees as everyday can really do. Emi is an incredible hacker, and the thrill of hacking the Warcross Championships is one she can’t resist, especially when she knows it will solve all her problems if she can pull it off.

“Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.”

Overnight Emi becomes an internet sensation, everyone knows her name, and she soon finds herself on a private jet to Tokyo where, instead of being prosecuted for hacking the international Championships like she assumes, Emi is offered a job. There is someone else hacking into Warcross, and unlike Emi this hacker has more than making some quick cash on his mind. As Emi tries to balance her cover as a Wild Card in the Championships with her job of hunting down Zero she soon finds she may have agreed to more than she bargained for when she accepted Hideo’s job offer.

Warcross was one of my highly anticipated releases after I read and loved Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy. I was hooked as I followed Emi attempting to track down Zero, as she entered the Dark World and as she picked apart the lives of her fellow team members. There were secrets everywhere but Emi was adapt at carefully revealing them with her hacks. While there were a few twists I saw coming there was one reveal at the end which completely shocked me and made me so excited for the second book in the series.

…The Characters

“Everyone has a different way of escaping the dark stillness of their mind. This, I learned, was mine.”

Emi has never had it easy. Ever since her father died she’s been on her own, and as a hacker and bounty hunter she’s not used to working as part of a team. As one of the Phoenix Rider’s Wild Card picks Emi needs to do her best to keep them in the Championships so she can continue to track down Zero, but unlike the rest of the Warcross players she comes up against Emi has not had unlimited time to practise and perfect the game.

I really loved the dynamic Emi had with her Warcross team. Emi is someone who plays her cards close to her chest, and not knowing which Warcross players are working with Zero means she can’t fully open up to her team, but she needs to trust someone. Asher, Hammie and Roshan all have their own reasons for playing Warcross, for them it is much more than just a game and they are determined to win.

“They believe that objects have souls. The more love you put into one, the more beautiful it becomes.”

Hideo created a world when he created Warcross, and with it being threatened he’s desperate to find Zero and stop him before he does any damage. After all it’s not just Warcross that will suffer but the people playing it. Like Emi, Hideo is a very private character with a lot going on that he never shows to the world. He’s Emi’s hero, after her dad died it was Hideo’s story about how he created Warcross and the NeuroLink glasses that set Emi on the path to becoming the hacker she is now.

“It is hard to describe loss to someone who has never experienced it, impossible to explain all the ways it changes you. But for those who have, not a single word is needed.”

The relationship between Hideo and Emi was really sweet. Both characters were slow to open up to one another; when they first meet Emi is suspicious and Hideo is closed off which makes Emi defensive. The more time they spend with one another, as Emi reports on her process tracking down Zero, the more they open up to one another; Hideo shares his past, and he trusts Emi’s opinions and thoughts in a way he doesn’t with many people. Both characters have a lot of loss in their last, and with the secret of Zero and the danger to Warcross connecting them they can relate to each other in a way others can’t.

…The Setting

“Imagine wandering through the most realistic virtual Paris ever, or lounging in a full simulation of Hawaii’s beaches. Imagine flying through a fantasy world of dragons and elves. Anything.”

What I loved the most about Warcross was the concept behind the setting. The idea of a virtual reality world like the kind Hideo made possible is one I want in real life; the idea of international Championships created for virtual games like Warcross, the idea of black markets opening up like the Dark World, the idea of how technology can advance in so many different ways and open up so many different avenues of possibility, not all of them good. Marie Lu developed the world incredibly well in this book, and despite all the technological explanations behind hacking and Hideo’s inventions I never once felt lost the way I can sometimes when it comes to sci-fi books. The second Emi put on her NeuroLink glasses I was fully immersed in the world of Warcross.

I never saw the ending for this book coming, but I almost feel like I should have known Marie Lu had something epic up her sleeve for Warcross. After all her Legend Trilogy is one of my favourite dystopian series and I’m not normally a fan of the dystopian genre. I loved Warcross, and now the second book in the series is a highly anticipated release of mine.

What did you think of Warcross? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.


33 thoughts on “Warcross

  1. I have heard so many amazing things about this book and I’m glad to see that you loved it as well! 😀 Warcross is a book that I definitely plan on reading and hopefully some time soon! I actually plan on getting my hands on that book the next time I go book shopping. 🙂 I have already read Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy and loved it, it’s definitely one of my favourite dystopian – so I have a feeling that I will enjoy this book as well. Especially since the synopsis sounds amazing!
    Great review Beth! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a pretty amazing book so I’m sure all the things you’ve heard about it are true. 🙂 I’m also sure you’ll love Warcross when you get around to it Anna.
      The Legend trilogy is the only series by Marie Lu I’ve read as well, other than this book of course, but now I want to try and get around to The Young Elites series ASAP. I’m sure it’ll be even more amazing.
      Thanks so much Anna. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely want to read The Young Elites as well! Especially since I have heard that most of the characters in that book are morally grey and I tend to adore those. 😀 Plus it’s Marie Lu, so it’s bound to be fast paced and action packed!
        No worries! ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read any Marie Lu but I really feel like I should, especially after this wonderful review!
    Her world building sounds extraordinary and I really like the virtual reality concept. I also feel like I’ll really enjoy Emi and Hideo’s relationship a ton.
    I hope you love book two just as much once it comes out, if not more! The waiting is the worst, though 😫

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’d definitely recommend her books Sophie, granted I haven’t read all of her releases (I still need to get around to The Young Elites books) but what I have read is incredible.
      The world building was amazing in Warcross, and so was everything really. Yeah the wait is going to be terrible, but I know it will be worth it when I have book two in my hands. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a glowing review of Marie Lu’s latest novel! I’m glad to hear it turned out to be so awesome for you, Beth. Everything sounds so colourful and creative too! Hopefully book 2 will continue to be so successful for you. Maybe go into a darker direction, maybe? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many good things floating around about this book, and from what I’ve read they’re all well deserved. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it.
      Oh thanks so much Sarah. I’ll be sure to check out your post (I’m on hiatus at the moment so it will likely be when I’m back home and have a more reliable wi-fi connection than the one I’m quickly using now!) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Warcross is honestly one of my favorites of the year!! Marie writes in a style that I LOVE, and she includes so much diversity and so many twists that you can’t help but fall in love with the book!! That ending definitely messed with my head, and I am DYING in wait for the next book.

    I’m not sure how I feel about Hideo now that the book is over, especially relationship-wise with Emi. And god I LOVE the setting in this book — it truly is wonderfully developed and I just want to live in it forever!!

    Great review, Beth! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s going to end up being one of my favourite reads of the year too, for sure! 🙂 Exactly, there were so many incredible characters, and the fast paced plot that had me hooked when it came to the Legend trilogy was just as present in Warcross. 😀
      God that ending was insane. I didn’t see a lot of it coming and now I need the next book so so badly!
      Hideo I’m a little conflicted about as well, I don’t see how he and Emi are going to come out of this relationship-wise but maybe there’s a way. We never know until we read it for ourselves. 🙂
      The setting was incredible, I’d live in there as well.
      Thanks so much May! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohh Beth, I’m so, SO HAPPY to hear you enjoyed this book so much! As you know it already, I loved it. I really liked the world, the characters, and it was such a fast-paced and crazy adventure filled with twists and surprises, I loved it. I can’t WAIT for the sequel, especially after that crazy reveal at the end. I’m still not over it ahahah.
    Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I thought it was incredible, then again I expected nothing less from Marie Lu. 🙂 The world building was incredible, and yeah so were the characters. I loved Emi so much, it was really easy to root for her throughout.
      Oh that ending was insane wasn’t it? I saw one of the twists coming but the other I had no idea and was so so shocked! I’m not over that ending either, but god it was a perfect ending wasn’t it? Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I never like to read too much about a book I’m excited to read, but I am so happy to see that you liked it! Also WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THE NAKED UK HARDCOVER?!?! had to mention this because it is LITERALLY A RAINBOW.
    This book is sitting in my BD cart right now and I’m fighting with myself about whether to hit ‘buy’ hahaha because there are also 3 other books in there I want and I have no self control…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m the same, when it comes to books I can’t wait for I try and avoid all mentions of them, 🙂 But yeah this one was amazing, and yes I LOVE the naked UK hardcover. It’s gorgeous especially considering I wasn’t too keen on the cover in the first place, but wow when I had in my hands I realised how gorgeous it was in person you know?
      Do it, hit buy! I have no self control when it comes to books so come and join me on the darkside! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One of my favorite books of the year! Wow I really loved this one and I am so happy that you did too! The twist and turns, the characters, the inclusion of diversity, the world, the setting, the writing. EVERYTHING was just great. I seriously cannot wait for the second book, especially with how things ended. OMG!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s probably one of my favourite books of the year as well, it was that amazing. 😀 There was so much to love about this, and granted I’ve only read Warcross and Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy but her writing just gets better and better doesn’t it?
      Oh same here, I need to know what happens next. I’m sure it will be better than Warcross and I’m even more sure the ending will leave us desperate for the third book to be released. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SAME HERE!!! This book definitely made me want to pick up The Young Elites cause I need all of Marie Lu’s writing lol. I definitely agree that she will have us wanting the third book desperately.

        Liked by 1 person

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