Series : Warcross #1
Publisher : Penguin Random House
Genre : Young Adult | Science Fiction
Page Count: 416
Synopsis : 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 players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. 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 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. (From Goodreads)
I received an eArc of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review
Okay but… how am I expected to write a coherent review after the emotional rollercoaster this book put me through. It’s been almost two weeks since I read it and I still don’t have coherent thoughts, all I can think is I NEED ANSWERS, GIVE ME SECOND BOOK and READ THIS ASAP while virtually throwing the book at people. Joke aside, Warcross was the most exciting, well-built and well constructed YA science fiction book I’ve ever read and it instantly became a new favorite. I can’t get over how much I loved it.
The writing is striking and beautiful, which was to be expected from Marie Lu, but it still blew me away (like everyting else in this book to be honest). It’s very detailed and yet very clear, it leaves no room for confusion. Warcross is also written from Emika’s POV exclusively and that works so well, her voice shines through and since I loved her right away, that made falling in love with the novel that much easier. There are also some flashback parts that allow to have a well-rounded sense of who Emika is and how she became the way she is.
The world-building is FANTASTIC. The story isn’t set too far into the future so it’s a mix between the familiar and the new which makes very easy to immerse completely in the world, and it also makes every new element easy to grasp. Every bit was so well thought out and explained that none of it ever felt out of place or awkward, even the technology’s works was given an explanation and not just thrown out there for the reader to figure out or accept just like that, which my sciencey brain really appreciated.
Now the plot. It blew my freaking mind. IT IS SO BRILLIANTLY CRAFTED, I CAN’T. So many twists and turns, some I predicted, some I did not see coming but my heart was pounding its way out of my chest through it all, this book make me feel emotions across the whole freaking board, fear, happiness, giddiness, heartbreak, and it even managed to make me laugh with all the tension build-up.
The game is so thrilling, it’s been a long time since a book sucked me in so completely from the early pages and this did that. It raised questions and was mysterious enough to keep me interested and reading but not too much that it became frustrating and every question raised is answer later on. I was just completely taken by surprise by how much everything is vivid, the events were so easy to picture and get invested in. Even when fights are happening and things are happening fast it wasn’t hard at all to keep track of it all.
The characters are incredible, I loved every single one of them, even the ones I hated. Emika Chen is the main character, she’s chinese-american and I loved her even before I knew why I did. She’s just one of those characters that get a hold of your heart right away. She’s strong willed, tough, hates injustice and is incredibly smart, seeing her mind work and connect clues was so fascinating, I think that was my favorite part of it.
I adored Hideo, her japanese love interest. He’s so serious and professional all the time that every smile of his feels like a victory. He’s a broody nerd but once he becomes more comfortable, he’s so soft, caring and gentle. I love him so much and he must be protected at all cost. His relationship with his parents was so endearing, his love for them was very obvious. I ship Emika and Hideo like nobody’s business, seriously, i hadn’t shipped a couple like this for a long time, once they broke the ice, their banter was so cute, teasy and effortless and their texts were seriously everything. A plus is that the romance doesn’t overtake the plot, it’s very settle and subtle.
My two favorite side characters are Hammie and Roshan. Hammie is so smart and sneaky like the thief that she is (in the game), she also cares about Emika and takes her under her wing. Roshan is so sweet and protective of his team and his friends, he’s passionate and takes things at heart. Then there’s the other members of the team, Asher, the captain whom I really liked because of his drive and dedication, and Ren that I hate with passion because of how cocky and insufferable he is.
DO YOU KNOW HOW THIS BOOK ENDED? DO YOU? DO YOU? THEN HOW ARE YOU OKAY? I am falling apart thinking of how long I need to wait for the sequel *cries*. I have so many questions and so many theories as to how things might go and I just need confirmation or if not that and I’m completely wrong, JUST ANSWERS.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Warcross? If so, what did you think?
Who was your favorite character? Which role would you play in a Warcross team?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.