“Warcross” (Warcross #1) by: Marie Lu

Emika Chen, our main character with rainbow colored hair, is pretty badass. She is a hacker who got in trouble a few years back and was “banned” from tech…but that didn’t stop her. She works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game “Warcross” illegally. Warcross is basically a virtual reality game that people are obsessed with.

Emika hacks into the system during a not-so-great-time-to-do-that and instead of getting arrested, is whisked away to Tokyo by the mastermind (Hideo) behind the game, and invited to smoke out “Zero” the person who is basically messing up the game.

Hideo has some secret past stuff that gets revealed and the other characters are fleshed out a little bit, but not enough for me overall.

The story was fun and I liked that with the ending I am excited for the conclusion book to come out next year (this is a duology).

I can understand why the romance between Hideo and Emika could be the OTP for some, but for me? Their romance fell a little flat. I think I am so over the “He is rich, she is poor, they are destined” trope in general.

Let’s move to the writing. Some solid ideas and quotes here. I loved the little robot character that came around a delivered noms. So cute. The oh-my-god-I-wanna-scream YA sentence of death was used (more than once!) of “She let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding” NO!!!!!!!!

So, even though I enjoyed this, I can’t with good conscience give it a five star rating. Four solid yeah I can do that. The story was intriguing and I liked the gaming aspect. I do wish maybe more of the game could have been fleshed out a little because a lot of saying was happening without really showing.

My overall thoughts:
Solid story.
Has its flaws.
I enjoyed it.

This was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year, but it certainly wasn’t one of my best reads of the year. It entertained me though and so with that I would say it did its job.

I will seek out the second to finish out the series. It pulled me out of book a.d.d. and for that, I am super happy!

 

Goodreads 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.

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