Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: Warcross

Title: Warcoss (Warcross #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Young Adult | SciFi 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Format: ARC
Source: ALA

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 (goodreads).

Warcross was fast-paced but never pulled me into the story. 
Plot: Warcross was a decidedly unique book as it married the real-world with an addictive video game. It reminded me of the Hunger Games, except without all of the child death. As a hacker, Emika gained the attention of the most eligible bachelor in the world who just so happened to offer her 10 million dollars to help his team track and stop a hacker from doing damage to the Warcross system. Warcross was action-oriented, in just 350 pages, it packed a mighty punch; however, I am a character-driven reader and had trouble caring about what was happening since I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters. This, of course, is just me. If you're a reader who prefers more action over dialogue then this is right up your alley! The ending was also delightfully surprising. 

Characters: Warcoss is told from Emika's perspective and I thought that while we had a good introduction to Emi and her past, there was still so much left unsaid about her character. I hope that she will be explored more in the sequels, because Emika was the character I was most interested in, and I walked in wanting to know more. 

What I liked about Warcross was that everyone was a suspect so I was suspicious of everyone, but Emika was able to pinpoint her suspects almost immediately which took out the fun of being on edge in a new environment. There was also a romance that, for lack of a better word, was forced. I didn't feel the swoons or the natural progression of the romance so I found myself rolling my eyes at their interactions.

Worldbuilding: The world of Warcross was cool and Lu explained how all the VR technology worked surprisingly clearly - I was shocked by how easily I grasped it. I loved the idea of being able to live in a virtual world 24/7 and even seeing how futuristic-Tokyo took the technology to the next level. I was also happy with the amount of diversity found and how interconnected all of the characters were, despite coming from different countries and speaking different languages.  

Short N Sweet: Warcross takes creativity to the next level, unfortunately, I needed more character-involvement to keep me invested. 


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