Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

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.


Young Adult, Science Fiction


368 pages


First Novel in a Series


September 12th, 2o17




Barnes and Noble

Book Depository


Author Website


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.


There’s a quote on the back of the hardcover from Amie Kaufman that says that this is the best book from Marie Lu yet and I feel like that line completely nails the book. I have been reading Marie Lu since I picked up Legend over four years ago because a friend recommended it to me. I have always thought she was a fantastic writer and she proves it once again with this novel.

I was hooked from page one, and that’s not a lie. It immediately felt like a mix of The Hunger Games meets World of Warcraft and Overwatch. It’s our world but not. It’s both incredibly familiar and so different. It reminded me a little bit of Ready Player One but I liked this one even more than I liked RPO, and I super loved RPO.

The one thing I always admire from Marie is her ability to write diverse books without making it feel like its forced. It just works and I appreciate that from the beginning. She also has this ability to write such dynamic characters. I immediately loved Emika but I also adored Ash and Hammie and the rest of them. She makes each character seem so real and when the characters are real, the rest of the story falls so into place.

What I love is how it feels like a mix of the things I mentioned above but it stands on its own. I get Hunger Game vibes in the crazy game world that Emika is brought into. The teams and the parties and the fans, it feels like the capitol in Panem except, you know, there aren’t a bunch of children going to die. Its captivating to have this huge, virtual game that people play all over the world, that they live in and that it becomes the life for many people. I love that the players get famous and have fans, its like it is now kind of with YouTube and Twitch. But I love how you see the characters deeper than that; this character uses this to pay her rent, some use it to support their family, some use it to escape what the reality they face. It’s so freakin’ interesting and I can understand why people would be immediately in love with Warcross and what its capable of. It’s so much more than the game.

But besides the game, I love the relationship between Emika and her teammates, Emika and Hideo, Emika and the world. Its sort of her against the world, even when it seems like she’s working with others and her wit and intelligence and determination to take care of herself and get the job done for Hideo is amazing. She’s a total badass, fighting in the international championships in this game, getting better at it in order to blend in and get her team further along, but also hacking into others’ accounts and trying to sniff out a pretty legit hacker.

I can’t wait for the next book. I honestly did not predict the ending that happened and I can’t wait to see more coming. I did have an inkling to who Zero, aka the hacker, was and I was right about that but the motives and everything that unfolds at the end was a complete surprise to me and damn, Marie Lu does that to me. I can’t wait to get to the new book because I’m guessing that there are a lot more surprises and action in store.



5 out of 5 Stars

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