Author: Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 353 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Source: Personal collection
Recommended for fans of: Ready Player One, video games
Content Warnings: assassination attempts, bombing/explosion
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 Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. 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.
Such a fun video game-inspired book! This gave me similar vibes to Ready Player One (one of my favorite books), but with actually well-written female characters. Despite the similarities, this was still so creative and original.
I loved that the main character, Emika, is a hacker and bounty hunter with questionable morals. I loved Emika’s Warcross teammates. I loved Emika and Hideo’s romance. I loved the abundant moral grayness all around. I loved all the twists!
I enjoyed the mystery, but I thought that Zero’s identity was easy to predict. Even so, I am excited to learn more about him, his goals, and his backstory in book 2, and I’m looking forward to further exploring this world!