Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Warcross by Marie Lu: Book Review

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.


I immediately fell in love with this book from the moment I realised three things:

  1. It has the same concept of using virtual reality gaming as the anime, Sword Art Online, and I ironically started to binge watch the series the same week that I started Warcross.
  2. Emika is Chinese/American and Hideo is Japanese/British - we need more of this diversity! (And books set in Japan because UGH I LOVE JAPAN!)
  3. She is a bounty hunter and hacker who knows her way around Warcross because Hideo Tanaka inspired her to find the greatness in life after her father passed away.

Emika Chen is the new female lead that everyone should aspire to be like. She is a badass teenager who can hack into Warcross like you would simply log in to Facebook, she goes on bounty hunts for extra cash (though her success rate isn't the best), and she sports rainbow coloured hair with creative tattoos and rides an electric skateboard around the streets of New York.

The whole idea of the story is that Emika manages to spot a super rare power-up in the Warcross championship game and decides to try and grab it without anyone noticing so that she might be able to sell it and pay her landlord back the money she and her roommate, Keira, owe him. Instead of being super stealthy, she accidentally glitches herself into the game and soon after that ends up being hired by Hideo Tanaka himself to try and stop the hacker, Zero, from trying to ultimately take down the technology that is a world wide phenomenon.


The futuristic world of Warcross is super cool and every page just grips you until you find yourself half way through in under a few hours of reading. Emika is the type of girl that knows how to stand up for others when they are being bullied and go to all lengths to save the people she cares about. She doesn't just go with the flow or let people control her - I wish I was as strong of a person as her! I also wish I had her hair and tattoos but those can come later (now I'm currently deciding whether I should cosplay Emika next year at Armageddon).

Somehow I didn't end up forfeiting the review - I just had to do my best to let the world know of my new obsession!

The reason I decided I wanted to read this book wasn't because it was hyped up all over the bookish community, it was because it was one of the two choices that I could read for The Booklanders meeting that we have here in Auckland, New Zealand, which is run by Lauren who is over at Bookworm Boutique on Instagram. But HOLY CHICKEN LEGS, I enjoyed this novel so much that I literally almost self-combusted like a thousand times. The plot twists and the build ups and the romance and the friendships; I can not express fully how much this book has truly made me feel excited for future gaming, let alone future technology which could allow us to walk our pet dragons to the park and feel super awesome. A girl can dream, but she can't live forever so hurry up, Besthesda! Work your powerful magic and save the world with NerveLink technology!

Basically there is no other novel like this that I can think of and if there are any other Sword Art Online fans out there that need something to satisfy them until season 3 comes out, then READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE YOU WILL DIE IF YOU DON'T! So I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars because it is nothing less. I'm telling you that this is the one sci-fi book that has made me feel excited for the future and that is really saying something!

What are you excited for in this book? Have you watched Sword Art Online? And if you have read Warcross, who was your favourite character and why? Let me know in the comments below!

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Thank you Penguin Random House NZ for the review copy!

Like and follow their links here:

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Go add Warcross to your Goodreads list HERE

Go buy it on MightyApe with 1 day delivery in New Zealand HERE

Buy it on Book Depository with free shipping world wide HERE

Find it on the Penguin Random House NZ website HERE

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