Warcross by Marie Lu
Published by Penguin Random House Audio on September 12, 2017
Series: Warcross, #1
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: audiobook, 11:46:17
Find on Goodreads
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.
An entertaining if somewhat predictable book, Warcross was an overall enjoyable experience.
“Every locked door has a key.”
Imagine Hunger Games meets Ready Player One, and you have Warcross. As such, it definitely relied on some typical young adult dystopian tropes. While I’ve read Lu’s The Young Elites trilogy, Warcross was somewhat lighter and a different kind of read. Her writing translated well to this genre, although some moments became a bit repetitive and I felt could have been edited down a touch. The characters were subtly complex without delving too deep to detract from the fast paced plot. There were a few plot twists along the way, but I can’t say any of them actually surprised me.
My favorite aspect of this book was how immersive it was. Perhaps this was enhanced by listening to the audiobook, narrated nicely by Nancy Wu. Much like the way the characters slip on glasses or contacts to enter the Warcross game, every time I put my earphones on I felt like I was jumping into the world with them. Lu didn’t build up every aspect of the world, but it didn’t bother me here; I rather enjoyed letting my imagination run free and filling in the gaps for itself.
Warcross wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was just so much fun, I’m looking forward to see what Lu does with the sequel. Recommended, and if you get the chance to listen to this on audio, give it a shot.