Fantasy · Reviews · Romance · Science Fiction · Young Adult

Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu | Review

ar.jpgMy Rating: ★★★☆☆

Date Started: 4/2/18 — Date Finished: 4/6/18

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance

Recommended for People Who Like: Ready Player One, futuristic worlds, virtual reality, diverse characters, Tokyo setting, video games

Warcross Series: Warcross, Wildcard


I feel like I should just stop reading hyped books because without fail, I always end up liking them a lot less than everyone else.


Warcross isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life. It’s a virtual reality that is used globally, offering people a place to escape from the real world. For those known as bounty hunters, it is a source of income. They track down people doing shady stuff in Warcross in exchange for monetary reward from the police.

In comes Emika Chen. She’s not like most teenagers. She has rainbow hair. Oh, and she’s a hacker. Unfortunately, she’s about to get kicked out of her apartment and the bounty hunting jig just isn’t paying the bills.

So she figures out a way to make a lot of cash quick — by hacking into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships that’s viewed by billions of people around the world. No big deal…that is until she accidentally reveals herself to the entirety of onlookers.

Instead of getting immediately towed away to jail, she gets a call from the game’s handsome creator, Hideo Tanaka, offering her a fortune to find someone responsible for breaches in Warcross’s security. To do that, she must be a spy from the inside and participate in this years Warcross Championships. No pressure or anything.

Who could possibly be trying to hack into the Warcross system? More importantly, how have they been successful so far, and what are they planning to do?

liked.jpg»This book was by no means slow. There was always something happening, and if something was set up to happen “2 weeks from now”, the next chapter would literally be 2 weeks later.

 I kind of foresaw the *type* of ending, but the way in which it happened I did not expect. There was also another twist that I was like…wait, what.

»I liked all the side characters, and wish we got to see more of them. I’m really hoping they play a more prominent role in second book. Asher, Hammie, Roshan, Ren, Tremaine… I’m very interested in some Roshan x Tremaine action 🙂

»I liked the world building  it was really cool to read how the virtual technology was integrated into their world; it’s like a video game come to life. People’s names are displayed above their heads, virtual advertisements cover store windows, some walk virtual pets or wear ostentatious clothing, etc.

»I also liked that the book is set in Tokyo — I think Tokyo is such an underutilized setting in science fiction, considering how technological advanced they are compared to the rest of the world. I just wish there was more talk of Japanese culture and how the technology specifically affected those customs.

»The diversity is great: Emika is Chinese, Hideo is Japanese,  Hammie is Latinx, Roshan is Indian, etc. Additionally, there’s several gay characters and one paralyzed character.

didnt.jpg»I really didn’t care for Hideo. He just came off as a stoic ~mysterious~ dickhead who randomly decided he was in love with Emika. Literally nothing prompted the love interest.

»At first, I just was not invested into the plot. I really didn’t get a feel for the severity of the situation. The synopsis made it sound like the world was similar to that in Ready Player One, in which the country is absolute shit: most people are poor, hungry, homeless, jobless — but I really didn’t see that in Warcross at all. Emika struggles, but that’s because she’s a teenager living on her own.

The Warcross technology just seemed an enhancement on today’s world. So, someone hacking into Warcross didn’t seem that dire. Also, we don’t even know what the hacker is planning.  What’s even at stake? Who really cares?

»The Warcross Games themselves…just weren’t very interesting. It was like reading about someone playing a Hunger Games video game. Lives weren’t at risk, y’know?

peeves.jpg»The talk of code made me cringe. Emika, pro-hacker, apparently can discern a corrupted code (that no one else can) simply by standing back, taking a look, and saying: “Hmm, that just…doesn’t look right”.


Wow…truly amazing. Such pure, raw, talent. Hacker mastermind.

»The way Emika kind of stole the show all the time compared to these other professional Warcross players who’ve had a lot more training was just like… alright. We get it. You’re the main character…

»Marie Lu, totally appreciate you utilizing a hair color that isn’t “chestnut brown” or “midnight black”, but mention that Emika’s hair is rainbow. one. more. time.

“I threw my ~*~*RAINBOW*~*~!!!! hair into a messy bun and ran down the stairs”. Alright, we get it, you’re edgy.

Unforgivable plot hole: So much talk of her rainbow hair, but no talk of her running to the local CVS and buying 5 boxes of hair dye every 2 weeks?! Me and you both know those colors faded after one wash….

conc.jpgOverall, I found this book to be okay.

There were a lot of elements I liked, but the ones I didn’t like were too substantial for me to enjoy this book to its fullest extent. I think I will still read the next book because I want to see more from the side characters, and also want to see how the plot develops.

6 thoughts on “Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu | Review

  1. Great review! Reading your review actually makes me want to read it since I loved Ready Player One… we’ll see whether I agree with you – probably with the rainbow hair bit!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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