Sep 8, 2017

ARC 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. 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 received this ARC from the publisher in a contest I won during the blog tour. My review is completely honest and voluntary, I was not compensated for this review.

So I broke my rule. When you get to win an ARC of a book you so want to read, you read it right away…even if you still need to finish the author’s last series! Whoops! Lol! Needless to say I was shocked when I won an ARC of Marie Lu’s Warcross! I’ve been a fan of her since I decided to binge read The Legend trilogy awhile back. And I have to say that Warcross exceeded my expectations by a landslide!

I was thinking that this would be a really intense, fast paced read centered around a virtual reality game and that there would be higher stakes involved rather than just what the game will lead you to believe. And in some ways, it was all that, but was so much more than I expected! Emika is your typical girl, she’s about eighteen from what I gathered, lives with a friend, and while she doesn’t have the best of jobs, she’s pretty good at being a bounty hunter. The jobs are few and far between but the payout is usually pretty good and right now Emika is in a bit of a financial hole—aren’t we all?—and when her last capture goes sour and she loses out on the reward, she’s just about hit rock bottom.

To escape a bit of her problems she decides to watch a round of the ever popular game Warcross. Then she gets the idea to steal one of the highly sought after power gems to sell on the black market to maybe at least pay off half her late rent. She’s a rather skilled hacker and her skills prove worthy when she succeeds hacking into the most played game in the world, but yet…everyone can see her. Which naturally, isn’t supposed to happen.

Instead of being arrested, the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka offers her a job. He’s been alerted that there’s another hacker who’s likely trying to steal the game’s secrets for profit or something more sinister. He wants to hire Emi to work as a spy of sorts and see if she can uncover the spy’s identity. And soon the real game begins as Emi is thrust into this game where winning can mean everything.

Wow. This book was just wow! This was truly brilliant writing! Marie Lu has managed to astound me once again! I grew to love her dystopian and fantasy world, but this world is something new in and of itself too! It has a futuristic quality to it, but not so much like a dystopian read. It sets off a pretty fast pace too as Emi goes from a girl with nothing to a girl with anything at her fingertips. It was sort of like a Cinderella tale in an odd sense, except our Cinderella here is an expert hacker and pretty sophisticated spy!

I think my only issue with the book was the game and technology itself. The way the game is played was a bit confusing. I’m not a big gamer myself. The last time I played videogames was on my old Nintendo Game Cube! Lol! And they were never very intense either, so I guess not being familiar with that whole world or just the technology itself left me slightly confused at times as to how are things working exactly in this way. But as you can see, this little bit of confusion didn’t deter from my enjoyment! As I like to say, it’s best to just “roll with it” when reading!

We even get a little bit of romantic tension between Emi and Hideo. It was beautifully done too! It was gradual, yet you could see the occasional spark flying early on! I loved how their characters were so deep. Each of them has their own broken past and yet they each manage to get through their hard times and become the amazing person that they are! Emi may not have much in terms of success and money like Hideo, but as an overall person, I’d say she’s fantastic! I love her for what she did that got herself in trouble in her past! She rocks!

Then we have the mystery of the bad guy itself to contend with. I nailed our whodunit fairly quick, yet I had no idea of the limits of the problem in its entirety! Have I confused you yet? Sorry! Trying to avoid spoilers obviously!

I have to say that twist at the end was a shocker! I so did not see that one coming, and yet it’s pretty fitting! It’s definitely going to make the sequel an equally, if not more, amazing and exciting read! While I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger necessarily, the ending does leave you with a sense that things are far from over, but yet you’re in a good spot. You’re not left hanging in the abyss wondering over someone’s fate or anything like that. Well done, Marie! My sanity thanks you!

Warcross is pretty much one of the most exciting and adventure filled reads I’ve read so far this year! I loved just about everything about it! If you’ve been wanting to read Marie Lu’s books, I’d highly recommend this one! It’s a fresh and intriguing kind of read that will easily make my top listing for books of 2017!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Warcross releases September 12, 2017 



  1. I just got my ARC and read chapter one last night. Wow so far and can't wait to read tonight.

  2. I've been on the fence with this one. I'm not a fan of VR or videogame storylines, but I like Marie Lu. Oh, the dilemma. *sigh*

    Nice review.

  3. You're right. This is a bit of change from Lu's other series (which I love!!), and I am glad to hear it was great. I am really looking forward to this, and with all the raves, I should be in for a treat. Great review!

  4. I haven't read Marie Lu yet but I do plan to. I am very tempted by this book because the premise sounds really good. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Love the cover - and I'm very tempted by your cracking review. Thank you:)

  6. Wow, this one sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out sometime.


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