Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “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 Championship – 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.”
Review: I’ve never quite managed to get on the Marie Lu train, despite dabbling in both of her popular series (Legend and The Young Elites). While I’ve always appreciated her efforts to add some much-needed diversity to YA literature, her plots usually progress a bit too slow for my liking. For that reason, I was pleasantly surprised by Warcross, which I consider to be Lu’s best novel to date. When I first started reading, I worried that Emika Chen would be just another manic pixie dream girl, but Lu does a tremendous job of giving Emika real substance and personality. The virtual reality world of Warcross is elaborately constructed and engaging. I’m not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination (my adolescent video game experience was largely limited to Yoshi’s World and Fusion Frenzy), but I can certainly understand why many gamers commend Warcross.
“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.”
There were certain plot twists that actually caught me by surprise, which is always a good thing. That being said, the incredibly predictable and incredibly boring romance that springs up between Hideo and Emika (I’m not even going to mark this as a spoiler, given that you can predict it based on the book jacket synopsis alone) falls flat, and is largely responsible for the 4/5 star rating. Wildcard, the second book in the series, comes out on September 18th!