Rating: 3.75/5 Bookworms
Short and Sweet Summary: Virtual reality is taken a step further in Warcross where you can actually be in the game. It’s all fun and games…until it’s not.
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Some people still say that Warcross is just a stupid game. Others say it’s a revolution. But for me and millions of others, it’s the only foolproof way to forget our troubles.
This was such a unique concept for a book! Considering Marie Lu’s background it’s not surprising but it was truly unlike anything I’ve ever read. Virtual reality has been taken one step further in Warcross, where you are fully immersed in the game. No longer is reality confined to just a screen, in Warcross you are actually inside the game. The game comes with NeuroLink glasses that works with your brain in order to create a more realistic and all encompassing experience.
“Here, almost everything you do will earn you points toward your level in the Link. Going to school. Going to work. Cooking dinner. And so on. Your level can earn you rewards in the real world, anything from popularity with your classmates to better service at restaurants, to an edge over others for a job interview.”
Warcross has taken over the world, from the poor to the rich, they all play, including Emika. Emika Chen lost it all but over the years she’s worked hard at gaining some semblance of a life. When she’s not out bounty hunting, she’s hacked into Warcross trying to forget all of her problems.
I love Emika’s tenacity from the start. Nothing will keep her down, no matter what the circumstances. Her past doesn’t matter, she’s just living day by day, trying to survive. She’s a self-taught coder, which is how she hacks into the game to play, it’s also how she accidentally glitches herself into the most watched game of the year, the Warcross Championships opening game.
“When you refuse to ask for help, it tells others that they also shouldn’t ask for help from you. That you look down on them for needing your help. That you like feeling superior to them. It’s an insult, Emi, to your friends and peers. So don’t be like that. Let us in.”
This sets off a chain of events that Emika could never see coming. She goes from receiving an eviction notice one day to being whisked away on a private jet to Tokyo on her way to meet the Warcross creator, Hideo Tanaka, the next day. Once there she’s put through a series of tests that will test her resolve and make her doubt her abilities.
There were many aspects of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The imagery, the creativity, and most of the characters. I found myself rooting for Emika as the story developed, along with her merry group of gamers. There was only one part that really threw me and that was when she was confronted by the bad guy for the first time. He invited her to join him in his quest to hack the Championship game and if she didn’t join him he said that he would ruin her. After finishing the book I found myself wondering why he didn’t explain to her what he was after, instead he threatened her, which was a surefire way to get her to not trust him. For some reason that small detail really irked me and the ending frustrated me.
Every locked door has a key.
For one thing, I figured out who Zero was from very early on. While I liked the plot twist at the end it wasn’t exactly surprising–I’ve read so many books that at this point it’s truly difficult to surprise me. I just wanted more from Zero and for him to stop being so elusive and sneaky. In the end that tactic ended up backfiring on him.
Not sure if I’ll immediately pick up the sequel immediately when it comes out.
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.
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Get to know Marie Lu:
Marie Lu is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Legend, Prodigy, and Champion, as well as The Young Elites. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.
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