Review: Warcross, Marie Lu

In the book community, many books that are being released are so hyped, it’s getting scary. Everyone is talking about it, everyone is reading it and, worst of it all, everyone is loving it. CAN YOU FEEL THE PRESSURE. I try and stay away from the hype as much as I can, or read the popular books later on, once the hype dies down. The story with Warcross was different. I got lucky enough to read it already and, boy. The hype there was well, well deserved.

A STUNNING WORLD-BUILDING

๐Ÿ’ญ

I remember it pretty clearly: I started reading this book on the train this summer and, after a few pages, the real world around me disappeared, only to leave me with the incredible fictional world Marie Lu painted on the page. In a world where everyone is connected and playing this incredible game called Warcross, a virtual-reality game invented by a young billionaire, filled with fights, incredible worlds, Artifacts, treasures and more. Live championships are watched by the whole world. It’s an event. It’s a way of life. Without info-dumping, Marie Lu slowly takes us from a familiar world to a sci-fi made-up one that’s not quite too hard to believe, with everyone being connected, wearing glasses and experimenting the world in a whole different way every single day. Every description of the world is vivid, taking us one second from New York to Tokyo, to cities where technologies, lights, virtual and reality mix up in such a way you feel like you’re seeing it.

In Warcross, we get to follow Emika, our main character, as she hacks into the Warcross game one day, gets caught and surprisingly offered the possibility to play on a team in the worldwide championships…as a spy undercover. While we discover more of Warcross‘ game, national teams, incredible arenas and action-packed live battles…we also discover that there are so many dark secrets and dangers waiting in-between lines of codes in the game. It’s a crazy fast-paced adventure, one you should get ready for because once you’re in it, you just can’t stop reading it.

 

GREAT CHARACTERS: THREE-DIMENSIONAL, FUN AND…SECRETIVE

๐Ÿ’ญ

As you know, characters matter a whole lot to me and Emika here did not disappoint. Slowly as the story sets up, we get to know her, her thoughts, her past, her motives, everything that makes her who she is: she felt well-developed enough for me to love her and root for her very quickly, which I loved.

The cast of characters surrounding her was very interesting as well. Hideo, the young billionaire, creator of Warcross, was really well-shaped and three dimensional, I loved how, slowly, we got to uncover a little bit of his secrets as the story went on. The cast of friends and teammates in the Warcross game Emika is playing was also fabulous and oh so, diverse and fun. I only wish we got to spend more time with them and know them a bit more. I really appreciated how naturally diverse it all felt as well. Emika is an American-Chinese protagonist, Hideo is Japanese, Asher is in a wheelchair, Roshan is gay, and there was just so much more. It felt richly built and didn’t felt like it was trying to tick off diversity boxes, which I really appreciated.

Obviously, I can say that there is bit of romance in this story, but it wasn’t too much โ€“ nor was it insta-love or something. It was a relationship, slowly built with time, getting to know each other, mutual attraction, then more. It was so complex, so SHIPPABLE yet so HEARTBREAKING as well. Everything I love in a good romance.

 

TECHNOLOGIES, SECRETS AND COMPLEX VILLAINS
๐Ÿ’ญ

Warcross was a fast-paced read with an amazing cast of characters, yet what I loved the most is, in addition to being super-exciting to read, how much it told us about, well, us. In Tokyo and everywhere else around the world, you’re seeing how important it is to be connected, how, if you’re not, you’re missing out on everything, feeling naked, vulnerable, even. The villains of the story are so interesting to follow as well, showing us that right, wrong, black and white aren’t always where you think they will be. Many secrets in this story are painted in shades of grey. You won’t see them coming โ€“ I did not see that plot twist, that ending, coming at all and it had me SCREAMING and mad and everything else you can think of.

OVERALL

In her new book, Marie Lu is taking us into an incredible world and makes us play a game that’s way more dangerous than it seems. With a vivid world-building you can’t quite get rid off once you stop reading, characters you might fall in love with or hate with all of your heart, Warcross certainly deserves the tons of hype it is getting. Whether you’re a sci-fi fan or, like me, a bit of a newbie, this is one book you should NOT miss.

Final rating:ย  4 drops!

Massive thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, affect my opinion and reading experience.

ย Do you want to read Warcross? Did you read any other book by Marie Lu? Which ones would you recommend THE MOST?! Share your thoughts in comments!


Marie Lu, Warcross, ย Published by G.P Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers, September 12th, 2017.

ย goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isnโ€™t just a gameโ€”itโ€™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 Championshipsโ€”only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced sheโ€™s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the gameโ€™s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this yearโ€™s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emikaโ€™s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that sheโ€™s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. ๐Ÿ“š |๐ŸŒ | ๐Ÿ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

61 thoughts on “Review: Warcross, Marie Lu

  1. I have recently requested this from penguin!! You have made me want to read it even more as you mention how you managed to lose yourself fully into the world. I yearn for books that let me do that.
    I am so excited for this book, it sounds incredible. I am so glad you loved it.

    I always need a bit of romance in a YA story, it keeps me hooked and to know it isn’t insta love is a huge plus. Amazing review Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh – that’s something I did not mention in my review, actually, but I’m not too much of a gamer so…I had no criticism, or at least constructive one, for this part of the book. It was a great, entertaining story, though – but I’ll be looking forwrad to your gamers’ thoughts on it then ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you so much for your sweet comment โค โค

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  2. Ah I’m so so glad the hype was well-deserved!! I love Marie Lu ๐Ÿ˜€ And I love the sound of the world and the fact that she creates it all without infodumping!! And I the characters sound so good- I’m really intrigued to learn all their secrets. Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only read The Young Elites so far, I loved it! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I also bought Legend and have it waiting on my nightstand for me to read soon. So glad you love her books! I hope you’ll love that one as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I feel a bit left out because I read Lu’s debut novel and didn’t really care for it, so I haven’t read anything by her since. Yet everyone seems to be obsessed with Warcross! Perhaps I will pick it up anyway, eventually. Some authors really do get much better as they continue writing and publishing books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, don’t! I’m actually glad to meet someone who doesn’t love Lu’s novels – I feel like everyone who knows her, loves her books ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you’ll still want to pick up this book and that it will change your mind on her – some authors do get better with each novels ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Briana! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Warcross is one of my most anticipated releases of this year. I really really can’t wait for it to be released and for my copy to actually arrive. It sounds incredible. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I skimmed most of your review because this is a book I want to go into blind. I know it’s going to be amazing though because you gave it four stars and it’s by Marie Lu! ๐Ÿ˜€ Like you I’m a fan of the sci-fi genre so this is one I am definitely not going to miss! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

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  5. TECHNICALLY I SHOULDN’T BE COMMENTING ON POSTS BUT I SAW WARCROSS AND CAME RUNNING AND I’M EXTREMELY JEALOUS BUT ALSO VERY HAPPY THAT YOU GOT AN ARC AND ENJOYED IT!!! Last night I had a dream that I got it as a physical ARC but unfortunately, that wasn’t real. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Agh, Marie Lu always has SUCH amazing worldbuilding and character development! GREAT REVIEW! โค

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    1. AHHHHHH MAY, I am so happy to see you here so I can’t really scream at you, but ENJOY YOUR BREAK okay? And take care of yourself!! ๐Ÿ’• ๐Ÿ’•
      I can’t WAIT for you to read that one so we can fangirl about it ALL THE TIME!! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Marie! I’ve been seeing this book make rounds around the bookternet, but I’m glad my friends are really liking it. I joined a local blog tour and I’ll start the book this Sunday. I’m rather nervous tho, since this will be my first Marie Lu title, but I’m also intrigued.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am really eager to know if you will enjoy that one, then. I only read one Marie Lu book so far -The Young Elites- and I enjoyed it, I enjoyed that one so much as well, I think she’s a pretty great writer. I hope you’ll feel the same way! ๐Ÿ’•
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Miel! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a lovely and well thought out review and I’m so happy it loved up to the hype for you ๐Ÿ’•
    I can’t wait for this to be released here! The world that you’ve described sounds SO good and intriguing, also I’m happy to learn that the characters were really three dimensional and diverse. I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on this one xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you, Michelle! ๐Ÿ’• It was such a great and intriguing world, I LOVED how Marie Lu shaped it ; and the characters were amazing, I was rooting for them from the start. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about that one ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahah, it has been everywhere on my twitter timeline, on ya books websites and on blogs lately….I couldn’t escape ๐Ÿ˜› thank you so much my sweechie!! โค โค

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  8. I am so ready to get my hands on this book. Overly hyped books usually have me running in the opposite direction but this one just sounds like something I’d love. The concept sounds epic and I love that the characters are three dimensional and naturally diverse. Plus, I’m a sucker for romance, even if there’s only a drop of it. Now I’m curious about why it’s so heartbreaking but there’s no doubt my shippers heart will be happy. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am SO READY for you to read this ahah, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about it. I’m not usually reading all the hyped books right away, but there, well.. I couldn’t resist and I got so lucky. I do not regret it ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank yo so much โค โค

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  9. I’m so so torn about this one! The hype ALWAYS gets me, like I just hate being left out apparently. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ But I’ve tried two other Marie Lu books and just give them 3-stars because they’re always somewhat lacking for me? And I’ve read virtual-gaming-reality books before and always feel a bit detached buuuut IS IT WEIRD THAT I STILL WANT TO TRY THIS ONE?! Everyone is raving about it and I mean I love supporting diverse authors so maybe I’ll see if I can library it.๐Ÿ˜‚ I loved your review. So so convincing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, don’t worry. I kind of hate being left out too, so sometimes the hype gets me ๐Ÿ˜‚
      I’m sorry you didn’t love Marie Lu’s other books – but it’s not weird at all that you want to try this one! Who knows, it might be the one you’ll feel connected to and fall in love with. I hope so, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about everything, the characters, the PLOT TWIST arghhh haha.
      Ohh thank you so, so much for your sweet words, Cait โค โค

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  10. I thought I was this but I must have waited to write my review?! Anyway… I love how you talked about hype and how we are so frightened of not being connected to the same things everyone is so excited for! โ™ฅ๏ธ I think the book showed how amazing fandom is and how great it is but also the dark side where there are those who lurk to take advantage of the popularity. Great review Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I recently got my hands on a sample of this book and I agree that the plot is very gripping! I mean a virtual game thats also a competition? How does that not sound intriguing (it kind of reminds me of that movie Nerve) I haven’t read Marie Lu’s other books but my sister has and she loved them so I’m looking forward to reading this! (Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the sample first..) I’m glad to hear you loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I can’t wait for you to read the whole book – I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did ๐Ÿ™‚ The plot is gripping for sure, I loved the world-building in this ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค

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  12. I really want to read Warcross! It just sounds like a book that I would enjoy, plus a lot of people seem to be loving it so I’m even more exited to read it. ๐Ÿ˜€ And I already know that I enjoy Marie Lu’s writing style, as I have read her Legend trilogy. I’m hoping to get my hands on this book soon. Amazing review Marie!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh, well I’m going to read Legend super soon, I’m so glad you loved it ๐Ÿ˜€ I can’t wait for you to read Warcross, Anna. I feel like you could really love it ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much โค

      Liked by 1 person

  13. SO many people recommend this book to me and I can see the appeal .. but … I hated the Legend series, which is also the only thing I read by Marie Lu. So, I guess that just sort of keeps me on my toes when it comes to this one, but great review once again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh, I did not know that you hated the Legend series – this has never come up in ALL of our conversations somehow? haha. I recently got the book because I was curious and it was so cheap, ahah, I’m curious to see whether I enjoy it or not now. I only heard good things so far about it, well…until you ahah. Did you remember why you hated it? Was it the characters, the world?
      Thank you! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, I am like the only person (aside from one other blogger I know) who didn’t like the Legend series. I felt deceived by the shiny silver cover. I remember there being a lot of typos in my edition, which I get if it happens once or twice but it was a lot … and I did not connect to the characters. I just didn’t like them, but it’s been YEARS! I don’t even know half of the storyline anymore.

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      2. Oh damn! That must have been annoying to read :/ Well, I should get to reading this book soon, I’ll let you know if I end up enjoying it or not. I’m hoping to, but… if I don’t, I’m glad I’ll have someone to turn to, to complain, hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. EEK this sounds so amazing! After reading Illuminae, I’m all for the hacker-y/tech kind of books – THEY SOUND SO GOOD. I literally own all of Marie Lu’s books but I haven’t read a single one of them *facepalm*. Her books sound so good – hopefully I’ll get to read them all soon! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your review makes me even more excited to read this!!! I CANNOT WAIT! I just love the concept of this book and I’m so glad you liked it! The hype for Warcross is intimidating to say the least. I have loved Marie Lu since Legend and though I love the Young Elites trilogy, the Legend trilogy will always hold a special spot for me. You should definitely check that out if you haven’t already.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh this makes me SO HAPPY, Shouni!! โค I hope you'll love Warcross just as much as I did, but… I think you should ๐Ÿ™‚
      I have Legend on my physical TBR, I'm going to read it very soon – I can't wait ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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