Warcross by Marie Lu was one of my favorite novels I’ve read so far this year. I saw so many people talking about this book online and the premise already had me hooked. I mean virtual reality gaming that is a world wide phenomena, just count me in!
Emika Chen, the main protagonist of the novel, is such a relatable character but yet she is so vastly different to myself. She sucks you into her world and drags you along for the ride. When we meet her she is a bounty hunter/hacker who is just trying to make ends meet, but the cards are stacked against her.
She is going to be evicted from her apartment, her roommate has no job and is more concerned with forgetting the world, and losing herself as a spectator in virtual reality. For one night only Emi decides to join in and temptation to hack into the game proves to be too much for her. She glitches into the game, but she’s not the only one.
Which brings Hideo Tanaka, creator of the Neurolink and Warcross, and Kenn into her life. Hideo decides to hire her and others to go undercover to find the mysterious Zero. Zero is supposedly planning to assassinate on Hideo. Whoever finds and stops him first gets the money. For Emi, this means getting chosen as a wildcard, drafted to the Pheonix Riders, and competing in the tournament.
All the while, she has to hide herself from her team, is constantly on edge on who Zero could be, and falling in love with Hideo. It makes for such an interesting dynamic. On top of that, she is trying to learn about her new role in the game as the Architect. The architect is the player on the team that bends the world to help their team.
Warcross is a virtual reality game that uses Neurolink technology to do so. People from around the world play the game and not all for the right reasons. There are some dark places in Warcross. Places that Emika has to go to solve parts of the case.
In the end, Zero and Hideo switch their roles. Hideo tells Emika about how his brother Sasuke disappeared and he was the reason he was able to create Warcross. He created it for him and in the end he takes it to far. He uses the technology to control minds and stop terrible events before they happen.
For me, there were a lot of hints pointing to Sasuke still being alive. So it wasn’t’ shocking that Zero turns out to be his long lost brother and he’s trying to stop his brother. I think I was more shocked at Hideo’s reveal than at Sasuke’s. It was such a good plot twist that I didn’t see coming.
I would give this book 4.5/5 stars. I enjoyed reading this book a lot and can’t recommend it enough. I’m pretty sure I just convinced a friend to check out this book, so fingers crossed she reads it.
Looking forward, I am super excited for book two, Wildcard to come out later this year. My only hope is that it doesn’t jump straight into another romance. The love triangle trope is so overdone.
If you’ve read Ready Player One or seen the movie, you might like this book. If that’s not your cup of tea, but mystery, romance, or gaming aspects might be more to your taste. If you have read it let me know what you think down.
In the spirit of the book, I thought I’d share what I am playing at the moment. Currently, I am obsessed with My Time at Portia. Let me know what you are currently playing if you do or what you game are you looking forward to.