Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.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 Warcross 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.
In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
Warcross, by author Marie Lu, is the first installment in the authors Warcross duology. Like Ready Player One and The Matrix, Warcross takes readers into a strikingly realistic version of what the future may hold, where the lines are blurred, and the effects of online gaming seep from the virtual into reality. Though Emika's learned everything she could about the brilliant and mysterious Hideo Tanaka, she never imaged she'd meet him, let alone become one of his confidants.
18-year old Emika Chen is a down on her luck college drop out who is several months behind on her bills, including her rent. She's also got a criminal record, but not for doing something bad. On top of losing her beloved father, she has struggled with life and finding a decent paying job. As a way of paying her bills, Emika is also a bounty hunter going after those who illegally gamble on Warcross. So illegal, that there are those who put up good money to apprehend those who are in arrears and owe a substantial debt. Emika isn't the best bounty hunter there is.
Nope. She's already lost several as the story begins, and loses another one to shear bad luck. But, then the crazy begins. Emika accidentally hacks her way into Warcross using her outdated Neurolink, and finds herself in the game itself where everyone in the world sees her. Thinking that she is going to be arrested as an adult this time, Emika instead is spirited away to Tokyo by Hideo and given a job hunting down a hacker who has been disrupting the game. Warcross is a game that is played by those of all walks of life and all skill sets.
Emika doesn't realize that her life is about to get even more twisted and dangerous by being one of the wild card players in this years game and by digging into hard truths that may end up getting her targeted by the person hacking into Warcross. Emika soon learns Hideo is hiding frightening secrets, secrets that may be her undoing. From the wild draft party, to meeting her new team the Phoenix Riders, to attempting to uncover who is hacking to Warcross and why, Emika has her hands full and then some when she realizes that things aren't exactly what she has been told.
Even though Emika is brilliant and talent, there might be someone else out there even better than she is. From the incredibly descriptive futuristic setting of Tokyo, to the Warcross game itself, to the diversity of the characters, to the game where everything is as bloodthirsty as you might think, Warcross impresses my alt-geek persona. The mystery behind who the culprit was, and what this person actually wants, was well thought out and delivered in a way that left me curious as to if I was correct in my guesstimate as to who the actual villain really was.
The mysterious Hideo becomes more than Emika's employer after the two grow closer. One could say that this is a very smart person in Emika who has finally met the person who put her on the road to becoming an even better hacker that is hard to resist. The ending of the story itself is just mind blowing and sets up an irresistible urge to read the next installment as soon as I can get my hands on the book.