Book review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Source: Borrowed

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.

So, fun fact: I never actually planned to read Warcross. Despite being absolutely inundated with positive reviews over the last year or so, it never really felt like something I had to read. But I was looking for an audiobook to listen to on the ten-hour ride to Tennessee and Warcross was available, so I listened to it. It was… fine. But it wasn’t as good as I’d expected.

To start off, after reading the synopsis, I was a little worried that it would just be Ready Player One with a female protagonist. It really isn’t similar to RPO at all, so that was a nice surprise. The beginning of the book felt kind of slow to me, but once I got into it, it was a pretty fun book.

This book is kind of hard for me to review, though, because the two biggest issues I had with it happen in the last 25% and I don’t want to spoil the book for the three people in the world who haven’t read it yet. So, here, in the vaguest of terms, are the positive and negative bullet points of this book:

  • Positive: Teenage female hacker saving the world! (Or, at least, the game.)
  • Positive: Diversity! Characters from all over the world and many different backgrounds!
  • Negative: It took a while to grab my interest.
  • Negative: Suuuper cliched plot twist at the end.
  • Negative: Entirely unnecessary romantic subplot, and this is coming from someone who literally runs a romance book blog.

So, with two positives and three negatives, I think it’s fair to give this one two stars. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely didn’t love it and I don’t really feel like I need to read Wildcard.

Have you read Warcross? Is it on your TBR?
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