Gaming, Virtual Reality & Hacking in Warcross

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I discover new books mostly from other book bloggers. They give me first hand knowledge about new books to read that peak my interest. I have been reading Super Space Chick’s blog ever since Kristin had appeared on Syfy’s Fangasm TV series. Her blog gives me some serious book inspiration and whenever she posts a review, I always read it. This book sounded good and even though I never read a book by Marie Lu, I knew she had written other successful series. Warcross was everything I wanted it to be and more. It featured a fantastic female heroine, diversity among the characters and a shocking twist I hadn’t seen coming. I will keep this review spoiler-free because I want everyone to know this book exists.

Warcross is a successful virtual reality game almost every gamer plays around the world. Emika Chen is one female gamer who plays Warcross in between her work as a bounty hunter in NYC. During the Warcross Championships, Emika accidentally hacks into the gameplay. Instead of being arrested, she’s flown to Tokyo to meet Hideo Tanaka, the designer and creator of Warcross. He offers Emika a job for a bounty on a mysterious hacker named “Zero” who is interfering with the championships. Emika must use her skills as a hacker and as a gamer to identify Zero and prevent major consequences for the Warcross empire.

Emika Chen is probably one of my favorite female characters in a book. Without giving spoilers, she’s someone who won’t sacrifice her values for the sake of someone else.  A lot of female characters will abandon a part of themselves for someone they care about, and Emika doesn’t do that. She has rainbow colored hair and a sleeve of tattoos which makes her appearance unique.

Most of the characters are pretty diverse. In the subsequent novels I read, I think it’s important to include different characters from a variety of cultures. Emika I believe is Chinese, whereas Hideo is Japanese. Hammie is a beautiful African American woman with her natural afro hair, and she plays a big role in Emika’s struggle with taking down Zero.

The ending though, holy shit. I read the last 20 pages and I thought I knew how this book would end, but I was wrong. I like not being able to predict how a book will end. I ended up tweeting @Marie_Lu jokingly asking her when the sequel would be released.

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One criticism I have been seeing with this book is that it’s too similar to Ready Player One. My counter argument is Ready Player One takes place in a dystopian society? I don’t know for sure, I haven’t read the book. Warcross takes place in a future society still in the U.S. and I wouldn’t put it in the category of being a “dystopian novel”.

Marie Lu can be found on twitter @Marie_Lu which is how I’m keeping up with any news regarding a Warcross sequel. I haven’t read her other books, but now I’m tempted into purchasing them to distract me from my despair of waiting for a Warcross sequel. I cannot recommend this book enough and it quite possibly could be my favorite book I read in 2018. I wanted to end my review with a quote from Marie Lu which can be found in the acknowledgments section of Warcross: To all the Gamer Girls out there, you inspired this.

4 thoughts on “Gaming, Virtual Reality & Hacking in Warcross

  1. I have to buy this book! It’s in my to-read-list, but I have so many books that it’s scary O.o Anyway, if it has a diverse cast and the story is as juicy as you say, then it’s my type of book. I haven’t read Ready Player One yet, so I have no clue if they’re similar or not. Whatever the case, I’ll give this one a shot as soon as I clear some books from my to-read-pile!

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