This must have been the book I was the most excited about this year. It’s all about gaming, hackers and virtual reality! The synopsis sounded very interesting, especially for someone like me, who loves video games.
Unfortunately, this was one of those stories where the romance ruined the whole experience and made me sigh and cringe multiple times throughout.
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.
I can already picture people coming at me with burning torches and spears, but I just did not like this book as much as I hoped I would. There! I said it.
Emika is a bounty hunter trying to survive in New York city. She has debts that never end, rent to pay and 13 dollars in her bank account. Her father passed away a few years ago and her mother left them when she was little. She is all alone in this world and needs to do anything she can just to survive.
Hideo’s invention – NeoLink and Warcross, pulled her out of the deep emotional spiral. It is the way of life, it is something she loves and knows well.
I loved the world Marie Lu built in this story. It is something our own world could one day become, an intensified virtual reality. I loved the game and settings, it felt a lot like a mash up between World of Warcraft and League of Legends, with its own tweaks.
Speaking of World of Warcaft, there is a reference to Leeroy Jenkins!!! I have to cite this part:
«Do you remember one year when that player – Leeroy something – actually got drafted into the Stormchasers, even though he always just charged in and messed up his entire team’s play? My God, he was terrible.»
How cool is that?!?
As for the rest of the book, I felt swamped by clichés… A poor girl hacker suddenly is well-known and becomes wealthy. The romance that was beyond bitter-sweet and obvious. And finally Zero… it couldn’t be more predictable even if they wanted to.
Right now I am not interested in continue reading this series, even though the story had some great twists at the end. Maybe as time goes by, I will want to give it another go, but for now I won’t be adding it to my TBR.
⭐⭐ / 5
Thank you NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group for the ARC of this book! I realise that my opinion is very different from everything I’ve seen and heard about it. If you are not bothered by romance as much as I am, you might enjoy this book tremendously more than I did.
Have you read this book or are interested in buying it? Let me know in the comments down below!
Also, are all of Marie Lu books so heavy on romance? I am highly interested in her Legend and the Young Elites series.