‘Warcross’: Colorful Adventure Set in Japan’s Gaming World

April 4, 2018 5 Comments

Life on the streets is where Emika Chen is most comfortable. She’s a master hacker who uses her skills to work in the shadows as a bounty hunter. In the world of online gaming, tracking down illegal gamblers is what keeps clothes on Emika’s back. In her world, the headlines are currently following the international Warcross games, a championship virtual series of games that only the most elite play. When, Emika decides to play and hacks into the game, overnight, her anonymity vanishes.


Fearing retribution, Emika prepares to disappear only to receive a job offer from the creator of Warcross. Hideo Tanaka is looking for someone with Emika’s particular set of skills. He believes someone else is breaching the game’s security protocols, and it’s up to Emika to discover who… before something goes horribly wrong.

Warcross, by Marie Lu | Book Review

‘Warcross’: Colorful Adventure Set in Japan’s Gaming World #FWarchives #SciFi Click To Tweet

Oh my goodness! This book. What to say, and where to start? These are the important questions as I sit here and ponder answers. Books that use the world of gaming aren’t my cup of tea. I’ve never been a gamer nor do I foresee this changing. As 2017 wound to its close, I wanted to complete reading one or two other novels, and one of those was Warcross. A novel I found immensely entertaining. As I raced through the adventure that is Warcross’ world, I realized once I’d stepped inside its pages this was the kind of colorful world this work of fiction thrived in.

“…beauty can make people forgive a thousand cruelties.” ― Marie Lu, Warcross

The adventure of the story is one thing, but perhaps as I’ve thought about the book for these past months, it’s the characters who’ve been most present. They’re all, appropriately, shadowed in mysteries because we’re not meant to instantly trust anyone. Lu does a masterful job in her delivery of this emotion. We vacillate between trusting some of the characters, to wondering if that trust is misplaced or if we should trust those we never question. This is particularly true of one specific character, who I suspect we’ll learn more of in book two – whether good or bad.

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Speaking of that sequel, can we talk about the fact that I didn’t realize this was part of a duo!! Like there I was, racing towards the end of the novel, believing everything was about to wrap up happily for this type of story. Then, bam! Nothing is resolved, and instead the reader is hit by a cliffhanger and the “big” secretive reveal. Needless to say, I was not happy. Especially since at the time I finished reading, there was no news about the upcoming sequel.

Emika, as a leading character, is fascinating. In fact, though it’s her we best get to know, I do wish we’d gotten to know her a bit better. The plot jumps right into the main story cue, which is the Warcross games, and as a result, we don’t see Emika in her natural environment as a bounty hunter. It’s an idea I felt could have been played with more with the potential to add more to the fabric of the story. Nonetheless, as the first novel by Marie Lu I’ve ever read, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. 

Colorful word-building sets up what is, an exciting and dangerous world inside Warcross. Enter if you dare.


(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2017
Series: Warcross, book one
Genre: Fiction; Sci-Fi, YA Fiction
Source: Purchase
Shop the Book: Amazon | Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★★

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Hanne T April 12, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    This sounds so good! I've heard some things about Warcross but never actually looked into the synopsis or anything like that, but now I'm going to go check it out!

    • Rissi April 12, 2018 at 4:42 PM

      YAY! Hope you discover a good story if you do decide to look into this one, Hanne; it really took me by surprise, which in this case, I loved. :)

  • […] topic, we’ll revisit my experience with this book via a quick little reader tale. As I read Warcross, the further into its story I was pulled, the more intrigued I became. The conclusion rapidly […]

  • jorielov September 14, 2018 at 4:17 AM

    Hallo, Hallo Rissi!

    I truly appreciated reading your thoughts about ‘Warcross’ as it has taken me this long to sort out – should I read this one or should I bypass it?! I honestly could never get a good grounding of insight into what the story was about – as half the reviews I would see were generally a bit fluffier and gushier than detailed – I, am a gamer – though not apparently the most traditional one, as the games I love playing on PS1, PS2, Nintendo & Gameboy were never the most popular games for others – plus, I had a healthy collection of PC games as well. Though, truly – I love board games and card games as well as bonefide arcade games (old school video games). From that angle, I guess I shouldn’t have second-guessed reading this one!?

    Also, I love world-building in both Science Fiction & Fantasy – hence why I helped develop a Fantasy book blogosphere & social annual event with mini-events during the year (ie. @WyrdAndWonder) and why #RRSciFiMonth every November is a niche of love for me!! I definitely understood though what you were talking about – sometimes writers over attempt to alight us so truly into an ‘altered world’ they go a bit too far, too fast. Sometimes it still reads like mud – like you can’t sort out the world itself because you feel there is a distancing from either focusing on the world vs the characters!? My favourite authors create the bridge – you get a firm grounding into the world itself whilst you get to know the key players in the story. (latest: ‘Dream of the Navigator’ – up on my blog)

    My favourite film on this subject is ‘Hackers’ – with Angelina Jolie? I also loved ‘The Wizard’ from the 80s starring Fred Savage? It was about the whole video gaming world but dealt a bit more about interpersonal relationships, dysfunctional families and special needs siblings (*talked about it on the interview with Ms Wolf). I always think of these two the most – when I’m not thinking about ‘Sneakers’ which is also my favourite of favourite ‘hackers’ film.

    Thanks for the introduction! You’ve changed my mind!

  • […] WARCROSS by Marie Lu […]

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