Are you ready for a flailing review of one of my favorite books of the year so far? Strap in kiddos, this is a wild ride (both the review and this freaking book!)
I read Warcross in one sitting / walking / standing / peeing / cooking / bathing session because I legit did not put the book down for six straight hours. From the moment I started reading, to the last turn of the page and subsequent toss across the room (BECAUSE THAT ENDING WUT), I was so completely entranced by the world that Marie Lu threw me into, I had to know how everything plays out.
For those of you that don’t know, Warcross is the first book in a new duology by Marie Lu. It follows Emika Chen, a hacker turned gamer, who gets thrown into the very colorful, very dangerous world of professional Warcross gaming.
Personally, I am not a gamer, but I really appreciate the gaming community because I have watched my boyfriend throw himself head first into a new MMO or RPG and totally lose himself. That’s kind of what happened to me with Warcross; it was so utterly immersive I lost track of everything around me. I only wanted to be in the game, to be with the characters playing, fighting, and hunting.
Warcross is exploding with descriptions. Not in the literary “allow me to woo you with my artsy words” type of way, but more like a complete sensory overload. In a good way, of course. It’s all colors and sights and feels and colors and colors and MORE COLORS! But either way, I absolutely LOVED the setting. I loved how it was futuristic but still felt close enough to the present to be almost hopeful.
Setting? On point. Now, what about the characters?
“So I hit. I hit back fast and hard and furious. I hit with nothing but the language whispered between circuits and wire, the language that can bring people to their knees.”
Emika. My girl. I felt for her.
She is brilliant, and she is flawed. She was kind, reserved, and her flashbacks memories of her father almost killed me. I am all about positive familial relations in books, and I absolutely loved the fond but realistic memories she had with her father in this one. I don’t want to say too much, just know that I really enjoyed the first person POV in this one, simply because Emika’s inner dialogue spoke to me.
And here is a little PSA for my friends that are looking forward to this book because of the romance? Yeah, Marie Lu gotchu.
The tension in this story! The flirting! The kissing! Boy oh boy, I thought I needed a cold shower after that one. I really, really loved the development of the Hideo through Emika’s eyes, but I really enjoyed their relationship in general. The back and forth could not necessarily be called banter, (they are just too reserved of characters) but I was living for the double meaning in everything they said.
So anyway, to wrap up this extremely incoherent review:
I definitely got some Ready Player One vibes from Warcross. It is completely in different plot (RPO was more of a quest where Warcross is almost a mystery that needs to be solved) but both have this all-encompassing virtual world that our near future selves are drawn into. Whether it’s the Oasis (from RPO) or Warcross, both stories make me want to grab some goggles and fall into something so full of infinite possibilities I don’t want to come out.
Warcross is absolutely in my Top 5 of the year, hasn’t even hit the shelves yet! If I were you all, I would totally pre-order this one! September 12th, 2017 get ready to be immersed in the bright colorful world that Marie Lu has whipped up for us: I am already planning my reread 😉