Title: Warcross (Warcross #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Date Read: 11/12/2017 – 23/12/2017
When Emika Chen takes a risk and hacks into the opening of the live Warcross championships, only to be caught, she assumes she’ll got to gaol. To her surprise, she is instead flown to Tokyo on the private jet of the game’s creator, and asked to be one of several bounty hunters trying to solve a security issue within the game. But the more Emika investiages, the more sinister the plot becomes.
I really liked Emika. She’s had a rough few years, and this was well done without going overboard. I liked the way her situation was juxtaposed with that of Hideo Takeda, who has billions to spare and can pay Emika’s rent for the next year without batting an eyelash. Hideo was an interesting character, though the romance that developed between him and Emika seemed unlikely from his perspective. Of course Emika would fall right into it, he’s her idol. But it seemed weird that he fell for her quite so quickly.
I also really liked the fact that the inventor of the greatest virtual reality game and hardware ever produced was Japanese, and that the book mostly took place in Japan. That just felt far more realistic to me.
The world-building was a lot of fun. Since Warcross is a game with hundreds of different worlds, Lu could do something different every time her characters entered the virtual reality game. This way we get dragons, ice worlds, and underwater caves. These scenes are action-packed and very visual. I loved it.
There are two twists towards the end which give some nice set-up for the next book. One of them I predicted fairly early on (but doing so didn’t affect my enjoyment). The other one I didn’t see coming at all, though in hindsight, hints were being dropped throughout the book. This series is a duology, not a trilogy, thankfully, as I can’t see there being enough plot to really power two more books. I am definitely looking forward to reading the conclusion, though.