This was such a rich world that Marie Lu built for us that seemed so real, yet fantastical at the same time: REVIEW for Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu

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Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.

Synopsis: 

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.

My Thoughts:

At first, I was not going to pick this book up because I figured it was going to be an overhyped book that I would end up never reading. Then, I attended Marie Lu’s opening keynote speech at the Texas Teen Book Festival in Austin and fell in love with this world that she described. I ended up picking up a signed copy of it that day and finally decided to start it. I started and finished this book in mere hours….I literally could not put it down.

This was such a rich world that Marie Lu built for us that seemed so real, yet fantastical at the same time. I loved how believable this book felt to me because I could really imagine what future technology we may see in my lifetime and my children’s lifetime. This world set around advanced virtual reality technology took my breath away. I was not sure how Marie Lu would be able to bring me into this virtual reality world, but she did it flawlessly. It felt like I could literally step into this world of code and hacking.

I truly enjoyed this book. The pace in this book was insane and there was never a dull moment. It was extremely well written and I felt the characters were well developed. There were also some great side characters that kept me entertained. The storyline was the best part though. The way Marie Lu weaved this incredible tale was amazing and I need to know what is going to happen in book two. I guessed who Zero was about halfway through, but Marie Lu took the twist in a direction I did not see coming at all. I both love and hate when books do that!

The story is told from Emika’s POV, which was a great POV to have. She was spunky, yet relatable and I really loved her character. She only ever wants to do the right thing no matter the cost to her. Hideo was such a mysterious character that I honestly never knew what he was going to do. I was heartbroken for him when we finally got a glimpse into his past to understand why he does some of the things he does. I just have no idea what to expect in book two with these two. It is definitely going to be interesting…that is for sure!

I highly recommend this book to those who love: young adult, futuristic worlds, rich virtual realities, plot twists, mysterious, billionaire heroes, and intelligent heroines.

Overall Rating: ★★★★★/★★★★★

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