Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Warcross
by Marie Lu
Warcross by Marie Lu releases next Tuesday, the 12th, and I can’t wait for this beauty to hit the shelves and fall into readers hands! I loved every minute and I hope you do too! Check out all the book information below, my spoiler-free review, my gamer friend’s review, and a tour-wide giveaway! Be sure to check out other stops on the blog tour for all the fun!
Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu
Category: Young Adult, Sci-fi
Publication: September 12th, 2017; G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.
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.
In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
Pre-Order Warcross and submit your receipt to receive Life After Legend -a short story set after the events of the Legend Series. *Offer expires September 11th, 2017.
“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact”
Warcross has been one of those books that I have been excited for since the moment I heard about it. I can’t even explain to you how fantastic it truly is! WOW! I am absolutely blown away by the epicness that Marie Lu has dropped on us. I have loved all of Marie’s books, but Warcross may just be my favorite.
Emika Chen hasn’t been very lucky in life since her father died. She is about to be homeless, so she takes a serious risk and hacks into the opening ceremony of the Warcross Championships, and everyone, billions of people see her! Instead of being arrested, she is whisked away to Tokyo, to become an internal spy for the games.
Emika is so badass. I loved her spirit and her ingenuity. Emika is fierce and has suffered, but soldiers on. She has such a great outlook for someone who has been dumped on her whole teenage life. She just gets it. I really loved the way she sees the world, no matter if it is through her Warcross glasses or IRL. She is a hacker but eschews all the exhausted stereotypes. Emika knows who she is, and what she wants. I just want to be her! She works hard, and maybe sometimes what she does is illegal, but she holds to her morals even if they land her in jail.
Hideo Tanaka created Warcross and a seamless virtual reality. On an particularly down day for Emika as a child, she catches a radio interview, and he inspires her to go to class, do her homework and become the hacker that she is today. Emika, along with the whole world, has a crush on Hideo. So when she has to talk to him in person, she gets a little nervous and flirty. Plus I needed that romance, every slow-burn minute of it.
There is a huge cast of characters, and by no surprise, it is a super diverse cast! I have hopes to get to know more of the side characters in book 2, because Emika is really going to need those teammates! I really wanted to know more about them, but with such a large cast, it makes sense that the focus was more on Emika and her competing in the games as well as hunting the hacker. How often do you find yourself completely admiring the villain of the story (unless you are me, because I tend to have a fondness for the bad guys)? Well, this is one of those cases, for me I was enamored with Zero (and I will keep it at that as I try to keep this spoiler-free). Zero is quite brilliant, but Emika is ready to take them on!
The book was so visual, I was literally making the movie in my head as I read. I can’t even explain to you how fantastic it truly is, you will just have to read it for yourself! Are you ready to be mesmerized?! One thing is for sure, I wish Warcross was real. I don’t say that about many sci-fi books, because usually they aren’t pleasant. But I want seamless virtual reality that’s like a layer over the real world. Makes everything just so much more shiny. I want to have a virtual pet, I want those Alexander McQueen specs, I want that skateboard! Absolutely loved all the gaming explanations, the way the outside world is also affected by this new technology, and how so many people are involved in the game daily. Probably want to pass on the lack of jobs and all the automation, but that could just be me and my fear of losing our humanity.
The reveal and ending of this book destroyed me – completely tormenting! Absolutely threw me and I can’t believe the cliff I am hanging onto here. I need book 2, right freaking now! Please – how am I going to wait?! This book is action-packed and will grab you from the moment you start reading. Absolutely unputdownable! The writing is cinematic and it is just one of those books you can read and read and read. Get ready to be immersed in Warcross!
* I shared my ARC with my coworker, Mike, because I know he enjoys to read, and he is an avid gamer and reviews indie video games! So I really wanted to see what he thought of the book and to share his perspective with you too!
I have to admit that I was a slightly skeptical when Kelly passed along her copy of Warcross and insisted I give it a read. A broke, friendless, protagonist escapes her miserable life and discovers fame and fortune by competing in a virtual reality game—it sounds an awful lot like Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which was already a hodgepodge story cobbled together from other works.
But Warcross quickly finds its own footing and Marie Lu paints a vivid near-future world with a colorful group of characters and believable technology that feels like it’s just around the corner.
The story follows Emika Chen, a broke bounty hunter who hunts down criminals in an online game called Warcross. In a fit of desperation, she hacks into the biggest tournament, which thrusts her into the national spotlight, provides her fame, and the opportunity to join the ranks of the professional players. Now the center of TMZ-style coverage, Chen has to divide her time between training with her new teammates, secretly investigating a plot to undermine the tournament, and flirting up a storm with Hideo, the prodigy who created the game (and also her lifelong crush).
When I look at the individual pieces, the book really seems like it shouldn’t work. It all feels just a little too convenient and a little too pie-in-the-sky. Chen’s romance with Hideo is particularly eye-roll inducing, but Lu manages to duck-tape all together into a enjoyable package thanks to her imaginative world-building and charismatic characters.
The exploration of the Warcross game is a particular strength of the book, and Lu dives deep into describing the numerous powers, hacks, and seedy underworld buried in the software. Classic game fans may pick subtle nods to some favorite franchises, but Lu steers clear Cline’s arguably obnoxious habit of smacking the reader in the face with pop culture. Unlike Ready Player One, Warcross is enjoyable on its own merits, regardless of the reader’s knowledge of video games or 80s culture.
Author Bio: Marie Lu
Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and one Pembroke Welsh corgi.
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) grand prize winners of a WARCROSS prize set (including hardcover of Warcross, shirt, keychain, and postcard). (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 4, 2017 and 12:00 AM on September 29, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.