Author: Marie Lu
Publication date: 14th September 2017
Genre: Young adult/sci-fi/fantasy
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life.
Teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Struggling to make ends meet, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the Warcross Championships – accidentally glitching herself into the action.
Now an overnight sensation, Emika is whisked off to Tokyo to meet the games creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka. He needs a spy in this years tournament to help uncover a security problem…and he wants Emika for the job.
Thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of, Emika’s investigation soon uncovers a sinister plot, which could shatter the entire Warcross empire.
Going into this, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like it. I’ve not read any books yet that are set in a gaming world so I didn’t really know what to expect – boy oh boy, I didn’t need to be nervous at all!
Being a gamer girl myself I was quickly drawn into the world and hooked from the first chapter where we meet Emika, who is struggling to afford rent on an apartment she lives in with her roommate Kiera, and has been served an eviction notice. Emika is a bounty hunter working with the police to catch people that bet illegally on Warcross which was created by Hideo Tanaka, who Emika has admired since he went global with Warcross.
In the first couple of chapters we get to know how fierce and brave Emika is and how she’s willing to do anything to pay off her debts and keep the apartment she owns. She take a huge risk and glitches into the Warcross Opening Championship game hoping it will make her enough money to pay the landlord and live comfortably for a few years, but after discovering that Emika had glitched into his game, Hideo has other ideas for her. He wants her, under the disguise of being a Wildcard, to hunt down the mysterious hacker ‘Zero’ and stop him from whatever he plans to do. But it soon becomes clear to Emika that ‘Zero’ isn’t the true villain at work…
I was instantly drawn into this world! From the descriptions I could imagine I was really there, and I really wanted to own a pair of Warcross Lenses! This gaming world was so well written that I wish it was real. All the hacking, and codes, and conversations made this book so engaging that I struggled to put it down. I also really liked how the writing changed sometimes during the game action scenes to show what the players would see pop up in their vision, and also the different text messages that were passed back and forth between Emika & Hideo.
I really liked Emika’s character. She’s so clever and I pretty much agreed with all of her actions. Hideo sounded like your typical billionaire love interest until the very end when the twist was revealed and wow. I did not see that one coming.
The game action scenes I lived for! They were so well written and I loved the world building, how each character or ‘player’ have different roles to fill, much like the games I’m used to playing. How they all interacted with each other to win games was something I could relate to and I really enjoyed reading it.
That last game scene with the Mechs really reminded me of Pacific Rim which I really loved watching.
This book is full of game action, fast paced and such a fun book to read. The only reason I marked it down .5 of a star is because I knew instantly who ‘Zero’ was. I’m really looking forward to reading Wildcard in the new year.