Author: Marie Lu
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Read: Oct. 2017
I love being surprised with a good book! I haven’t read Marie Lu’s series Legend, I didn’t really like The Young Elites very much, and sci-fi isn’t one of my favourite genres, so I wasn’t expecting to love Warcross (or to be honest, I didn’t think it would ever make it off my TBR). But I saw so many positive reviews and I was in the mood for something fast paced, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did because I really really liked Warcross!
I love the world Marie Lu has built in Warcross. It’s a vibrant tech world in which virtual reality has become a major part of life. There’s no year given for the setting, but it is absolutely believable that our world could one day transform and advance into a place that would look very similar to the world described in Warcross.
The story focuses on Emika Chen, a New Yorker down on her luck, who works as a free-lance bounty hunter by using her hacking skills to track down Warcross cyber criminals. Warcross is the virtual reality game and interface that was invented by young Hideo Tanaka and has completely changed the way people interact. Emika’s life changes when she hacks her way into the Warcross championship opening games and is whisked off to Tokyo to compete undercover in the games.
I really liked Emika. She was very gritty and real. I liked her backstory and really enjoyed watching her grow throughout the novel. She’s always operated alone and it’s hard for her to suddenly have to begin working as part of a team. I loved her teammates Asher, Roshan, and Hammie, and I loved watching Emika learn to trust other people and the relationships she developed with them. My only complaint about the Phoenix Riders would be that I would like to learn more about Asher, Roshan, and Hammie’s backgrounds. They were good characters for Emika’s development, but I hoping to see more individual development in the next novel!
Finally there’s Hideo Tanaka. He was a very interesting character too. I wasn’t really into the romance – I thought it was predictable and I didn’t really buy into it. But I really liked Hideo’s backstory and I think the ending leaves a lot of room to get into some really interesting moral themes in the next book! Where do we draw the line with technological advances? What are the risks to humans with the advance of artificial intelligence? Is violence ever an okay means to advance an end? Can there ever really be world peace? Is protesting against the law? Can we assume that all laws act in the best interest of the people? Without dissent, how can we change the law?
Like I said, so many fun places this story can go – I’m super excited to see where Marie Lu takes things in the next book!