Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

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. 

Truth time: I’ve only read the Legend series by Marie Lu and I am now kicking myself in the ass for not reading my copies of The Young Elites before now because holy hell Warcross kept me on my toes and was absolutely wonderful.

It has everything a modern reader could want: advanced technology, a love story, rags to riches narrative, an intricate game, and so much more.

This book was addicting!

Emika is a seriously relatable character. I found myself completely invested in her narrative, the struggle she had from her parental background and her monetary problems. (Let’s be honest, what millennial wouldn’t relate to that?) Her intense love for art in all forms, her hair, her father’s, and the graphics of Warcross was so believable and it made Emika truly breathe off of the page.

I was completely engrossed in this story from start to finish.

Lu picks up with a chase for a criminal and then snowballs into a hacker being given all she ever dreamed of…but it comes with a price.

I think the only thing I wish had been elaborated on further was the friendships created within the Phoenix Riders.  Why? Well, I just wish I could have spent more time with these characters that Lu created. I know that they should be back for the sequel and I can only hope we get more of their development as well. Although I know the narrative for Warcross was so fast paced (and it needed to be) that some of this development had to be sacrificed, I just wish there was more!

On Twitter there were people complaining about one of the twists in the novel and I have to say that I whole heartedly disagree with their feedback on that. I found it absolutely twisted and excellent. Kudos to Lu for putting that in. Want to know what it is? Buy a copy of the book now.

4.5 Bards for Warcross

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I am seriously kicking myself for not having read this series sooner.  Admittedly, I had a friend borrow my first copy of Cinder around the time that it was released, and I never got it back, so it is likely that I forgot about it until I saw all of the commotion and excitement over the release of the prequel, Fairest.  Either way, I bought myself another copy of this book and decided to give it a shot.

First thing that attracted me to Meyer’s novel: the reimagining of the fairy tale.  I’ve always been fascinated with fairy tales and the different interpretations of them.  Ranging from the Disney interpretations, to the Grimm (get it?) originals, to Perrault’s fluffier renditions, it is exceedingly interesting to see how these stories have changed over the years.  However, I was a bit disappointed that the only true similarities between the original Cinderella stories and Cinder were scarce.

While I was sad about that, I have admit that after getting into the story and experiencing how Meyer developed the world of New Beijing, leutmosis, Luna, and the rest, I wasn’t even focused on that anymore.  I really enjoyed how the story starts off the focus really small and surrounding Cinder and her family, but then slowly expands and really continues organically.

I love the use of realistic scientific advances (such as cyborgs, andriods, port screens, etc), but I’m still super interested to know how this World War IV happened within this world/timeline and how the countries and continents were changed into what they are within the story (i.e. the American Republic, the Commonwealth), but I don’t expect too much detail as it would just take away from the rest of the story.  I am just a super curious reader.

Oh, Queen Levana and the Lunars.  Meyer did such a great job of making them terrifyingly powerful and tantilizing. There were a few twists in this novel that I wasn’t expecting, and I really don’t want to include spoilers, regardless of the fact that I’m probably the last person to have read this book.

Cinder was ridiculously well written and enjoyable. Kudos to Meyer for creating my new favorite series.

4.5 Bards





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