Penguin Young Readers Group, 2017.
366 pages. Kindle Edition.
Trigger Warning: None.
About the Author:Marie Lu is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Legend, Prodigy, and Champion, as well as The Young Elites. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.
“Some people still say that Warcross is just a stupid game. Others say it’s a revolution. But for me and millions of others, it’s the only foolproof way to forget our troubles.”
In the future, virtual world of Warcross has become a way of life. Billboards, international games, pets, and costumes all brought to life through the virtual reality glasses invented by the young billionaire Hideo Tanaka.
But when hacker and bounty hunter Emika Chan glitches herself into the championship games in front of the whole world, Hideo decides to recruit her instead of press charges. The job: hunt down another hacker about to bring down the next championship game.
The world of Warcross is a gamer’s dream come true. The novel capitalizes on that, dropping references to games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft like Easter eggs. The trail leads to the beautifully described virtual worlds of the Warcross matches, each of which was carefully crafted for a unique championship experience, and the underworld, a virtualized version of the dark net. Unfortunately, the rushed relationship between Hideo and Emika takes precedence over exploration, with flirtation starting somewhere between him buying her million dollar clothes and her identifying a coding problem that professionals couldn’t when she has no formal training. With his reputation as a playboy, it’s a bit disappointing to see a character portrayed as independent allow herself to be bought out. Yet the novel has its strong points in its creative portrayals, and its appeal to the growing gamer culture makes it a strong seller.
PRR Editor, Kayla Wactor