Friday, May 4, 2018

Book Review: Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu

Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Son's Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Format: E-book
Published: October, 2017
Price: $10.99 -> Rp148.420 (Amazon)
Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Date started: October 3, 2017 - Date finished: October 4, 2017

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.
Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter to make a living, one day she accidentally glitches herself in the middle of an ongoing Warcross game and her accident became an instant sensation. She is then drafted into one of the teams competing in the Warcross championship, but she is actually there hired by the creator of Warcross, Hideo Tanaka to act as a spy for him to catch someone called Zero that's threatening the security of the game.

To uncover who's trying to sabotage Warcross she must balance being a player and a spy at the same time. This proves to be a little difficult as she's never been a Warcross player before, so she must train gruellingly to be in shape for the game. In addition to that, getting close with people in the game made her suspicion falls on one of her teammates. 
“It is hard to describe loss to someone who has never experienced it, impossible to explain all the ways it changes you. But for those who have, not a single word is needed.”
When I was reading this book I couldn't help but compare it to Ready Player One, a book I've read before and totally loved. The two share a kind of similar concept and because of this comparison I feel like Warcross was a tad more underdeveloped in terms of world-building compared to RPO. When I was reading RPO I was totally immersed in the fictional world that is OASIS, but when I was reading this book it didn't have a lot of world-building to it as the VR part is mostly on the Warcross tournament and the rest of the world was explained as a futuristic type of setting. 

The best part about this book to me was the action scenes in the Warcross tournament. The author did a wonderful job in writing the movement of the characters in the game and the changes in surrounding during the game so I can imagine it very vividly in my head. The tournament part was the part I couldn't put down. I kind of imagined Warcross as an intense game of capture the flag (I was reminded of this game when I read about the concept of the Warcross tournament, sue me).
“Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.”
“Everything's science fiction until someone makes it science fact”
In terms of characters, I couldn't sympathise with any of the characters in this book. I do love that there were quite a diverse set of ethnicity in the characters, which I don't read a lot of but need more in books. One other thing that bugged me is the chemistry of Emika & Hideo, it kind of felt forced to me. Personally, the book would've been better without this pairing.
“They think that you won't hit back - that you'll just lower your eyes and hide. And sometimes, to protect yourself, to make it go away, you do. But sometimes, you find yourself standing in exactly the right position, wielding exactly the right weapon to hit back. So I hit. I hit fast and hard and furious. I hit with nothing but the language whispered between circuits and wire, the language that can bring people to their knees.”
Also, a few chapters before the book ended I kind of knew who the hacker would be (a backstory of a character revealed it for me) and I was right, so that was a bummer for me cause I kind of like to be proven wrong especially on plot twists because it just adds to my reading experience. In the end I'm not sure I'll continue with this series when the next one is out. I would definitely recommend people to read RPO instead of this.

That's all for now!

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