Author: Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #1
Genre: Young Adult Distyopia, YA Sci Fi
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: September 12, 2017
My Copy: ARC that I picked up at Book Expo America
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.
Fantastic start to a wonderful new series. I totally fell in love with Emika, Emika is a character who you really know is tougher than she looks, but she has also has a lot to fight for and believes in the things she does, even if they land her in hot water.
When we start off in the book, Emika is tracking down a bounty, but things get messy. We also get a little background on the way this world works. Also what doesn’t help is that Emika has a criminal record. This will come up later. She is also someone who desperately needs the money and things go wrong and then she is worried about things. Emika also has a younger sister that she is taking care of. So things get weird when her rent comes due. So of course the next day after her bounty hunting goes wrong and Emika doesn’t get paid because someone else claimed her bounty. Emika finds a way to get into Warcross. This action changes her life immensely. We find out that after this, she becomes an overnight sensation.
Her debts have been paid off, not to mention her rent has been paid for a whole year. She thinks at first it’s a dream or in some weird alternate dimension and finds out that she has been invited to go to Japan.
Emika finds that Tokyo is more than she ever dreamed. She also gets to meet Hideo Tanaka and he tells her that he is the one who payed off her debts and much more. He needs her help. There is apparently a hacker who is trying to bring down Warcross and everything that Hides has built. So of course he offers her a ton of money to help him. Emika agrees.
This book takes a lot of twists and turns. There are teams in Warcross that compete against one another. Plus people compete for a lot of different reasons. We learn who each character is and what their position is in the game. Plus Emika is not someone who asks for help. She finds herself in a place she never expected. To be competing and working for someone she has developed a relationship with.
Emika starts to develop a relationship with Hideo Tanaka. Hideo is the head honcho and the one who recruited Emika to help find out who’s hacking the game. We learn as Emika and Hideo get closer a lot more about their past and what drove them on their paths. It’s an interesting look at who they are and what impact their choices have had on their lives and other people. I really enjoyed the fact that both Emika and Hideo believe in what they did and do have some regrets in how they handled things. Hindsight is always 20/20.
What transpires is a series of events that no one expects and it gets crazier and crazier. Plus things from Hideo’s past come back and it bites everybody in ways they don’t expect. Emika does ask for help but only after she realizes in order to stop the hacker, she needs a team and does this after things become clearer to her and what’s at stake for her.
I love the conflicts, the moral dilemma’s. The romance was very good. People doing Warcross because they need to support their families. I loved the ending this book had. Can’t wait to see what Marie Lu has in store for us in the next book.