Warcross by Marie Lu – A Review
Warcross by Marie Lu is the first book in a new Young Adult series that was published in 2017. It was getting pretty decent reviews, so I went into this with what might be considered higher expectations than usual. I really wanted it to be good. I’m the first to admit I can be a tad critical of YA novels, but there are a lot that I have enjoyed, so take that as you will. Maybe I shouldn’t have read this book so soon after Ready Player One, which I’m sure we’ll be talking about at a later point due to the movie coming out this year!
Warcross is more than just a game – we’re talking bigger than football and maybe even bigger Quidditch. It’s a big deal and because it’s all virtual, it’s an International phenomenon of a game. The story follows Emika, a young hacker who is struggling to survive thanks to being alone with a growing pile of debts and through her hacking skills manages to glitch herself into the biggest event of the year. The International Warcross Championships.
There are a lot of familiarities with Ready Player One, but unfortunately this book just doesn’t hold a candle. The potential was there, but instead the book focuses on unimportant details and (one of my biggest gripes with most YA novels) bad dialogue with some bad romance. We know that Emika has rainbow hair… a point that is very important to the author, and while there is some good diversity among the characters, they aren’t really fleshed out. The book doesn’t focus enough on world-building, and there are some moments that are just really laughable – I’m looking at you Dark Web.
Ultimately it was written in a way that sounds as though the author herself doesn’t really know anything about gaming or technology because she doesn’t expand on those at all. When Emika hacks into something she always seems to just insert a line of code and BAM! I’m not expecting complex How-To’s by any means, but pretty sure there’s more to being a ridiculously skilled hacker.
So, my favorite part of the book is the cover, but will I be reading the sequel? Doubtful.