Friday, March 30, 2018

Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Goodreads

Review:

The topics Marie Lu writes about aren't really my thing. It took a couple months to pick this book up because I usually don't read books about video games. If this sounds like you too, don't worry. Although this book is about video games, and augmented reality, it also has amazing characters and a blindingly fast-paced storyline that will suck you in. I don't know how Lu does it but, she makes topics I don't really like amazingly interesting!

Warcross initially had a very Hunger Games vibe. A lowly street urchin has an amazing skill set, some rich benefactor gives her lavish clothes and a gorgeous place to live before she has to train and fight in an epic tournament. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I agree. Lu does a good job making this trope her own and injecting some personality into the story.

The personality comes almost entirely from Emiko Chen. She is wonderfully dynamic and her inner monologue felt unique and fresh. Emiko's father racked up some serious gambling debts before passing away leaving Emiko an orphan. At the beginning of the story, she is barely scraping by. This all changes when she hacks the opening ceremony of the Warcross tournament and everyone sees her. This little error leads her right to the founder of Warcross, Hideo Tanaka.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Emiko and Hideo. It was a lot of subtle signs and sly smiles. My favorite kind of romance is the slow burn and this definitely simmered.

My main qualm with this story was that it was a bit tropey and I called the "big twist" at the end about halfway through the book. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the story I just would have enjoyed it more had something genuinely surprised me.

Overall, this was a truly fun read. If you want something action-packed with memorable characters this is for you. Honestly, had I not called the ending I would easily be giving this 5 stars. If you aren't a Marie Lu fan yet, this may just be the book that converts you.

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