I absolutely love Marie Lu, but her Young Elites trilogy was not my favorite. They felt boring and a little contrived, which was why I was so worried when I began to read Warcross. Additionally, Warcross centers around video games, a topic I am completely uneducated in. But, her Legend trilogy has remained a constant favorite of mine, so I picked Warcross up.
Initially, all my worst fears were confirmed. Warcross begins with bounty hunter Emika Chen flying around Times Square, following people who have amassed steep debts gambling on the popular video game warcross. From the moment Emika began describing the beauty of Times Square, it was clear Lu lives in Los Angeles.
“Everyone- everyone– played Warcross. Some played it intensely, forming teams and battling for hours. Others played by… lounging on a virtual beach… Still others played by wearing their glasses while walking … showing off their virtual pet tigers…. However people played, it became a way of life.”
Luckily, Emika is soon summoned to Tokyo after her hack of the video game goes viral. As soon as Emika touches down in Tokyo, Warcross transforms. In New York, the story practically begged for eye rolls. In Tokyo, it comes alive in vivid detail, pulling the reader into a world of glittering skyscrapers and technology that seems only a generation away. My favorite part of Warcross however was unexpected. I am not usually one who gravitates towards romance, but Warcross had me swooning throughout. The romance, all though a little predictable, had a nail biting will-they-or-won’t-they buildup. When the two characters finally got together, I practically jumped for joy.
To me, Warcross seems like the book Marie Lu was meant to write. A former artist for a video game company, Lu presents her complex understanding of the world of gaming in a way that is palatable for even those new to the topic (meaning, me). The characters and the world remind me of what I loved about Legend, and the writing gives me something to look forward too in Lu’s next release
Warcross hits shelves September 12.