After reading a book that wasn’t on this month’s TBR, I figured WHY NOT KEEP GOING? 😂 I just finished Warcross by Marie Lu, and it was a terrific sci-fi adventure with compelling, flawed characters and heart-stopping twists and turns. Even someone like me, who’s not an avid gamer, could appreciate the incredible detail that went into creating the game at the heart of the book and describing its rules and complexities. And HOLY CRAP THAT ENDING. 😱 (But don’t worry. This is a spoiler-free review!)
Not sure what this book is about? You can find a short synopsis here!
What I Liked: I think what really hooked me when I read about this book was that Emika was described as a teenage hacker who also worked as a bounty hunter. I mean, you had me at hacker, but a bounty hunter, too?! So badass. Not to mention her rainbow-dyed hair. 😁🌈 I found her to be a relatable character with a great deal of emotional depth. She’s brilliant at what she does, but I did like that by the end of the book, she found herself stuck in a hard place. Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing protagonists succeed and find happiness. But I also love the realism of seeing them struggle and grow through tough situations. I really liked Emika’s teammates and how her relationship with them changed as the story progressed. I’m hoping to see more of Asher — and learn more about him — in the next book. It was great to see disability representation in this book, and that’s something I would be happy to see more often. And finally, the game of Warcross itself was described in a way that didn’t leave me feeling confused or unsure of how and why things were happening. I feel like I was given just enough information — not too little and not too much.
What I Disliked: I had already read some reviews critiquing the predictability of the plot, and yes, there were definitely moments when my suspicions turned out to be true. But I will say, I think the twists in this book — even if you already know they’re coming — are well-crafted. I didn’t like Hideo much, from the beginning all the way to the end. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I disliked him, but I felt sort of “meh” about him. 🙁 I found his backstory to be interesting, but I never felt as emotionally attached to or invested in him as I did with Emika. And this is a really small thing, but I wanted to see more of the Dark World. I’m hoping we get to explore more of it in the next book, because I’m fascinated by what we’ve seen so far. The Pirate’s Den, the Emerald Emporium, the circus imagery and secret codes and passageways… Honestly, I could read an entire book about it.
Overall, this was a fun read that I couldn’t put down! (Seriously, I chose to keep reading even while my husband watched Pacific Rim, and that movie is the BEST.) I would definitely recommend this book to gamers and non-gamers alike. 😄