By: Anna DeGoede
A virtual reality game dominates society in Marie Lu’s most recent novel, Warcross. Immensely popular, the game of Warcross draws players from around the world in the international championships. Emika Chen, desperate and out of options, mistakenly hacks her way into the opening ceremonies, earning worldwide attention. Most specifically, that of the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka. He recruits her to find Zero, a hacker who is trying to interfere with the games. As Emika delves more into the game, she struggles with deciding who’s on her side and who isn’t.
Warcross is a page-turning novel that explores the consequences of virtual reality, while also addressing the manipulability of the human race. With clear roots in books like Ready Player One, Warcross puts a new spin on a current hot topic: the technological world. The game is one of the clear highlights of the novel, exploring new digital possibilities, while easily connecting with the audience. The characters are dynamic, relatable, and seem to write the story themselves. Emika Chen is a worthy protagonist as a talented hacker with sharp instincts. The anonymous personas of Zero and his associates create a tense, suspenseful dynamic throughout the novel. With its appealing premise, Warcross is able to grab the reader’s attention from the first chapter, and holds it until the very last pages. The reader is left to guess the fate of the all the characters at the novel’s conclusion.
Warcross is an engaging novel, one that is most likely to be appreciated by teenagers and young adults. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for an easy read with attention-grabbing characters and plot.