Hello happy readers. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know I did. I got to go up and visit a fellow blogger friend, Bogdana the Booknerd, where we attended the Marie Lu event and then got to do out Christmas. This is progress last year we didn't get to do Christmas until March so big steps! We also got the chance to discuss our plans for revamping our reading group, Perpetual YA Bookworms and hope you will join us this year. That said the Marie Lu event was one of the main reasons for the trip as she had the release of the new Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) but also mid last year she also had the release of Warcross (Warcross #1) both of which I have read and very much enjoyed. So having finished Warcross before the event and my Twitter poll on which one to get for a giveaway was at a tie I went with Warcross. The giveaway will be at the bottom of the post with all the details. First my thoughts on the book itself.
Warcross isn't just a game but a way of life. The ten year obsession that spans the world is a place of escape from reality. It's also a way to make a profit. Hacker struggling to get by Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet illegally. Like most things the world is competitive and not always easy. Needing quick cash fast Emika risks a hack of the opening game of the international Warcross Championships, only she accidently glitches herself into the game and becomes an overnight sensation. Not exactly subtle. Convinced she's going to jail Emika is surprised when instead she gets a job offer and a wild card spot to this years tournament. Warcross creator and young billionaire Hideo Tanaka wants her to play but also help discover a security problem, much like the one she exploited when she glitched in. Swept up in the fame and fortune of this world she quickly uncovers much less glamorous plot that would have major consequences for all of Warcross.
Emika is in a difficult spot trying to make it in the world. Things are not easy and despite how hard she tries her past has put a bit of a damper on her ability to make ends meet. So after a series of disappointments she makes a split second decision to try and make a play to help herself. And her anonymity goes out the window as everyone suddenly knows who she is. So when the Warcross company contacts her….a lot….she isn't surprised. What does surprise her is the offer to fly her to headquarters and offer her a job rather and punishment for her breach. Even more amazing is that she gets to talk to, and is on the way to meet, Hideo Tanaka, Warcross creator and boy genius who she has had a crush on since she first started coding. The job seems straight forward: she'll participate in the game and get all the perks of being a player in the tournament but she is also to work from within to try and find this security breach. She is on a bounty hunt with much higher stakes and the prize is well over any bounty she's took on before. But hunting in the shadows is a bit more difficult than she originally thought.
Emika is really easy to like. She has had a tough run at things and despite her less than legal actions at times she has a good heart. But as amazing a character as I found her I say the biggest character in the book was Warcross. It is not only a game but a way of life. Glasses you wear all the time as everything comes up with a second layer. This is so amazing and futuristic but at the same time something that we could end up with a version of in our lifetime which is kind of amazing. The intricate world that is described just blew me away and for a book that isn't super long this is a huge thing. One I think Lu manages so well in her books. So yes all the different worlds within Warcross and what it is capable of just astounds me. So it's almost like adding in fun and vivid characters like Emika and Hideo are just icing on the cake. Hideo is a rather complex character himself as he is guarded and a bit closed off but we get to see more about him as we get deeper into the story. He is very focused and likes to build and fix things.
Plus that doesn’t even mention her team in the game. Because the game itself, her cover, is amazing. All the press and parties sure but the games themselves. Training to get up to the proper level with everyone being an unknown she is behind on many areas but while it is a cover she doesn't want to let her team down. I loved that aspect. That she was good at it but she did have to train, she wasn't just an instant know it all. She had to learn the higher levels like others who have been playing on them have done. Plus while I knew it was virtual and all it didn't take away a single moment of action in the games. As the attacks happen I was just as invested and concerned if they were really injuring one another because the VR is that intense in the book and really pulls you into it. Everything is very in the moment.
Another thing I found really compelling in this book is the play on right and wrong. Lu is great at having characters who are on either side but she also has this amazing talent for walking the grey line. This is something the characters play with yes, but also the idea of technology. When one side is fighting to destroy it to understand their actions you learn a different side of things than you normally would have. I liked this back and forth on if technology was good or bad. Can we as flawed humans really be in charge of something so powerful? At the signing Lu mentioned something along those lines as well and I found that to be something the resonated in the book and I have no doubt will continue to be a factor in the sequel.
I really enjoyed this book and I think it is my favorite book by the author yet and that is saying something since I haven't disliked a single thing. Still I am super excited for the sequel which at the moment doesn't have a title, cover, or release date, though I do have my suspicions. That said I am thrilled to have a SIGNED copy of Warcross to giveaway. All the ways to enter are in the option below and I'll leave it open until Friday 2/2/18. Good luck!
Until next time…