What an emotional and heart wrenching book! It makes you think deeply about how technology can impact on people's lives and talks about how far the right to make your own decisions extends. While the portrayals on coding aren't always accurate, the ethical questions and the touching romance, and the protagonists devotion to her father make this a must read.
There was the hype, the gorgeous cover, and rave reviews from Marie Lu’s past titles that had me snapping up ‘Warcross’ as soon as I was able, finding a comfortable corner to escape and read. I was pleasantly surprised by this title, and it is the first novel of Lu’s that I’ve read. It came on the heels of a similar title ‘Ready Player One’ (and the movie release,) so I was ready to get sucked into a digital fantasy world.
Although ‘Warcross’ was a little too ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...’ Even though our protagonist Emika was hesitant at times, she was lead throughout the story. I was wanting her to show some more grit and independence.
I was not sure about the Hideko-Emika pairing... what is the age gap? Did anyone else feel a bit creeped out by this?
Definitely my favourite parts were the VR game battles. I could feel the tension; and the pace and writing style kept me gripped to the page.
Nice to see the inclusion of non-abled bodied characters in the team, (yay diversity) and their presence as a matter of no consequence, and even the character (Asher) is considered cute. I‘m bored of disabilities used as a plot device or an identifier; and ‘Warcross’ definitely leaves all that ish behind.
The VR world was built thoroughly, and I loved reading about the digital landscapes and conflicts; but the real world had some missing pieces. I wish the landscape was built more thoroughly as the virtual one was.
Some other drawbacks I had with the narrative was the low key, slow to build in the first half. I wanted it to build quicker, or drop some interesting cookies to keep me interested. ‘Warcross’ was mostly predictable, and did not feel altogether original. I think since ‘The Last Starfighter’ and ‘Tron’ movies back in the 1980’s anything using this plot device will feel ‘done’ unless the author can put a new twist on it.
Marie Lu has a great writing style, but was hoping for some more witty banter. I like me some witty banter. Or sarcasm.
Did I mention the cover art? OMG the cover! Drooling.
‘Warcross’ ends on a cliff-hanger - doh! Miss Lu executes a mic drop and leaves the room. Yeah thanks for that. Now I have the agony of waiting for the sequels release. Not to mention reviews of ‘Wildcard’ ARCs making rounds of the blogs – it’s torture.
This is the first book I've read by Marie Lu, and it will not be my last. I loved this book! It's quite rare for me not to be able to put a book down, but this was one!
Right from the beginning I was completely immersed in the world. Given this is a 'near future' sci-fi, it would have been easy for the world to be unbelievable. It had to be based in reality and it was perfectly done, nothing seemed unrealistic. The detail given to the Warcross games themselves too was epic. I could imagine each virtual world and feel the nerves and excitement of the players. This was sci-fi world-building at its best and it made for a thrilling read.
The formatting of this book was really cool too, with things like text messages, news headlines and game notifications given their own fonts and styles through out. It was really creative, and, while not totally original, was super fun to see and added to the immersive experience.
Diversity/disability are also expertly written here. The handling of disability in particular stood out to me. Asher, one of the Warcross captains, is in a wheelchair, but it was never really pointed out like "this is Asher, he's in a wheelchair". Instead, he used his chair to crash into his team's doors to wake them up. The fact that he is in a wheelchair doesn't even matter, it just is, and he's still one of the best players and captains in the Warcross games. Well played Marie Lu, well played.
This book was a pretty enjoyable YA that didn't really delve too deeply into anything in particular, until it did. The twist at the end left me conflicted about right and wrong and I was not expecting it at all. I'm still torn! Perfection.
I would recommend this book to any YA/Scifi lover. It's beautifully written and is surprisingly deep. I will be reading the second book ASAP when it comes out.