• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

You may see much of this young adult story coming, but Warcross is an action-packed quest to right wrongs in an immersive video game and beyond--with some romance!

“...sometimes people kick you to the ground at recess because they think the shape of your eyes is funny. They lunge at you because they see a vulnerable body. Or a different skin color. Or a different name. Or a girl. They think that you won't hit back--that you'll just lower your eyes and hide. And sometimes, to protect yourself, to make it go away, you do.

But sometimes you find yourself standing in exactly the right position, wielding exactly the right weapon to hit back.”

Emika Chen is an orphaned young woman in a futuristic New York City. She's gifted when it comes to computers, but she's been driven by desperate circumstances to become a bounty hunter seeking out those who bet illegally on the worldwide phenomenon Warcross game.

She's hacked into the game plenty of times and glitched the system to work in her favor. But when she accidentally disrupts a high-stakes championship and draws the attention of the game's creator, she finds herself in Tokyo considering an invitation she could never have dreamed of: a job working for Hideo Tanaka himself. If she accepts, she'll never have to worry about money again.

But seeking to uncover the identity of those trying to destroy the game--and figuring out the other elements at work--turns out to be more high-stakes and dangerous than Emika ever dreamed.

Warcross is a teen dream: the intersection of immersive video gaming (à la Ender's Game) and romaaaaaantic moments, a noble quest, a reluctant heroine, and complications that upend everything just in time for the second and final book in this duology (Wildcard).

You may be able to see much of this one coming, but the action-packed fight for justice coupled with the promise of a clever, ragtag group of heroic characters entering book two for an even higher stakes battle make for a satisfying Marie Lu experience.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I've been putting Marie Lu series (Legend, The Young Elites, and Warcross) into my son's hands for years, but I've only read Skyhunter (which I really enjoyed; the sequel is Steelstriker, which I haven't yet read) and her stand-alone historical fiction story with elements of science fiction, The Kingdom of Back.