Warcross by Marie Lu ***Review***

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For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I’m going to be incredibly blunt – as someone who plays a lot of video games, it is incredibly obvious when an author has never played a game in his/her life. However, Marie Lu knows what she’s talking about.

SHE INSERTED A WORLD OF WARCRAFT REFERENCE! (Bonus points for any Wordnerd that finds it. Believe me, you’ll know it when you see it.)

I finished this book, closed the cover and stared at the wall for a good… fifteen minutes. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of dystopian fiction – all of that world building sometimes leaves me bored. However, the world the Marie Lu has created is amazing. The story was enough to keep me up FAR later than I should have been and when I finally did fall asleep, I found myself dreaming of being a spectator at the Warcross Championships. I found it THAT immersive.

Normally I’m pretty good at working out the twists before they come, but the dual twist at the end left me yelling both “I FREAKING KNEW IT!” and “WHHHAAAAATT?!” Thank goodness that it ended the way that it did because it left the story wide open for a sequel – a book that I will pre-order and clear a weekend for because I can’t wait to spend more time with Emika, Hideo, the Pheonix Riders and the mysterious Zero.

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