Goodreads Rating: 4.4 / 5 stars
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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.
Thank you Penguin Group for Young Readers / Penguin Teen for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Life is tough for Emika Chen since her father passed away from cancer. She sustains her daily needs working as a bounty hunter and with her impressive hacking skills, she tracks down people involved on illegal gambling. Lately, she’s unlucky with her hunts and she’s needs money to pay her rent or else she’ll be evicted. With desperation, she comes up with an idea by hacking herself into the sensational virtual reality game called Warcross to steal power ups and trade them for cash. However, it went wrong when she hacked herself during the International Warcross Championship’s opening game which brought amazement and confusion to the players and viewers all over the world. She instantly becomes popular and it caught the Warcross founder’s attention.
Emika feels embarrassed after that incident, to her surprise she received a job offer from the billionaire Warcross founder, Hideo Tanaka to become a spy. She’ll be part of the game too while hunting the culprit who is trying to mess up the system’s security. With Emika’s intelligence and skills, he believes she could help him. Emika accepted the job and flies to the game’s venue: Tokyo, Japan. It’s a dream come true for her since she’s a huge fan of Warcross and Hideo Tanaka. She enjoys the privileges being a Warcross player but as the story unveils, things got more complicated and dangerous than what she signed up for.
Warcross just blew me away and gave me an adrenaline rush. The story pulled me instantly and I purposely take my time reading it because it’s entertaining, fun, and gripping. I held my breath on the Warcross matches because they are fantastic and intense! I also love the game reference mentioned in this book. The futuristic elements (advance technology, virtual reality etc.) and the setting are exquisitely detailed. The great thing about this novel, the science aspect was thoroughly explained without overwhelming its readers. I could easily picture it in my head and I’m mesmerized by it. It makes me want to be a part of or at least experience it.
Emika Chen and Hideo Tanaka are awesome, strong and complex protagonists. Hideo is quite a mysterious and stern while Emika is more of an open book. I love these two so much as well as the secondary characters Asher, Roshan and Hammie. (Mostly Roshan. I love this dude!) Plus, I love this set of diverse characters and all of them played their roles. As for the romance between Emika and Hideo, their chemistry is lit and I love it! Gosh, on those few romantic moments I swoon over these two!
Regarding on the plot twist, it’s predictable to figure out who Zero is but there’s one unexpected turn on Hideo’s true agenda and that one surprised me. This situation puts Emika on an ultimatum. Sorry I can’t tell you more due to spoilers and with that ending, I’m so pumped to read the sequel! I want to know what’s going to happen so bad. Overall, this book is superb and a must read. I enjoyed it so much. Hands freaking down to Marie Lu!