Buddy-Read Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy was one of my absolute favorite reads when I was younger! I absolutely loved the worldbuilding and enticing plot, so I was super excited when A from Avid Reader Diary reached out to me for a buddy read earlier this year. ๐Ÿ’ž

Together, weโ€™ll be doing a Q&A review. Weโ€™ve asked each otherโ€™s questions about the book, and weโ€™ll be answering them on our respective blogs. Check out my answers below, and be sure to head over to A’s blog to read her answers to my questions!


WARCROSS (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu 

PUBLISHED BY G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House) on September 12th, 2017

GENRES: Science Fiction

PAGES: 366



For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isnโ€™t just a gameโ€”itโ€™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 Championshipsโ€”only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

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


What were your expectations of Warcross before reading it? Were they met?

I don’t think I had overly high or low expectations going into this book. I really loved Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, and I thought The Young Elites was also enticing although not as captivating as the Legend series. ๐ŸŒŸ I kept my expectations neutral because I’m also not the biggest fan of Science-Fiction books so I didn’t think I’d fall in love with the world, but I still wanted to give the book a fair chance. Oh, and I also didn’t really like the cover of the book #sorrynotsorry

What are your overall thoughts on the plot, world, and the characters?

The worldbuilding was phenomenal!! I wish Warcross was a game I could play in real life, and it reminded me of Sword Art Online meets League of Legends. ๐ŸŽฎ I love how the world Marie Lu created was so familiar but the technology was far more advanced. It was extremely different from the science fiction genre I expected, but every piece of the world from the dark web to the virtual reality was well-crafted and intricate, making everything all the more believable.

Emika Chen as a main character was easy to love. ๐Ÿ’– I loved learning about her past and family history, but also, it was just so fun to read from the POV of a character who was so knowledgeable about coding and hacking in this world. In contrast, Hideo Tanaka was the international dreamboat that Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss should have been and every Asian mother would want you to date. He’s a young Japanese CEO with a British accent, and he does the super cute thing where he rolls his dress shirt sleeves to his elbows. ๐Ÿ‘€

Some readers say this is a book full of plot twists. But some say it’s predictable. Which side are you?

There definitely are plot twists sprinkled throughout the story. However, I don’t think anything happens that is widely unexpected. Everything is developed enough where I had an idea because there was enough foreshadowing earlier on in the novel. I think the final plot twist in the book was meant to serve as an unexpected shock, but personally, I saw it coming based on everything else that had already happened. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

โ€œEvery locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.โ€ 

If you were to change anything in this book that you didn’t like, what would it be?

As much as I love our two main characters individually, I didn’t love the romance entirely because it did feel a bit forced. Tanaka was a very kind character, but their relationship could have existed perfectly as friendship and the plot wouldn’t have differed. I didn’t hate it, but it did feel like it existed simply to add more drama, making it feel less genuine.

How do you think Warcross relates to real life?

Even though Warcross focused a lot on uncovering hidden secrets within a video game, Emika’s character and growth throughout the story taught me a lot about understanding others’ circumstances and viewing things in the larger picture. ๐Ÿ’ซ

โ€œYou have to learn to look at the whole of something, not just the parts.โ€

All in all, I think this book was a fantastic read, and I would definitely recommend picking up! I’m so glad that I finally gave it a go, and I can’t wait to continue the journey with Emika in Wildcard.


Have you read Warcross? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments! ๐Ÿ’•

33 thoughts on “Buddy-Read Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

    1. Thank you, Dezzy! I really enjoyed Warcross (a lot more than I thought I would), and the plot twist was something I saw coming but still enjoyed seeing play out. I just got off the waitlist for my library for Wildcard, so I’m super excited to start reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Aaah Iโ€™m so glad you enjoyed this book! I loved it so much. Like you said, Emika was so easy to love! She was so great, and oh my gosh THE WORLD is so cool ahhh I want to visit haha. ๐Ÿ˜ I hope you enjoy Wildcard! โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a lovely review, Tiffany, loved the questions and your answers! I’m so happy you enjoyed this book and I agree with the world-building, I found it fantastic. I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie!! I had so much fun reading it, so I can’t wait to start Wildcard this month ๐Ÿ™‚ It was such a pleasant surprised to enjoy a Sci-Fi book so much, but I’m super glad I gave it a shot! โค I hope you read it sometime soon too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a cool format for a review! I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now, but I just haven’t committed to it yet (because to be honest, I remember trying to read the Legend series when I was a lot younger and having it just not catch on for me… that’s another thing I need to try to fix). I’m glad to see that you liked it, even with its shortcomings! I’ll try to check it out soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you!! I thought it was a fun way to make it a little more interactive ๐Ÿ™‚ I really liked the Legend series which is why I liked this, but I also think the development and writing is more sophisticated which might be better โค

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think what I loved about this book was the plot twist – so I can’t imagine what the book would be like reading it and not being shocked by the big reveal? I really liked the world, and the romance was enjoyable but not at all necessary! Wonderful review โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just really enjoyed the world-building and characters, and you didn’t see the plot twist coming?? I think one bad habit of mine while reading a book is trying to guess things before they happen so sometimes it unintentionally makes me spoil myself :O and YAYY I’m so happy that you enjoyed this review Ilsa ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Iโ€™m glad you liked this one, Tiffany!! โค๏ธ I havenโ€™t read the sequel yet, but Iโ€™m curious to see where the story goes! I too found the twists fairly predictable and wasnโ€™t super keen on the romance, but thought it was still a fun read! โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Young Elites, thus why I haven’t picked up Warcross yet, but it sounds like so much fun that I do think I’ll pick it up eventually. Your post definitely convinced me ๐Ÿ˜›
    I’m really hoping that Young Elites was just a ‘it’s not you it’s me case’, since it was the first and only book of Marie Lu’s I’ve read ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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