Warcross by Marie Lu: One Brain Transplant To-Go, Please

4 stars, BOOKS, REVIEWS / Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Warcross Marie Lu Aimee Always Review

by Marie Lu

book one in the Warcross series
published September 12th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
young adult | science fiction | romance

My rating:


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.


Marie Lu is a goddess, right? Someone tell me I'm not dreaming, because Warcross is RIGHT UP THERE. It's intense. It's action-packed. It's downright insane. I had to put off reading another book to read this one!


Guys, this book will make you feel things, and when you feel things, there are stuff you might do. AND I AM HERE TO PREPARE YOU because I am a fabulous friend. You are very lucky. Here we go:

1. You will GASP. Very loudly. Read in private.

This book is pretty much a piece of literary genius. It's inevitable that you will gasp at the most intense parts, and the twist-iest of turns.

In the game of Warcross, players are taken into various arenas in forests, oceans, and other very imaginative places. You will also gasp at how in-depth and gorgeous all of the descriptions are, yet they will surely not bore you to death. Only skilled authors like Marie Lu can vividly come up with beautiful landscapes without being info-dumpy at all!

WARCROSS will make you gasp out loud--read in private. Click To Tweet

2. You might want a brain transplant afterwards. (But don't do it!)

The characters in this book are so diverse, unique, and complex. Emika is a Chinese-American coding goddess working for the even smarter Hideo Tanaka, the genius behind Warcross. At some point in the book, I was thinking about whether or not it would be possible to get a brain transplant to be as awesome of them. (I quickly dismissed the idea, though, since we're all awesome on our own, anyway. *wink*)

The side characters rocked as well. There were some LGBT characters, a physically disabled character, etc., but they didn't feel forced at all! All the different races, genders, and more made the book even much more realistic.

3. You might plan your /secret/ escape to Tokyo.

Guys, this book makes Tokyo sound 592x more badass than it actually is in real life. I'm definitely going back there in the future. GIVE ME ALL THE KICK-ASS TECH.

4. You might not like the romance (if you're a cynical reader like me).

The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars was because of the romance. This aspect of Warcross seemed way too sudden, and way too forced. There wasn't any need for a romance; it didn't provide me with any additional substance. I thought it was just used as a weak plot device to create more drama and problems in the story, although I think Marie Lu could've chosen a different route, or made sure that the romance wasn't a random wait, what the heck's happening?! subplot.

5. You will probably want to marry this book.

It's that good. I totally want to be a bridesmaid at your wedding. Thanks in advance.

You're going to want to marry WARCROSS. It's that good! Click To Tweet


Yes. No questions asked.

Have you read this book yet? If not, do you want to?! Let me know in the comments!

And if you loved this post as much as you love me *wink*, go ahead and share it on social media! You can also "like" it on Goodreads.

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66 Replies to “Warcross by Marie Lu: One Brain Transplant To-Go, Please”

  1. I really enjoyed this book, but I also just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your review! I like how you set up the format, it's very easily readable and I love how your personality shines through your writing.

    Anyhow, what really captured me in this book was the world-building: I felt like I could clearly visualize the futuristic, Warcross-obsessed Tokyo and booming cities that Lu characterized in this book. I wasn't the greatest fan of the romance, but the action within Lu's world made it a series I'll keep reading.

    claire @ clairefy

  2. So I’m reading your review and all the superlatives and thinking, “If it’s this awesome, why 4 stars instead of 5??” Then I got to the bit about the romance. 🙂 I’m a sucker for romance and pretty much demand that almost every book I read have at least some romance so I’m guessing it wouldn’t bother me. LOL I’ll definitely have to check this one out!
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Top 5 Wednesday: Forgettable BooksMy Profile

  3. I am waiting a bit before I read Warcross, I've never read a Marie Lu book and so there so much depending on this book, I also don't want to wait, I like reading it all ha ha. I love your review and the format you use. Plus it is very entertaining.

    But what I really want to say is I am in love with your blog, okay bye!

    1. Ugh, yes. Good for you though, I totally didn't see it coming. D: OHHH I AM SO JEALOUS. TAKE PHOTOS. <3 (Although I did meet her for her Legend PH tour! <3)

  4. Great review! This book keeps popping up on my Twitter TL but I never actually knew what it was about until I read your post. It sounds really good! I haven't read a fast-paced action-y novel in a while, and this sounds like the perfect cure 🙂

  5. Well, if I hadn't read the book already, you'd have me convinced right here 😂 That was a fantastic review. I loved Warcross so much, I thought the characters were amazing to follow – I loved Emika, such a great lead! and the world-building was really well-done… as always in Marie Lu's books. Personally, I enjoyed the romance, but I don't think I am at your level of cynism so that's okay 😂 I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel. Why do we have to wait??!
    Marie recently posted…How to blog hop, why I do it and think you should, tooMy Profile

    1. Bahahaha, thank you so much, Marie! 😉 <3

      YAY FOR ENJOYING THE BOOK! (I think it's my 1000000% hopeless romantic self that is super critical of romances. I need them ~perfect~, ya know? XD) I KNOOOOW. Can it come out NOW!?

  6. OMGGG YOU'RE BLOG IS SO PRETTY, AND I JUST SUBSCRIBED BECAUSE YOU ARE SO AESTHETIC!!! and i have wanted to read warcross for so freaking looong, but i am a #brokebookworm, and the struggle is all too real. i loved your review, it's super fun, and creative

  7. Beautiful review, Aimee! Haha <3 I absolutely love the way you wrote this and you seriously make me want to read this next 🙂 I had no idea Marie Lu released a new book actually (huhu, I am not so updated with book releases at the moment but I will get better!!). Her books are definitely wonderful, and this sounds just as amazing! I totally understand the romance and its flaws, but nonetheless I love the sound of this and would definitely consider reading this 🙂 Great post!!!
    Jillian Lopez recently posted…With All The Blessings This World Has Given Me: 2017 RecapMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Jillian! ^_^ I'm not 100% up-to-date with new releases, either. I blame my 2-year blogging hiatus. 🙁 But yes, definitely get around to reading this and tell me what you think! <3

  8. I love how you did this whole review, so creative! And you've made the book sound fantastic. All those settings and twists and awesome sounding characters! Yeah, it does seem like sometimes romance is sort of just thrown in for the heck of it, but I'm glad you still loved the book regardless!

    1. Thanks so much! I read the first Young Elites book but I haven't continued the series yet (SHAME ON ME), but I loooooved Legend. <3 I really hope you read this ASAP, Kara!

  9. Yay! Let's fangirl together! I just adore Marie Lu and she delivered another fabulous book. The ending made me want to cry, but I think Lu will do right by us. She just sucked me into this world and I cannot wait to get back there. Great Review!

  10. I've heard some negatives about the romance but it seems fantastic overall. Can you believe I haven't read anything by her yet? I still have her first series on my shelf *hangs head in shame*
    Karen recently posted…the friday 5My Profile

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