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 read Legend back when it was released, which was aaaages ago when dystopians were just starting to become popular, so I didn't have a lot to compare it with. I do hope you continue the series, though, since the last book was AMAZING. <3

  1. I still haven't read Warcross despite having loved her Legend series. I assumed it was another version of Ready Player One. My husband loved the audio book too. I love authors that write naturally diverse characters, they're so much more developed. This sounds wonderful Aimee, brilliant review! <3
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  2. I love Marie Lu. I had no idea this was set in Tokyo, which makes it even more desirable for me. I've never been and it is absolutely on my bucket list. Awesome review!

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