Like many book nerds, Marie Lu’s Warcross was easily among my favorite 2017 reads. This new series from one of my favorite authors takes place in a futuristic society (although not far off from our own…) where people dwell in Warcross, a virtual reality game created by Hideo Tanaka. When teenage bounty hunter Emika Chen not-so accidentally glitches herself into the Warcross Championships, her life turns upside down, but maybe in the right way. Hideo offers Emika a job opportunity in Tokyo to help him solve a security issue in Warcross, and Emika finds herself in a much darker Warcross than she could have ever imagined.
I’ve been extremely fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read ARCs of Warcross and its sequel, Wildcard. I unexpectedly received Warcross from Marie Lu herself in her autographing line at Book Con 2017, and I picked up Wildcard at Book Expo 2018. If I could have only walked out at Book Expo with one book, it had to be Wildcard and I am still beyond ecstatic that I grabbed a copy at an unexpected ARC drop at Penguin (otherwise I would have gladly sat in Marie’s Wildcard line for 2+ hours that Friday). I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold off on reading Wildcard for long,so soon after Book Con, I began my Warcross reread.
Warcross Reread Thoughts:
Once again, I am so impressed with the world-building in Warcross. Like I said above, the Warcross world doesn’t feel too much different from our own, with there being such a reliance on technology. I think Marie Lu makes it feel even more realistic by using real brands (a small thing, but something I love seeing in books). For example, Coca-Cola is a sponsor of the Warcross pros, and they’re often gifted with some amazing designer clothes—give me all the Gucci Warcross apparel, please!
Rereading also allowed me to take a closer look at some of the relationships, which of course included Hideo and Emika. Without being too spoilery, I am still a firm believer that Hideo is a good person, but has been influenced by the unfortunate situations in his past. As we’re left seeing Emika needing to decide between Hideo and Zero, the reader is left to do the same themselves. It was also fun to delve into some of the other relationships, like Asher and his right-hand girl, Hammie (still living for the Hamilton reference) and Roshan and Tremaine.
I really enjoyed rereading Warcross because it obviously reacquainted me with this colorful world and plot, but it provided such a smooth transition into Wildcard, as the second installment picks up three days after Warcross’s ending.
My full review for Wildcard won’t be coming until closer to release date. However, I cannot contain all of my Wildcard feels until then! Here are some of my non-spoiler, post-Wildcard thoughts:
Take this as an early warning to prepare your hearts for Wildcard because Marie Lu has plenty of twists up her sleeves! There were so many moments where my hand flew to my mouth as I gasped at the page. I’m just so fascinated by how she was able to expand this world even further in this second installment. There’s so much more to learn about Henka Games, Hideo’s past, and the algorithms and technology.
Besides the world-building and plot development, there’s so much character development, and not just for Emika and Hideo. It was cool to be introduced to the Phoenix Riders and Tremaine in Wildcard as Emika’s friends and go-to support team. I think one of my favorite aspects when it comes to character development in this series is Memory.While it can be quite intrusive, Memories allow us to explore more about our characters’ past and well, their character!
Overall, I loved Wildcard even more than I expected, and while it won’t be easy to part with this story and characters, I can say that I am more than satisfied with the book’s ending. Marie Lu did such a great job of wrapping up the plot and left our characters in a good, realistic for this future/dystopian/our world in ten years society. I can’t wait to share my full review with you this fall!
Have you read Warcross? Are you excited for Wildcard? Share in the comments!