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Marie Lu, author of the New York Times bestselling Legend and Young Elites trilogies, writes an extraordinarily thrilling action-packed story in WARCROSS --- the first in a new sci-fi duology.

Ten years ago, the game of Warcross took the world by storm. For most people, it’s not just a game --- it’s a way of life.

For Emika Chen, hunting down players who illegally bet on the game is the only way for her to make ends meet. Short on cash, Emika risks everything when she hacks into the international Warcross Championship; however, she accidently glitches herself into the middle of the game. Exposed to everyone watching, Emika is shocked when --- instead of being arrested --- she receives a call from the game’s creator himself, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, along with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy to infiltrate this year’s championship in order to expose the hacker behind the game’s recent security threats, and Emika is the perfect person for the job. Whisked away to Tokyo, Emika is thrust into the world of Warcross, but she soon uncovers a sinister plot that has major consequences for the entire world.

"Mesmerizing and utterly electrifying....With its captivating world, charming characters and riveting storyline, WARCROSS is a novel that I would highly recommend...."

First off, I am a huge fan of gaming and the idea of virtual reality, so heading into WARCROSS, I was already head over heels in love with the entire concept, and I have to say that all my expectations for this novel were completely fulfilled. Lu’s writing was so enchanting and luring, and I was truly impressed by it. The pacing in the first quarter of this novel was a bit slow at first; however, the novel quickly picks up speed, and soon enough, I was immersed into the plot. Throughout the story, there are a couple of major plot twists --- which I have to say were rather predictable at times --- but, nonetheless, I was dying to find out how everything would play out. And to no one’s surprise, it played out spectacularly.

The game of Warcross is basically an advanced virtual version of Capture the Flag. Two teams are given an Artifact, and each team has to capture the other team’s Artifact before their own is stolen. It seems pretty simple; however, each player is assigned a certain role on their team, and there are hundreds of power ups around the game map that could make or break the game for their team. By far, my favorite scenes were definitely whenever the characters were playing Warcross, because not only is this game super strategic and fun, but it is also super action-packed and surprisingly intense.  

The diversity and representation throughout this novel were honestly incredible. Lu has crafted so many wonderful, unique characters who have come from all over the world and from all aspects of life to compete in the Warcross Championship. As a major fan of e-sports, I particularly loved the equal representation of professional female players to male players as it is not common to see professional female gamers in real life, so I really appreciate how inclusive Lu is throughout the entire book.

At first, I wasn’t very sure about how well I would relate to Emika, but as the story progressed, I definitely connected with her character. Tough, independent and talented in many different areas, Emika is a character who I honestly loved to follow. She has been through so much, and watching her go on the hunt to find out who is behind all of the trouble at the Warcross Championship was really entertaining and fascinating to read. 

Mesmerizing and utterly electrifying, WARCROSS is the perfect novel for fans of the Firebird trilogy and the Zodiac series as well as those who love video games and anime. With its captivating world, charming characters and riveting storyline, WARCROSS is a novel that I would highly recommend, and I cannot wait to see what Marie Lu brings on in the sequel.

Reviewed by Makayla H., Teen Board Member on September 21, 2017

by Marie Lu