Warcross by Marie Lu: A Book Review

Warcross by Marie Lu: A Review

NOTICE: This review may contain spoilers! I will do my best not to spoil any major plot points but I won’t make any promises. Proceed at your own risk!

Hello all,

Today I will be sharing with you my thoughts and opinions on a popular Young Adult novel. I’m sure most of you have heard of a book called Warcross by Marie Lu. If you haven’t, I would be amazed as this book is literally everywhere.

Marie Lu is the author of the best selling series Legend as well as The Young Elites. Her work is very popular among readers of young adult sci-fi and fantasy. This book, the first in what will most likely be a duology, is no exception, as it is also a New York Times best seller and has been well received throughout the book community.

Warcross is a story about a young girl who is a bounty hunter and an avid video game player and hacker. Her name is Emika Chen and she never would have expected what comes her way following a hack gone wrong. She’s thrust into a world she’d never been further from, where she had all the things she could have ever asked for be it money or love. It isn’t long before she realizes she’s simply a pawn in a much larger game and her life is changed forever.

Brief Thoughts

I wanted so bad to like this book. I spent an Audible credit on it, after all and thought that it may live up to not only the hype but to the reputation of such a well-loved author. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

I thought Marie Lu could have done better. This book had so much potential and I thought she didn’t do her own story justice. Let me explain myself.

The Good

There is no denying the author’s ability to world-build. This, in my opinion, was the best part about the whole book and is the main reason I feel like she wasted so much potential.

To go along with her amazing world-building abilities, I feel like she did a good enough job when it came to fleshing out her characters as well. There were some spots where I remember asking myself why she would have a character do something or say something but, for the most part, I connected with at least the most important characters pretty well.

And that’s all. Yes, I really mean it.

The Bad

I hated all other aspects of this book. I know, hate is a strong word, but I found myself wanting to scream or pull out my hair more times than I can count.

Where to begin. The dialogue. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to throw my phone because the author did such a poor job with dialog. Some of the things these characters say to one another just would not be things that you or I would say to one another in real life. I understand it’s fiction, but seriously. It’s not just the person to person dialogue either. The narration is horrible. This story is told through the eyes of our protagonist which, to me, means that the story is told as if she were recounting it to us either verbally or in writing. I have never in any of my writing referred to the color of my own hair more than once, if that. Our MC, on the other hand, refers to it at least five times. I think I’m being conservative there but what matters is that no one would do this. “My rainbow hair streaming behind me.” That’s an actual quote from just one of the infractions. The character is recounting to us how she felt when the music carried her away as she closed her eyes momentarily. I can live with saying something like “my hair flowing in the wind as I zoomed through the streets on my electric skateboard.” There’s just no reason to keep mentioning color. We get it. You have rainbow hair. Can we move on?

Another thing that bothered me was that the author seemed to have tried to portray Emika as a strong-willed person while, at the same time, telling us how shy and standoffish she is. Marie did this sort of thing multiple times throughout the book and I never got used to it.

Let’s talk about this romance, shall we? I have never been more confused about a romance in a book. Here is this girl who hacks into your game on it’s biggest night (mind you she’s a bounty hunter for people who illegally bet on the game) in an attempt to make some extra money. You call her up while she scared to death that she will be arrested and tell her you want to offer her a job. Okay, fair enough. That’s not enough, however. You meet her and you basically both fall in love with one another instantly. In a nutshell, one minute this girl is trying to steal from you, the next you have her naked in a hot-tub at your mom’s house sharing memories with her via your super cool contact lenses, which oh by the way, are only meant to control the world. Yeah, that’s plausible.

Yet another annoying bit was how Hideo and Emika had practically just met and his best friend had to tell her to “talk to him” because he would listen to her and not him. Give me a break.

The last thing I will talk about is the backstory of his brother. I feel like it took so long for the author to explain that in such great detail but the story didn’t require it. Sure, it created a connection for us which allowed us to feel some level of anger in the end but I think you could have done that in just a couple paragraphs. I began to lose interest pretty quick.

My Rating

I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

The only reason I am giving it two stars is because I think this world was so much fun. It could have been so much better. That, together with the character development, I think deserves no more than two stars, and that may be too generous.

Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read this review and I hope I haven’t upset too many people, as I know so many love this book. It just wasn’t for me and I don’t know if I will even bother picking up the next one.

–Trevor

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