Narrator: Nancy Wu
Series: Warcross #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons, Listening Library on October 3, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Length: 11 hours, 46 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
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.
Once upon a time I stumbled, fell into World of Warcraft and didn’t climb out of playing that game almost every spare minute of my time for almost four years. I say this so you understand – this is my kind of book. I loved the idea of Warcross, a world where basically you throw a pair of glasses on and you are in a Massive Multiplayer online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) with the rest of the world. Sure, your avatar basically looks like you but it is the best version of you and you get level up points for doing stuff in your life like watering plants, going to places and doing everyday kinds of things or playing actual Warcross games.
I had a really good time reading this book. It isn’t going to knock your socks off with twists (there are a few not jaw dropping ones). It is a little predictable at times but I was enjoying just being in the world and exploring the various things possible with Warcross that I didn’t care one bit. There is a little of the YA syndrome happening with fluttering hearts and darkening eyes but again didn’t care because 1) It wasn’t really over the top and 2) I really liked the Warcross of it.
Emika Chen is down on her luck and about to be evicted from a crappy apartment she can’t afford. She takes a huge risk and it totally backfires on her. She accidentally ends up in one of the Big League Warcross games and becomes an instant celebrity overnight. Now she is going to play in the games and maybe even help her childhood hero Hideo Tanaka find out who might want to destroy the technological sensation that is Warcross. Maybe there is even a little chemistry between them and if you have Warcross glasses on you’d see little hearts floating around their heads. ****so cute****
Warcross appealed to me because there are the games that are full of action and strategy and learning how to be a part of a team, which for Emika is hard since she has been alone most of her life. Then there is the mystery of who might want to hurt the inventor of Warcross – Hideo Tanaka. But finally there is the very slight romance between Emika and Hideo, come on it is YA so you knew there would be one. I had a great time just getting to know some of the characters and learning more about them.
This is the first book in a planned trilogy and while yes, slightly predictable, I had a flat out blast in the world and wanted a pair of those wonderful Warcross glasses for myself. I will definitely be continuing to see what kind of trouble Emika can get herself into next.
Audio Note: This is a solid performance by a narrator. The voice of Nancy Wu fit Emika and the rest of the multicultural cast well.
“When you refuse to ask for help, it tells others that they also shouldn’t ask for help from you. That you look down on them for needing your help. That you like feeling superior to them. It’s an insult, Emi, to your friends and peers. So don’t be like that. Let us in.”
Hammie (Emika’s teammate in the Phoenix Riders.)
“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.”
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