Tag Archives: Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie LuTitle: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu
Publishing Info: September 12, 2017 by Penguin, Listening Library
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 10, 2017
Related Posts: Legend (Legend #1)

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.

bookreview1

WARCROSS is only my second Marie Lu book (I’ve only read LEGEND. I know, how horrible am I? I loved it too…) and I’m so glad I had the chance to get back into her writing! Every since READY PLAYER ONE, I’ve been dying for more video game/virtual reality-type adventures and I know there are others out there but WARCROSS was one that really caught my eye, both because of author and concept.

Either this book was shorter than I thought or time just flew by as I was listening! I listened to the audiobook (thanks, Listening Library!) while I worked and it seemed like this story just flew by, which I guess means that I was really enjoying it! I really enjoyed WARCROSS! It was a fun, futuristic read that reminded me of READY PLAYER ONE meets THE HUNGER GAMES but still in its own original way. I loved the game aspect behind it and I think games within a story really pull me into the action! There were plenty of action-packed moments, especially during the games themselves, which were not at all like Quidditch but reminded me of the action breaks that Harry Potter took to play out a Quidditch game. It brought some fast-paced scenes to the book and added more the the character relationships, meanwhile adding a dash of plot all at the same time. The game sequences also really added to the world-building, showing exactly how Warcross worked and why everyone was so excited for these competitions. It’s essentially like everyone playing sports and then the tournaments featured here are like the Olympics.

I really enjoyed all of the different relationships throughout the book! Emika is kind of a loner to start and as the book progresses, she learns how to work on a team and finally starts to let people back in. She also lets go of her heart a little bit and ends up with an unexpected relationship (or at least more than friends) with a prominent figure in the book and the romance was sweet and exciting all at the same time! I really liked the team aspect and how that really brought Emika in, as much as she didn’t want or expect that, and I always love gangs of characters who might not have otherwise been friends coming together like that.

I’ve only read one Marie Lu book but I feel like she’s good at keeping readers on their toes! One thing I really enjoyed was a nice set of twists that she incorporated into the plot. I totally saw one twist coming and was like, “Oh yeah, predictable…” and then BAM! A totally different twist caught me by surprise. I’m not sure if I was supposed to see the one coming but I definitely appreciate that it threw me off for the other one, thinking I had already caught the “twist”.

The book ended before I knew it and I was so engrossed in the audiobook that I didn’t even realize it was coming to a close! Marie Lu left us on a hell of a cliffhanger which I loved but also whyyyyy! I’m so anxious to read the next book and as much as it sucks to be left on a cliffhanger sometimes, I’m definitely left wanting more as soon as possible!

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Gaming books. I’m not a gamer but I actually love reading about virtual reality and gaming-type books. I love the sense of competition and how reality and games meet!
Left Me Wanting More: Oomph. I loved the book but it was missing just a touch that would have pushed it towards the edge for me. I’m not sure what it was, but either way, it was still a great read!!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

What a fun start to a series! I can’t wait to read more, I love where this is going, and this was such a solid beginning.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE WARCROSS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     

Legend (Legend #1) – Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1) – Marie LuTitle: Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu
Publishing Info: November 29, 2011 by Penguin
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: November 16, 2013
Related Posts: Warcross (Warcross #1)

    What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
    From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

bookreview1

I am SO glad I finally read LEGEND because it’s the best dystopian I’ve read in a long time. Even better than Divergent — Yes, I said it. I knew people really loved this series and I didn’t mean to push it off for so long but ya know… So many books…

I was totally “wowed” by LEGEND and I’m so thankful for that because I’ve been trying to be a bit pickier on the books I pick up.  I’ve been craving that really good paranormal or dystopian-type book so LEGEND hit the spot! Right off the bat, I could tell this book was special and the publishers sure know how to make you remember it and enhance Marie Lu’s writing! Each main character (Day and June) gets their own font for their chapters. Day’s chapter kicks off the book with a pretty gold font which totally caught me off guard, but obviously in a good way! I also really loved that each chapter had its own font because it really helped me differentiate between the two. I didn’t get confused between the two voices, but if you’re one that isn’t a huge fan of alternating POVs, the different fonts might help!

In the new Republic, every child has to go through a series of tests (“the Trial”) when they’re eleven which determines their intelligence, general ranking, and if they will get into school or if they’re… banished. LEGEND surrounds our main characters June — all-around all-star with a perfect score on the Trial and a bit of a penchant for being just a bit mischevious — and Day, her polar opposite or so it seems. Day received the lowest score on the Trial that anyone has ever received but something seems fishy. He’s pretty dang intelligent himself and even if he bombed a couple sections, he doesn’t feel his score should have ever been that low…
I was interested from chapter one, but as the book slowly starts to dig deeper into the plot, I was hooked. Marie Lu has some great world building with the new dystopian America. Usually there are times when the new world is being described and I feel a bit of a world-building-drag, but there is really never a dull moment in this book. The reader gets a feel for the new country, the new government, the new leaders and rebels all woven into the plot. Sometimes I have a tendency to get lost in a new world if I can’t picture it, but I really felt like I was watching the whole book unfold on the big screen. I could picture each situation that Day and June encountered. It was fantastic! There was a combination of the destruction and disease that a dystopian brings to the table, but since it is set in the future, we also have glimpses of some awesome technology — both gadgets as well as things used city-wide like the jumbotron-type screens used to portray news and announcements.

The thing I loved the most about LEGEND was all of the twisty-turny surprises! With dystopian being the genre that pulled me into YA, I’ve read quite a few and you start to sense or sort of pattern or repeated idea that most dystopians will have — it’s just inescapable when writing in the genre. I was so, so pleased with the amount of plot twists in LEGEND to keep me on the edge of my seat and the story feeling fresh. (Now, now, I know LEGEND was actually one the earlier ones, but it’s new to me so really no matter when it was written, there will always be someone catching up and those surprises are always important!) There were some that I was able to predict a tiny bit and others that totally shocked me! Honestly, at once point in time I was reading on the couch and Shane was upstairs and I shouted, “WHAT!?!” so loud that he called down to make sure I was okay haha. There were THOSE kind of moments and I loved being kept on the edge of my seat!

I also really loved the characters. I felt for both June and Day and I looooved the scenes with them together! It was so interesting to read their alternating POVs until the moment when they come together… And then things get even more interesting! Their voices felt much more mature than fifteen (in my head they were 18 or 19, but that’s just something that I do haha) so really the book can appeal a wide range of audiences. (Although for some violent content, I’d say 14 and up?) Then again, they were both incredibly smart (something else that I also loved) so it does make sense that they’d sound more mature than their actual ages.

The good news is, the entire series is out so I can go read some more as quickly as I want to because my immediate though upon finishing was, “I need to inhale the rest of this series.”

character_breakdown1

Day // Character Obsessions: Caring for his family, protecting Tess, maintaining a secret identity, resisting the Republic.
I really loved Day’s character. He feels he’s been wronged in his testing since all of his friends and family know he’s much smarter than his results show. He was the “smart” one in the family and his brother received a higher score than him. Day lives on the fringes of society, surviving on his own all the while eluding the Republic (which obviously doesn’t make them too happy). He’s strong, caring, and extremely skilled. I love his dedication to his family — both blood and adopted (Tess) and his ability to forge ahead when everything is stacked against him. He still maintains some lovely snark and a sense of humor. I absolutely loved reading about him in LEGEND!
June // Character Obsessions: Her brother Metias, training for the Republic, catching Day.
June was also incredibly smart and so interesting to read about as well! She’s the golden child — the only person to score perfectly on her Trial — and with that kind of an incredible mind… She gets bored a bit easily. Her boredom pushes her to act out a bit and at times show off and we get to see a little less serious side of June! I loved seeing her intelligence really shine in LEGEND and not only in the traditional sense but also her ability to problem solve and think for herself.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Really, really, REALLY good reads. I went through a minor reading slump — it wasn’t bad, but I just needed to read something REALLY good. I had a craving to absolutely fall in love witha book and LEGEND was it. It kept me reading dystopians and maintained my love for them and totally wowed me!
Left Me Wanting More: EVERYTHING. I just want more and more and more of this series. I can’t wait to pick up the next book!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

I loved LEGEND. This is definitely a series I want to devour and now I understand what all the fuss is about! Definitely one for your shelves!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE LEGEND

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Divergent       Crewel