In One Word

In One Word, Warcross By Marie Lu is…

  • Published in 2017 by G. P. Putnams’ Sons Books for Younger Readers
  • Format: Audiobook
    • Narrator: Nancy Wu
    • Listening Speed: 1.5x (1.75x during the awful romance scenes)
  • Listening time: 3 dull days


  • Coming into this as part of a reading challenge again. I’m not just trying to fulfil the science fiction reading challenge but also trying to read more science fiction written by women so this fits the bill.
  • Likeable main character with an interesting backstory and some very good quotes. If only the author had put that same effort into making all the other characters interesting.
  • I cannot feel one iota of chemistry between Emika and Hideo. Their scenes are just self-indulgent wish fulfilment from the author with the expensive gifts and cliche romantic meetings. I sped up the audiobook on those scenes to get through them as fast as possible. I was absolutely certain that Hideo was faking it to take advantage of Emika, it felt so forced. Don’t get me wrong, that wouldn’t have been a bad twist if the author had gone that way but, kind of like the Twilight series, the author seems to be totally oblivious to how many red flags crop up and wants to sell this is a sweet, legitimate romance. Sorry, not buying it at all.
  • Caught on to the abuse of powerful technology right from the beginning. Gamification is pushed to the nth degree in this society with everyone in Tokyo constantly in the virtual reality world and given the equivalent of a social credit score with points given for desirable behaviours. The higher your score, the better everyone treats you. It boggles the mind that Emika didn’t catch on to how blatantly terrifying that is straight away. The scary thing is that a version of this is in place in real-life China. Look up sesame credit and be prepared for some scary reading.
  • Have to say that this feels like a Ready Player One knock-off. Yes, it had the ubiquitous virtual reality world but it didn’t have the incredible level of research, good world building, high stakes and decent characters as Ready Player One. Yes, I can take or leave Ready Player One but I can respect the incredible amount of work that went into it. In Warcross, I’m just not feeling that same level of effort.
  • Electric action scenes. They’re the best part of the book by far but they don’t make up for everything else that’s wrong.
  • Don’t have any qualms in saying ‘called it’! I saw those twists coming not one but five miles off and, unless I get an indication that the series gets better after this book, I won’t be continuing this series.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know by liking, sharing and commenting.

5 thoughts on “In One Word, Warcross By Marie Lu is…”

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