Date Read: June 1st, 2021
Final Score: 7 / 10 !
This is EXACTLY the type of thing I like to see from Marie Lu, it's one of the reasons I like her as an author and one of the biggest causes of my disappointment in her Batman story (I still cannot believe that DC approved that bit of nonsense).
Warcross is the perfect mix of angst and action, with just the right amount of heart thrown in to complicate matters!
The world-building was excellent. It dug deeply enough into the complex world of tech & game design, along with the high-stakes universe of eSports, without over-doing the nitty-gritty details. Lu gives weight to the realities of the world, dropping in details of police-work and every-day lives outside the plot-- a critical thing in Sci-Fi world-building that often goes overlooked in YA but happens effortlessly in realistic fiction.
The cast was on the smaller side, but it was well-crafted and the characters evolved naturally. Their strengths became their weaknesses and vice versa in very elegant arcs as they were confronted with new challenges, particularly regarding new questions about each other's intentions and loyalties.
The plot was neat and engaging. There were parts of it that felt a bit overly straightforward (like Zero's true identity, and the particulars of the terrorist plot), but over all it was a well-paced adventure and none of the obvious answers hung over an unknowing-character's head for so long it got annoying.
I will definitely be picking up the second book in the duology ASAP!