In this day and age, it’s hard to know what is going to come next in terms of technology. Twenty years ago, no one would have believed that you could have a clock, a map, a camera, and even a weather forecast on one device. Imagine further ahead in the future. What will we have in the near, or not so near future? Marie Lu’s Warcross attempts to answer this question.
In the futuristic society that Warcross is set in, virtual reality is everywhere. With this technology, you can “visit” almost any place in the world on the software, and it will feel as if you are actually there. The most popular feature of the virtual reality set is a game called Warcross, hence the title of the novel. It’s sort of like the Olympics, except you never have to leave your home, and you get cash prizes.
Emika Chen is a struggling teen living in New York after her father’s death. She makes her money off of bounty hunting, meaning she catches people who illegally gamble off of Warcross. On the day of the opening ceremony of the Warcross championship,which only the best of the best are in, she decides to try to hack in and steal power ups from them, which are worth a fortune. She instead gets temporarily transported into the ceremony.
The next morning she is all over the news, and the young creator of the game, Hideo Tanaka, contacts her saying that all of her debts are taken care of. He flies her out to Tokyo and hires her to fix a mistake in the game’s security.
I found the book’s “plot twists” quite predictable, and the book did not quite live up to my expectations. Marie Lu’s previous series Legend has become one of my favorite book series, and Warcross was simply not as great and suspenseful as Legend.
Despite its shortcomings, Warcross provides a fascinating glimpse into what very well may be our future. Virtual reality headsets are popular now, and I cannot imagine that they won’t improve upon them, attracting more people to buy them. Once more people buy them, they can produce more, making them cheaper and therefore more mainstream. It’s very easy to imagine a world in which everyone would have a virtual reality headset, which makes this book seem more like a prediction of the future than an alternate reality.