August 11, 2017


If you've been following me on Instagram, Twitter or YouTube since the month of May, then you will know that I love Warcross. I talked it up constantly to folks at BEA (and outside of it, because I can't help myself), I book pushed it hard on Macky and Mel (and more friends are getting put on that book pushing list) and I perk up at any mention of this latest novel from Marie Lu. It's my favorite read of 2017 so far, and I can't wait till it officially comes out on September 12th and the rest of the world gets to fangirl with me over this awesome book!

Are you excited to read Warcross? Lucky for you, there's a chance to win a galley - which I'll get to shortly. Right now, however, here's the official book information, as well as some exciting pre-order and website things that you should definitely check out!

Warcross by Marie Lu (Check out the official site!)
Series: Warcross #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 12, 2017

What's Warcross about, you ask? It's the story of Emika Chen, who survives her day-to-day by working as a bounty hunter and catching criminals for the police. Everything changes the day of the opening ceremony game for Warcross - a virtual reality game that's changed the world as everyone knows it. Emika hacks into the game, only to accidentally glitch herself into it. Her appearance gains her the notice of Warcross creator Hideo Tanaka, who hires her to hunt down a mysterious person who is attempting to hack into Warcross as well. The best part? She gets to do it as one of the competitors in the Warcross championships! 

Warcross was so good, y'all. It's fun, it's exciting and it really immerses the reader in a world where virtual reality is a part of everyday existence. I loved the characters, loved the game (and gameplay), loved the relationships, and I'm eager to discover what happens next. (In case you were wondering, yes, I have a full review for this. It's going up next month!) If you want further praise for Warcross, I'll let Macky share his thoughts a bit too. Take it away, love!

*start of Macky's thoughts* Talk about your easily accessible virtual reality sci-fi tales! Marie Lu has an easy winner with this book. Fast paced and character driven, it's set against a cleverly crafted sci-fi backdrop that requires little explanation but sprawls lavishly across the "real and virtual" world. That's where this book shines. The story, the main character Emika and her journey... that's the star of the whole Warcross experience. You are there. You don't need to use up too many braincells to understand everything but you can remain blown away by the intricate simplicity of this universe as it frames Emika's journey from random bounty hunter/hacker to key player in a larger high stakes game. It's fun. Honest to goodness fun. And some fine story telling. What else could you ask for? *end of Macky's thoughts*

You'll have to wait just a smidge longer for the giveaway. But we're participating in the #PlayWarcross campaign, and both of us are very excited about it! We were tasked to put together our own Warcross teams, and tell you why we picked the folks we did. It was a no-brainer for both me and Macky to set up our teams within five minutes of considering the idea, and here are our picks.

photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Hi, Alexa here and I'm obsessed with Warcross. Ever since I've read it, I've wanted nothing more than for Warcross to be a real game that I can actually play. This is a step in the right direction, since creating your own Warcross team is a very important part of the process. Every member has a designated role, so it's essential that you pick people with suitable personalities! I'm honestly quite proud of my battalion and think they'd kick ass at Warcross.

Team Captain: Shikamaru Nara
Hi, my name is Alexa and I'm obsessed with Naruto (and Naruto: Shippuden) (and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations). My favorite character is Shikamaru, as I'm drawn to his intelligence, capability and his all-around vibe. He's the Hokage's main advisor, which means he's capable of handling things responsibly, cares deeply for the village he serves and will put that quick-thinking mind of his to good use. He's often mentioned to be an excellent strategist, capable of assessing a situation, utilizing all his resources and making clever predictions, and he would lead my team to victory for sure!

Fighter: Kirigaya Kazuto / Kirito
I loved Sword Art Online (and would highly recommend for folks who enjoy Warcross, by the way), and Kirito is a perfect pick for my Fighter. He demonstrates over and over again on the show (and in the epic film that came out as well) that he knows how to wield a sword, how to fight and defend and that, more than anything, he is willing to work hard to level up his skills. He's a good guy, incredibly loyal, perceptive and smart, and he would definitely give the other Fighters a run for their money.

Shield: Diana of Themyscira / Wonder Woman
Who better to ask to protect the members of my team than the incredibly fierce Diana, also known as Wonder Woman? She has a good heart, she cares deeply for her friends and family and she'll always fight on the side of good (or in this case, the winning side *winks*). I'm fully confident in her ability to keep everyone safe, to do what needs to be done in order to protect everyone and do it justly.

Architect: Annabeth Chase
A daughter of Athena on my team, and in the Architect position? Annabeth is perfect for this position! Architects assess the lay of the land, and are capable of working it to their team's advantage. Annabeth's interest in architecture, her smarts, her kindness and her ability to think on her feet will all be to my team's advantage for sure!

Thief: Inej Ghafa
Of all the folk on this team, Inej was the first one I chose! I think she would make a freaking amazing thief. Inej has the ability to move without being detected, to get herself in and out of tight spots without too much of a problem, and she already knows how to take things from under other people's noses. I think she would be a really competitive, really amazing Thief for my team!

photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Hi. I'm Macky and I'm still hung up on the pre New 52 DC universe. I hear DC rebirth is mostly magnificent but until I get my Oracle and Stef Brown Batgirl back I feel I'll be hung up forever. That said these are my first string for my TOTALLY UNORIGINALLY named Warcross team. All my favorite heroines in one team. I'd read the frak out of any comic or book that has these 5 in them. I'd sure as heck wanna see them play Warcross.

Team Captain: Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel
I've loved Carol since her Ms. Marvel days. Not so crazy about her Binary and Warbird days but I did love her as an Avenger. I'd say her recent antics as Captain Marvel make her a good team captain to call shots. Best part? She won't have any problems delegating decisions across the other team members, who on their own are pretty good leaders. They'll trust Carol and she'll trust them. She's a powerhouse that can do most if not all the roles well. The sneaky thing about my lineup is that everyone can do more than one role so we can change configurations almost as many times as there are team members. Carol's on point though. Always has been.

Fighter: Dinah Lance / Black Canary
I had a chance to actually meet Gail Simone at a comic book signing. She candidly shared how she told her editors that if she was given a chance, she could prove that Canary could be right up there with Wonder Woman. As someone who's read her Bird of Prey work (pre 52), I must say she's done it. Canary is (or rather was in the pre 52 universe) one of the best hand to hand combatants ranking up there with Batman and Shiva. She's a blade sharpened specifically for battle. Sure she leads and is a great field operative/captain. But if you want a battle won, my bet's on Canary who doesn't have superhuman strength but gets the job done. 

Shield: Jean Grey (All New Marvel Girl)
Never thought I could love Jean Grey more until they decided to port her 16 year old self into the future. She's been carving her own path since then and making decisions that are leading her to be an even better version of her presently dead self. Strong, compassionate, team player, brilliant... and as an added bonus? Omega level Telekinetic Telepath. Best defense is a great offense. Read everyone's mind as they come at you. Shut them down before they do anything. Break out some Phoenix level TK when all else fails? This Jean took Shi'ar Majestor Gladiator WITHOUT phoenix powers. She may even grow up to be the kind of being that would resist the phoenix the way Hope Summers did. So Jeannie as the team Shield? No brainer. 

Architect: Barbara Gordon (Oracle)
Speaking of favorite redheads... again i hearken to the pre 52 DC Universe and think Barbara Gordon as Oracle would be a perfect architect. Eidetic memory, MAD hacking and computer skills... can still pretty much beat most people up without having to get out of her wheelchair.... of course she's a perfect architect. I asked Gail Simone what she thought of new 52 Barbara (full use of legs and all) and she said she was most likely on her way to becoming the kind of woman Oracle was. The loss of her legs forged something new that the world didn't even know it needed until it happened. I'd bring that to the Warcross arena any day.

Thief: Ororo Munroe (Storm)
Rounding up the birds is none other than my goddess... the Beyonce of the Marvel U... easily one of the most (if not the most) landmark, glass ceiling breaking, revolutionary, iconic, Wakandan king marrying, panther goddess down staring, Xman and avengering, almighty can of whoop-ass down bringing characters to ever grace the fictional world: Storm. Why is she the thief mind you? Why can't she lead? or bend the land to her atmosphere controlling will? or Defend or attack? Maybe I'm nostalgic for her pickpocket origins. Maybe I just thought it would be funny to try and see anyone steak anything that's on her radar to take. Payload will be secured for sure with my girl 'Ro on point. What the queen wants? She gets. And Keeps. With her rounding up the Birds? Bring it.

And now, of course, the moment you've likely been waiting for - the giveaway! Enter for a chance to be one (1) of five (5) grand prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley set (including galley, shirt, keychain, and postcard) or to be one (1) of ten (10) second place prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley (ARV: $0.00 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 31th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about September 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.


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