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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 383

Technology is a primary theme. Warcross is ultimately a cautionary tale about the dangers of technology. In the story, Warcross is a virtual game that takes over the lives of its players. Similar to Facebook, Warcross is accessed globally. Billions of people are logged on to avoid the dreariness of the everyday or to make a buck. Much like Black Mirror (a popular Netflix television series), Warcross is set in a dystopian reality. The characters are generally unhappy with their daily lives, which are dreary and poverty-stricken. Warcross offers everyday people a respite from their lives. It is the one place where meritocracy seems to exist. Emika, the main character, exemplifies this as she quickly proves her skills and climbs the ranks of the game. However, the world of Warcross takes a dark turn when corruption is revealed. The creator has plans to control players’ brains even after the game has ended. The author critiques technology as a form of dangerous mind control. While the game seems harmless it is, in fact, a site of manipulation.

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Another theme is romance. Like many young adult novels there is romance in the story. Emika and the billionaire creator of the game, Hideo Tanaka, begin to fall in love. Emika is hired by Hideo and is invited to Tokyo. In Tokyo the two spend a lot of time together. Hideo seems quiet, but charming. He is mysterious and distant, however, he opens up to Emika. He invites her to meet his sick parents and shares his family history. He expresses feelings for Emika. However, we learn that Hideo is not as innocent as he makes himself out to be.

Feminism is also a prevalent in the novel. Though not an outright theme, Warcross features a strong female lead. Emika is unconventional in looks and in personality. She is tattooed and has rainbow hair. She is outspoken and determined, despite what the male characters in the story say. While there is a romance between her and Hideo, this is not a central element in the story. Emika is far from a damsel in distress or simply a love interest. Instead, she is the hero of the story who quickly abandons her feelings for Hideo when his morals contradict hers. In addition, the story has openly queer characters.

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