Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Putnam Books
Publication date: September 18th, 2018
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 352
Series: Warcross #2
Read my review of Warcross here.
Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?
“When the world is murky, guide yourself with your own steady light.”
If you enjoyed Warcross, then you’re in for a ride in Wildcard. Wildcard is MARIE LU’s second instalment in the Warcross series, where it picks up right after Emika discovers Hideo’s plans to manipulate people’s minds in order to curb crime rates and create a better world, as per his vision.
I loved how Wildcard questions the line between noble and wrong, how fine that line is, and who exactly decides where the line resides. Ultimately, everyone believes they are doing good and don’t see the destruction they’ve brought into other people’s lives. In this book, nothing is ever clear, including the supposedly antagonists’ purposes. I loved how unexpected Wildcard became towards the end, leaving readers wanting more out of the story. We’re left with the question early on: how much power should a person have?
In Wildcard, we see an additional amount of characters to the ones we saw in Warcross and they make the story that much more interesting. The original Phoenix Riders make an appearance, and while I wished they had more involvement in the book, I loved them in Wildcard nonetheless. We see more of Zero and his allies in this book, giving more space for unexpected twists and turns to appear, leaving us a bit confused and excited for the next chapter.
And then there’s Emika Chen, the person this story revolves around. She’s more matures and careful of what is at stakes. She’s become more cunning in getting to the bottom of every issue that presented itself in Wildcard. I wished we had seen her plan more elaborate ambushes or make more difficult decisions in this sequel, rather than her jumping from scene to scene, saving herself. But nonetheless, it’s very interesting to see her interact between two very different groups of characters in Wildcard and for her to figure things out on her own given her very complicated circumstances between the Blackcoats and Hideo.
True to Lu’s nature, Wildcard is full of action and plot twists. It was a bit hard for me to figure out who the real villain is in Wildcard. But after it was revealed, I was more invested in seeing how the story ends. Lu is a great writer, no doubt. And I love her skills in weaving complicated characters with morally-grey personalities into a world that’s just as much a reality like ours. Every thing that happened in this book helped humanised every single character, which made them even more believable. Wildcard may be science fiction, but the characters in it are not. They easily fit into our lives, and that’s how you know how well-written they are.
“That’s the difference between the real and the virtual. Reality is where you can lose the ones you love. Reality is the place where you can feel the cracks in your heart.”
How Emika deals with her feelings for Hideo and how their friendship progresses throughout the book was one of the most interesting points of this book. Caught in between being a spy and dealing with her feelings, we get to see Emika make tough decisions in order to save everyone from destruction. I love how WIldcard was never about the love story of Hideo and Emika, but how love pops up unexpectedly just when you least expect it.
Overall, I loved Wildcard and thought it to be a wonderful sequel to Warcross. It had everything I wanted in a scifi sequel, so I hope you pick up and enjoy it as much as I do!
Thank you Times Reads for providing a copy in exchange of an honest review.