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?
Wildcard is the sequel to Marie Lu’s captivating futuristic video game novel Warcross.
Unfortunately, Wildcard was nothing like its predecessor. Warcross was fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and amazing character to character interactions. Wildcard was slow —which is weird because the series of events was over a couple of days— and the characters did not have the same impact on me like they did on the first book.
Emika Chen, our beautiful rainbow hair hacker was really underwhelming. I felt that all the character growth she had in Warcross was none existent in book two. She somehow went back to her lone-wolf/one-woman show ways even though in the previous book she had learned the importance of working as a team and how she can get more done with a group of people beside her. In this book, the secondary characters were practically none existent. It was a pity since the interactions between Emika and the Phoenix Riders brought so much spark to Warcross.
Even though Wildcard had its share of great scenes I found myself skimming through the pages because it was not catching my attention. The novel did not get truly interesting until the last 40 pages when the big climax finally occurred.
Wildcard wasn’t bad, it just did not live up to Warcross’ original feeling. However, I really enjoyed Hideo Tanaka’s character arc, it was very well done, and unlike Emika’s it showed true growth as a character due to the events that happened.
My Rating: 2.5/5
One response to “Wildcard by Marie Lu”
I was so very disappoinetd by this book! Like you say, Emika seems to regress to her personality at the start of Warcross, and ceptionand I thought this book lacked most of what made book one so entertaining: teamwork, the different levels of action/deception… but here Emika is a lone wolf again, and not only that, but she isn’t the one who does the work to uncover the truth, most of the time another person comes to her with the info. The Phoeniz Riders are mostly absent from the book, and although Hideo’s arc was much more interesting, we’re left to guess at a lot of it, because we only see him through Emika, and she hardly knows him.
I found it deeply frustrating, because the story is great! the oral and ethical ramifications of the lenses and all that, it was very interesting… but nothing is really allowed to breathe because instead of having Emika discuss her findings with the team, for example, she’s by herself!