Title: Wildcard (Warcross #2)
Author: Marie Lu
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 Stars)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Relsease Date: September 18, 2018
“Maybe I should feel like a hero. But I don’t. It’s always easier to destroy than to create.”
While this wasn’t a “blow me away, new all time favorite” read, I still had a lot of fun reading it. Wildcard follows the immediate aftermath of Emika Chen’s entry into the Warcross Championship, the reveal of the controlling NeuroLink algorithm, and her tumultuous relationship with the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka. Now Emika teams up with unexpected allies to destroy the NeuroLink and save herself from unexpected dangers.
Things I Liked
Zero was a more complex character in Wildcard. We really get to know all about him, his background, and his motivations. It added more appreciated that.
I felt like this story had more of a sci-fi lean than Warcross and I didn’t hate it. It perfectly fit into the world that was created and expanded on what we already knew – or at least thought we knew. Traditional scifi elements blended seemelessly with the tech-rich world that Marie Lu has created.
This was an engaging read for me. I had emotional reactions to the story – I laughed and smiles, and got frustrated and angry. I love being invested enough in the story or characters (or preferably both) to care.
Things I Didn’t Like
How the algorithm affected criminals felt weird and out of place to me. I liked the scientific theory behind it, but it just felt off to me.
The resolution felt easy and kinda convoluted. There was a lot of telling vs showing in the final chapters of the book that made it feel more rushed and unfocused than the rest of the story.
Despite not loving this as much as I hoped, Wildcard was such a quick read that I could not put down. Emika is still one of my favorite characters, her relationship with Hideo was more complex and nuanced, and I liked getting to know some of the Phoenix Riders more. Learning more about the characters really kept me engaged and interested, even when the plot felt weaker. This world is just so vibrant and full that you can’t help but to be pulled in.