Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: GP Putnam Sons
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Return to the immersive, action-packed world of Warcross in this thrilling sequel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu
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?
In this explosive sequel to the New York Times bestselling Warcross, Marie Lu delivers an addictive finale that will hold you captive till the very last page.
“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.”
Wildcard is the second part of Marie Lu's Warcross Duology. The story pics up right where the previous book ended. Wildcard ups the ante with tons of adrenaline as Emika Chen is drawn deeper into the dark world of the Blackcoats, all the while torn between her attraction to Hideo Tanaka and her desire to take him down. Filled with twists that will keep readers guessing at every turn, this gripping finale drops us back onto the neon-lit streets of Tokyo as Emika races against the clock to stop Hideo’s plans.
Emika survived the Warcross tournament, but ended up getting kicked from her team the Phoenix Riders. If you haven't read the first book, you definitely MUST read it before jumping in feet first with this story. Every single thing is connected. Emika's teammate's (Asher, Hammie, & Roshan) haven't turned their back on her. In fact, I dare say they are thick as thieves and are with her almost every step of the way. That goes for Tremaine from the Demon Brigade and a bounty hunter just like Emika.
While Emika is still trying to close up loose ends in regards to Hideo's Neurolink, she is drawn into Zero's orbit. Even though Zero nearly destroyed Emika and her team, they have one thing in common. Stopping Hideo's Neurolink from taking over the world completely. I'm not going to be bashful when I say this was the turning point for the entire series for me as well as the biggest mistake she has made to this point. Emika knows that if she doesn't find a way to stop the Neurolink upgrade in 8 days, all will be lost, including her own free will.
As the story progresses, Emika must put her trust in some people who call themselves Blackcoats. This means she gets to meet Zero for the first time, while being saved by a trained assassin (Jax Taylor) who is probably the most interesting character in the entire book. That would include Emika due to the fact that she, Jax, holds a whole lot of information to fill in the blanks. Emika life is anything but boring, especially when she learns of a huge bounty posted on the Dark Web. One of my negatives is how ultimately bland Emika tends to be in this story.
She doesn't react quickly enough to situations, and later has to rely on others which she truly hates to do. There is the lack of excitement that I had for the first novel knowing we were actually going to have a protagonist be part of a world wide phenomenon called WarCross which brings the best VR players in the world to one place. Even though there is a rematch between the teams that met in the finals, there was nothing that involved Emika since she is no longer on the team.
You could honestly say that the author is sending a message to readers about how dangerous technology can be if there is no oversight. Kind of like Google in helping the Chinese government suppress those living in China from having access to information that we, in the US, take for granted. The question has become how far will Google go to help China with its dissenters? I won't get political, but the same has come out about Google silencing former employees who expressed free speech.
For those wondering, nope, you will never guess the ending. Not in a million years would I have seen how the author would wrap up her series. Mind blown.
Best Quote of the Entire Book:
“Every problem has a solution. But after every solution, there's a new problem to tackle, some new challenge to take on. You don't stop after you solve one thing You keep going, you find a new way and a new path, try to do better and create better. tearing something down isn't the end; doing something great, or better, something right, is. Or maybe there isn't such a thing as an end goal at all. You accomplish something, and then you shift, ready to accomplish the next. You keep solving one problem after another until you change the world.”