This is a book two, so there are spoilers for the first book, Warcross, below.
Wildcard by 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?
This is a review for a book two. Spoilers for book one below.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to pick up Wildcard. I loved Warcross (read it and listened to it), but I never seemed to be in the mood. I’m glad I finally picked it up and it was really easy to get right back into the world.
When Warcross ended, we found out that Hideo was going to basically control people through the neurolink and that Zero is Hideo’s missing brother. Emika’s life was a huge mess and it doesn’t get better in Wildcard. She still tries to do things on her own, but the Phoenix Riders are always there to help her. Emika is being asked to help Zero with his group “The Blackcoats”. There is an older woman, Taylor, and a young girl, Jax. Jax is basically a trained killer, but she is sent by Zero to rescue Emika from assassins. Emika has a huge bounty on her head. She’s drugged and taken to meet with Zero, Taylor, and Jax. They want Emika to get close to Hideo to put a hack into the neurolink before he finishes connecting it to the entire population. They tell her that they need to stop Hideo from mind control. That they’re the good guys.
During this time, Emika finds out more about what happened to Hideo’s brother. She still has feelings for Hideo and ends up torn on what to do. She wants Hideo to do the right thing and stop controlling people. There have been lines of criminals turning themselves in to the police, but there has also been an increase in suicides. Emika has some help from her friends, but everyone is in danger if they’re involved. The neurolink has changed so many lives, mostly making them better. But Emika needs to figure out how far she’s willing to go to either let it continue or stop it forever.
We fight for survival with everything we’ve got, as if the oxygen mask and seat belt and avoidance of a square of chocolate cake might be the thing that saves us. 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.
The pacing of Wildcard is great and there are definitely some big plot twists like there was in Warcross. More secrets are revealed and Emika is always stuck in the middle of Hideo and Zero.
I gave this book 5 stars. I liked Warcross a bit more, but Wildcard was still really good.
Warning for talk of suicides, mind control, talk of past drug addiction, and disease.
Have you read Warcross and Wildcard?