Wildcard (Warcross, #2) by Marie Lu
My rating: four stars
Genre: YA, dystopian
Goodreads Summary: 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?
I really liked Warcross and so chose Wildcard as my next month’s audiobook. I usually prefer physical books of stories that I love, however, the audiobook for the first one was incredible that I decided to listen to the second one!
Likes: I still love the technology and game in this book. It focuses less on the game I think in this story, but I do still love the new things that are shown about it. We also get more into the potential positives and negatives that could come about because of the advanced technology and I enjoyed reading about those. It reminded me of Black Mirror in that it shows how technology can be beautiful but also destructive. The relationship between Emika and Hideo is an enigma to me. I love it and hate it and don’t know what to feel because of that. I want them to be together, and I don’t think that he is the worst person in the world (he is a great example of a bad guy with good intentions), but he is still a bad guy. I love how they bonded in the last story, and I still saw hope for them. A writer that can make me so conflicted is a powerful one. I also liked how we learned more about certain characters and their backstories. This helped make them seem more “real” and showed the motivations behind their actions. However, this is one of my negatives because while I learned more about most of the “good” characters, I did not learn much about the villain.
Dislikes: I did not care for the ending to this book or for one of the bad guy’s incentives. They just seemed so shallow and were not given a lot of depth or backstory that would allow me to understand them more. Also, how certain characters just believed the bad guy and let them do whatever they wanted was insane. It is hard to believe that they would get away with it. This is personally why I did not like the ending, it just seemed like the reasoning behind a lot of why what was happening, was happening, just didn’t make sense. I didn’t mind the very end, I am talking about leading up to it, there are certain spoiler events and revelations that I did not care for.
Overall, I did still really like this book and the series as a whole. The characters were fun, the world and the technology were innovative and enticing, and I did not mind the plot for the most part. I prefer more flushed out villains which I didn’t feel like I got in this story though. Therefore, I am deducting a star. I just didn’t get the satisfaction from the villain that I would have liked. I still am so glad that I read this series and look forward to reading more by Marie, she is truly a wonderful writer!