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Book Review: Wildcard by Marie Lu


Author: Marie Lu

Series: Warcross #2

Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopia, Visual Reality

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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?

My review

I had been obsessed with the release of this book.

For months, the release of this book had basically been the sole goal and reason for the purpose of my own existence. Literally.I ended up following Marie Lu on every single social media platform in hopes to check out the most recent news possible regarding this book. Marie Lu also released these “weekly quotes” of Wildcard as the release date approached and I had them all set as my phone wallpaper to maybe help ease me with my pain (I think it just made the waiting worst, to be honest).

So, did it live up to this almost unnatural and unhealthy anticipation I had?

The thing I want to make clear though is that I know the book wouldn’t live up to it. It’s not possible. I was so excited to the point that my anticipation had built up to a point that no book could ever reach. I am stating this very clearly from the very begging because it would heavily shape my review and perspective regarding the ending quality of this book.

What about Hideo and Tanaka? How is my two cinnamon roll? Well, they’re as lovable as ever and their relationship did not give me any sense of disappointment. One thing I did notice though was that Hideo’s character arc tied very closely with the story’s general arc. In other words, Wildcard was one of those books where it seems like we are accompanying by watching through the main character’s eyes to see how another character grow and transform in the story. In these cases, usually, that side character is on the spotlight and always ended up being even more loved by the fans than the main character themselves *cough* anime *cough*. So it’s no surprise to me personally to discover how Hideo ended up having more of a character development than our Heroine, Emika.

I really like this aspect of the story. It’s inevitable anyway because of how the storyline intertwined and was directly related to his own past and character. To me, this was still a great story because even though it’s not directly elating the main character, the depth and meaning the story possessed still made it worth it. We also already got some “growing moments” from Emika in book one anyway, so it’s not like Emika did not go through any sort of growth.

I also appreciated how the author took the time to develop the rest of the cast – not just our two main characters. We learned a lot more about the team and their past, as well as how that made them who they are today. I can’t say much because every single one of those would count as spoilers to the story, but what I can say is that the author managed to give very meaningful backstories without making them extremely tragic in the most cliched way.

I am also SO HAPPY about the ending. I am absolutely terrified before this was released because of Marie Lu’s track history, but what I would say is that I liked it because it…(I’m going to have to phrase my words carefully here) left hope but was surprisingly realistic.

Anyway, if you enjoyed Warcross, it’s worth it! Read Wildcard! It’s definitely not the book of the year, but it was a great conclusion to Wildcard and it did not let me down. It is definitely a series worth completing.



about the author

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. 🙂

I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

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