I received this book for free from Penguin Random House, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wildcard by Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #2
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group on September 18, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Action & Adventure, General, Computers & Digital Media, Fantasy
Source: Penguin Random House, Publisher
Amazon // The Book Depository
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.
Wildcard was WILD.
Warcross was one of my favorite books of last year, so i (obviously) had high hopes for Wildcard. but i was also really worried i’d be disappointed. spoiler alert: I HAD NOTHING TO FEAR (aka it was fantastic). all the things i loved about Warcross came through in the sequel, while also maintaining ~suspense~ and ~mystery~. Wildcard is definitely a darker book compared to Warcross, but it’s one of the things that made me love it more. it felt like a “slytherin” type of novel (and the cover is green and black so!!!).
warning: spoilers for warcross!! if you haven’t read the first book, don’t read the review for the second book.
we begin the novel almost directly after the end of Warcross. the big reveal makes us wonder who Zero really is and what’s his story. naturally, he (and the rest of his gang) become a big part of Wildcard and I WAS HERE FOR THIS. their gang, the Blackcoats, are so ruthless and so cool. i mentioned earlier about how Wildcard is super ~dark~ but the Blackcoats are a big reason why. i loved all the new characters and their stories. although a lot of it is completely new, it ties together with Warcross really naturally.
“Every locked door has a key.
the parallels between Warcross and Wildcard!!!! i scream. i’m obsessed with authors who do little things with their series that tie it all together; MARIE LU PRESENTED IT WITH A BOW. i actually didn’t fully realize until i went back to reread parts of Warcross, but UGH. i have a lot of feelings. but. i do wish i noticed these things the first time around. i feel like i would enjoy this duology so much more if i’d read both books in one sitting. regardless, i now officially prefer duologies to series/trilogies/standalones. they’re so wonderful??View Spoiler »i’m SPECIFICALLY talking about the very last sentence of the book. “So, I have a job offer for you,” I say to him. “Would you like to hear more?” which – idk if you noticed – is like, the first thing Hideo says to Emika??!!!? I’M OVERWHELMED WITH EMOTIONS. i know there were a lot of other moments but this specifically!!!! « Hide Spoiler
the one issue i have with Wildcard probably has more to do with myself than anything else. i forgot a lot of details in Warcross, which made me kind of confused while reading Wildcard. (duh) for example, a lot of the side characters and relationships were completely wiped from my brain (sorry, characters!). like i mentioned earlier, i think i would’ve enjoyed this book so much more if i’d read it immediately after finishing, instead of a year later. i know Mare Lu probably intended the reader to experience it that way, but she could’ve done a better job at refreshing my memory. (but i blame my memory!!! ugh) now i want to reread both books.View Spoiler »i forgot who Tremaine and, like, ALL of the Phoenix Riders were. but i guess because of that, i read them from a new perspective? « Hide Spoiler
the thing we, as readers, are most worried for is the ending of a series. personally, i was even more worried than usual because i felt UGH about Legend’s ending and didn’t bother reading The Young Elites’ ending (both of Marie Lu’s previous series). i love her books, but am usually frustrated at her endings – mostly because of what she does to characters. PROTECT MY KIDS PLS. i don’t want to spoil anything but WILDCARD IS A PERFECT CONCLUSION. it ends so cohesively!! it’s so subtle and allows you to imagine a world for the characters beyond the pages!! i’m so happy with it, i could cry!!!
in conclusion, Warcross/Wildcard is amazing. this is one of my favorite duologies. it’s action-packed, carefully complex, and fast-paced; it’s been a while since a read a book in one sitting and i couldn’t put this one down. i’m in love with the world and how it seems too possible. i love all the characters and their relationships (and how they diversely represent different cultures and sexualities). i’m too obsessed.
note: gallery photos belong to their respectful owners. i found them on weheartit and created a mood board of my loves.