Author: Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Narrator: Nancy Wu
Length: 11 hours (341 pages)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers; Listening Library
Release Date: September 17, 2018
Recommended for fans of: Warcross, Ready Player One, video games
All bets are off. This time the gamble is survival.
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 was a great sequel, but I was not as engrossed in the story as I was with Warcross. I blame the fact that I went with the audiobook for this one, and I did not like the narrator at all. Her voice was so dry and emotionless, so I just wanted to hurry through the book instead of savoring the story. Do yourself a favor and take the time to read this one.
This book had even higher life-or-death stakes than the first one, and several side characters, such as Jax, Roshan, and Tremaine, shined in this story, even more so than Emika. I wish the romance between Emika and Hideo had gotten a bit more attention.
The most compelling plot line was the truth about Zero’s background, the Institute, and the algorithm. It was shocking and horrifying, but absolutely fascinating. Wildcard wasn’t quite as video game-y as Warcross, but it raises some serious concerns about the development of technology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.
I really love the way Marie Lu writes morally gray characters, both protagonists and antagonists. I can’t wait to read more of her books!