Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Playing The (High Stakes) Game • Wildcard

If you’ve been reading this ol’ blog since last year, or following me on any of my other social media accounts, you’ll already know that Warcross was my favorite book I read in 2017. I love it so much, in fact, that I decided I needed to reread it before I picked up the sequel this year. It was so worth it because the story was just as fun and exciting as I remembered it, I still loved all the characters (though I discovered my new obsession with being president of the Asher Wing fan club) and I was left so hyped for Wildcard.

(This is probably a good time to mention that if you have not yet read Warcross by Marie Lu, you are going to be spoiled for it if you read any further. Also, you should definitely remedy this by going out, grabbing a copy of Warcross from your bookstore or library and reading it ASAP.)

Wildcard is a direct sequel to Warcross that literally picks up just after the events at the end of the first book. After discovering the truth about Hideo Tanaka and his plans for the NeuroLink algorithm and his technology, Emika Chen is determined to stop him even though the stakes only get higher when a bounty is placed on her. The only way to survive and stop Hideo is to cooperate with Zero and his Blackcoats… though it looks like Zero may be keeping a few explosive secrets of his own that may just change the game.

If I thought Warcross was an intense thrill ride of a read, Wildcard basically blew my mind. t’s very rare for me to say that a sequel is just as wonderful as, if not better than its predecessor, but I truly think Wildcard is one of those rare few. There was just more of everything I had loved about the previous book in this sequel, and I could not have asked for more.

Here are just a few of the things I loved about Wildcard, put into a bullet point list for easy reference:

  • The characters | Emika Chen is still such a badass. Our girl knows how to get things done, no matter how difficult it might look, and she’s very capable, brave and smart. Her skills are put to the test again in this story, plus we also get to see her make sense of her feelings and ideals in the context of this tale. Apart from Emika, I developed a deeper love for all of the Phoenix Riders (but particularly Asher, my captain), Hideo (with his morally gray actions driven by personal emotions), and Zero and his Blackcoats (there is one person in particular I love who is a new addition to the series).
  • The story | It’s so intense, emotionally and events-wise, and I was totally here for it. It helps that there is a very short timeline within which everything takes place (which just added to the urgency of the situation). Marie did such a great job with unveiling the plot, including some awesome fight scenes and still having nods to the Warcross gameplay I adored in the first book.
  • The themes | My sister (who has also read Wildcard at this point) and I like to talk about how it’s so impressive that Marie Lu manages to write an entertaining story and invite her readers to think about things like free will, technology and the power it holds, bad choices made with the best of intentions and morality. It’s really cool, and she does this both in Warcross and in Wildcard. 
  • The action (and gameplay) | There is plenty of action online and offline in this sequel. I loved seeing some pretty cool real life action-packed sequences, but I really loved getting to dive back into the world of Warcross gameplay even more. It’s so fascinating to see what Marie does with what she built in the first novel, and it’s soooooo good.
I obviously loved Wildcard! It was the follow-up slash ending to this series that I didn’t know I wanted, and it exceeded any expectations I had before diving into it. It’s definitely a series that I can see myself rereading in the years to come, and I will definitely be encouraging anyone and everyone to read it too. So excited that this one is out in the world today, mostly so that more people can join me in gushing about Wildcard!


Wildcard by Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #2 | Previous Book in Series: Warcross
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Source: ARC picked up at BookExpo 2018 (Thank you!)

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