Dec 21, 2018

Review--Wildcard by Marie Lu

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?

I once again make the mistake of not reading a duology back to back—there’s at least one more of these in my TBR pile, so expect more self-reprimands when I get to that one! Lol! I was able to sneak Marie Lu’s Wildcard in my reading queue when I really need to be picking shorter reads if I want to finish up my last challenge for the year. Anyhoo, Wildcard picks up right where we left off in Warcross and omg, what even happened there?! Lol! While I did take notes, I must admit they were not my best ones and I struggled to really remember what was going on, but in the end, I remembered how it ended and that’s what was most important!

Emika is reluctant to trust Zero aka Sasuke, Hideo’s long lost brother found again, though Hideo still doesn’t know it. Zero wants Emika’s help in undoing what Hideo has done, basically, which was take over everyone’s mind who has used the NeuroLink he created. He basically doesn’t want them committing crimes and if they did commit such a crime, they were to turn themselves in. While his reasons are noble in a sense, the way he goes about this good deed is mind control, which isn’t so good. Hideo is determined to find the people who kidnapped his brother all those years ago, but things don’t go quite as planned.

Emika feels like she’s between a rock and hard place. Her feelings for Hideo haven’t quite faded despite all that he’s done. She only remains “clear-headed” herself because she was using a beta link instead of the normal NeuroLink, but that’s likely to change in a few days, so she’s got to figure out her plan before that happens.

As I said, I know as a reader, I would benefit greatly from reading duologies back to back, but there are times that just doesn’t happen! Like when you score an ARC of the first book…but fail to do so for the second. So my memory of the first book was pretty sparse and it was a bit hard to remember who all the secondary characters were. Their roles may not have been as large as Emika herself, but they were still pretty integral to the story at hand. And without a backstory, there really isn’t much of a story in the present either. At least that’s how my mind tends to think! Which is weird, I know!

Despite memory issues playing their usual hindrance in my reading, I did enjoy this one. Though I wish I could remember Emika and Hideo’s relationship more. I remember that things were starting to develop nicely with them and then of course that shocking ending came about in Warcross, so seeing Emika feel conflicted over her feelings in the present was expected. We do get a reunion with Hideo in some sense and it wasn’t really what I had anticipated. Basically, this whole book was one big surprise! I guess I wasn’t sure where I thought things were headed in this finale, but it was still surprising to say the least! While I wished for just a bit more romance than what was given, which was some pretty intense moments, I’ll admit. I feel like I miss that emotional impact their relationship had in the beginning stages, but oh well.

I think one thing that had me struggling with this one despite the memory lapse was the pacing. It wasn’t as action packed, thrill-ride as I was hoping for. It wasn’t slow per se, but I guess you could say it more sedate with a few ups and downs? Not a bad pacing, but just not one that totally gripped me to the pages.

I probably would have a different reaction if I had read this duology back to back, but I sadly don’t have the time for that kind of re-reading. Still, I will say that I enjoyed Wildcard in the end! The ending was a most satisfactory kind as well! It was far different from what I was expecting to happen as I was reading along, but it was definitely the right kind of ending!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars


1 comment:

  1. I got this book for Christmas and need to read it soon. I so loved Warcross and all the action and twists.


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