Narrator: Nancy Wu
Series: Warcross #2
Published by Listening Library on 2018-09-20
Length: 10hrs and 51min
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, 2019 Finishing the Series Challenge, Beat the Backlist 2019
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 don’t even know where to start! Wildcard by Marie Lu is the final book in the Warcross duology. I really enjoyed Warcross and couldn’t wait to dive into the final story especially after the ending of the first book. Who didn’t want to dive in after Hideo’s treachery?! I had to know what would happen to Emika, her newfound friends, and even Hideo. But y’all….I am SO disappointed. This doesn’t even feel like I read the same story. It has none of the action, the romance, or the duplicity of the first.
Emika is living off the grid, well as much as she can. Thanks to Hideo’s beta glasses she is not being controlled by his new algorithm, and she was able to warn her teammates who also are not tied to the new network. Emika plans to stop Hideo before things get worse, the big question is how and will her heart let her do what is necessary. I disliked Emika in this installment. She isn’t the fiesty hacker I remember, and in truth doesn’t contribute to the main plot of the story. Not how one would imagine anyways.
Hideo is also noticeably absent from the story as well until near the end. This for me was a huge disappointment after the role he played in Warcross. Instead Zero takes the mainstage. After a bounty hunter tries to kill Emika, Zero offers his help. He keeps a distance from Emika and when she finally learns the truth of who he is, well I wasn’t all that shocked. I was expecting it. However like Hideo, Zero has an agenda and it keeps her on her toes to say the least.
While Warcross focused on how the virtual bleeds into reality, Wildcard focuses on who makes the rules and who has the power. The virtual world is for the most part left behind in the sequel which is disappointing. The virtual world Lu created in Warcross is part of the reason I loved the book so much and was looking forward to this one. However that isn’t what we get. Instead it is seedy back alleys and corporate secrets. Family secrets too play an important role in the story.
Overall Wildcard was an okay read. I was disappointed in the direction the author took. I missed the virtual world and Hideo too much. Emika did a 180, and wasn’t the same character we met in the first book. I understand character development, but this didn’t feel like development so much as a brain transplant. Maybe I’m wrong, those are just my thoughts. If you enjoyed the first book, I do recommend finishing the series. Questions are answered, and the ending is satisfying even if it takes a while to get there.