Wednesday, September 5, 2018

WILDCARD (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu

This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shaped or forms my opinions of the novel. Thank you Marie Lu for the opportunity.

AUTHOR: Marie Lu -- Website | Twitter
PUBLISHED: September 18, 2018 by G.P. Putnam 's Sons (Penguin Random House)
GENRE: Young Adult Sci-Fi
PAGES: 352
Find it on Goodreads

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 had a truly lucky and blessed summer. Even though I wasn't able to attend BEA like normal because my cancer has been out of control, almost every publisher I know sent me the books I would've waited in lines for.

But getting Wildcard was challenging. And it was at the top of my list. I begged everyone I could think of at Penguin Random House. I even begged Marie herself -- and in the end, that's who came through for me. So a big thank you goes out to Marie for sharing one of your precious ARCs.

At the end of Warcross, we found out a few really important things. First, Hideo had installed a new algorithm, so that anyone who was wearing his lenses (which was about 98% of the population) was under control.

We also learned that Zero, the hacker that Emika was meant to hunt down was really Sasuke, Hideo's missing brother. And he made Emika an offer to help him shut down the algorithm.

I was really excited to reenter the world of Warcross. The concept of the NeuroLink was completely fascinating to me and the game of Warcross was thrilling.

At the beginning of the book, we find Emika still struggling to make a choice -- to help Zero or not. The Phoenix Riders -- her former teammates and now closest friends -- don't want her to do it. They think it's too dangerous.

It gets a little spoilery here, so be careful.

But the Emika learns that there's a price on her head. Five million dollars, to be exact. And when an attempt on her life is made, she is saved by an assassin sent by Zero keep an eye out for her. They, along with their associate, Taylor, set her up in a hotel, hook her up with a new board, new clothes and anything she needs to get close enough to Taylor that she can get into his mind via the Neuro Link and sever the connection at just the right time.

Emika agrees to help them, but she has her own intentions as well. She decides to do a little snooping on them, which turns out to be dangerous. Lucky for her, Jax, the assassin and essentially her minder, is on Emika's side.

I was worried that Wildcard wouldn't live up to Warcross, which was just such a successful novel in so many ways. And there were so many questions going in.

Wildcard moves just as fast, if not faster than Warcross. There's also a few elements of mystery and answers to be found. Once again, I read the book in a day in a half. It's un-put-down-able. And there's a huge twist that comes in the second half of the book that I don't think anyone can see coming, but it's mind blowing!

Wildcard is more than just a sequel Warcross. Some books get sequels or series that they don't need. But Wildcard is so strong on its own as a novel and it really strengthens Warcross. Together, they are absolutely a can't miss duology with a satisfying ending that wraps up all your questions and sends all the beloved characters off in fitting ways.

I gave Wildcard 5 Hearts!

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