Author: Marie Lu
Published on: 18 September 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
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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?
After a really long period of haitus and university, I’m finally back. ‘Wildcard’ is one of my most anticipated reads in 2018, alongside Obsidio, and some newly released novels. Needless to say, ‘Wildcard’ surpassed my expectations way and beyond. I couldn’t ask for a better ending to this duology.
‘Wildcard’ is filled with twists and turns, unexpected happenings, and filled with action which will keep you at the edge of your seat. I went into this novel with an open mind, wondering what Emika would do, in order to stop Hideo and his algorithm. I was also curious about Zero and his relations and aims towards Hideo.
I wouldn’t say that Zero didn’t pique my interest as he is probably the most mysterious character in this novel, other than Jax. I certainly didn’t expect the sudden twist and I doubt many readers out there expected it as well. Honestly, after knowing about Zero and what he went through, I am not even disgusted by what Hideo did near the end of the novel. Instead, I would have pretty much done the same if I were to be in his shoes.
It has been a joy to understand more about Hideo and see his character growth in ‘Wildcard’. He has placed so many walls around him, desperate to find his brother’s kidnapper and deep down, he is still the same young boy who yearn for his younger brother’s return. It is a relief to know that Hideo is not the cold, uptight man which he seemed to be in most people eyes. But is instead, a human being that has been hurt and is hiding his true feelings from those who are around him.
Jax is another wonderful character. I admire her courage to step out of her comfort zone to confront her fears and actually be brave enough to do what is right. Honestly, I don’t know whether I will be able to do what she did if I were to be in her shoes. The risks she took in order to save her loved one is truly admirable.
The world building is as beautiful as ‘Warcross’. I couldn’t help but immerse myself in the world the characters live in. Lit up by colourful lights, fans cheering for the Warcross tournament in the Tokyo Dome. It would be a dream come true if I were to be able to live in that world.
All in all, ‘Wildcard’ is definitely a page turner which I can picture myself re-reading countless times and not get tired of. The world building is insanely beautiful and every character is realistic and special in their own ways. This duology is something I would recommend book lovers out there to read. After all, an insanely beautiful world, extraordinary characters, kick-ass female protagonist, hacking, professional e-sports… What else can I ask for?