Title: Wildcard

Author: Marie Lu

Series: Warcross #2 (finale)

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Fantasy

Published:  September 18th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Rating: 3/5 stars ★★★

“Every problem has a solution. But after every solution, there’s a new problem to tackle, some new challenge to take on.”


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?


3 of 5 stars to Wildcard by Marie Lu



I don’t know where to start. My expectations for this book have been disappointed. What I thought would be a tangle of deceit, rivalry, and love triangle expertly wrapped up in an exciting adventure ended up becoming a simple trip to the park with a small mishap along the way.

First, something about the way the book was written felt really boring. It could be the lack of action for the first several chapters, or the MC’s lengthy drivel, or just the lack of dialogue in general. I feel like I drowned in a boatload of description about post-apocalyptic Tokyo in every chapter and another about back stories/montage sequences.

Second, Emika herself disappointed me. I guess I’m a little old-fashioned. I want my heroines with their moral compass intact. It’s important to me because morals are what set them apart from the antagonists and villains. Often times, antagonists start with idealistic notions too but lose it along the way. Heroes and heroines shouldn’t have. There was this one incident where Emika watches a friend “die.” She could have prevented it but she just sat there and watched everything unfold. The author gave Emika a cop out but the fact remains that, if the circumstances weren’t in her favor, she could’ve let a good friend down. This also goes against her supposed character strength- she once saved a friend from bullies even if it meant getting expelled from school. Where was that girl when Tremaine was in trouble?

That said, the book had elements that touched meㅡZero’s/Sasuke’s story in particular. If it weren’t for this bit, I would have given this book a solid two. Since his heartbreaking moments at the institute made me cry, I thought it’s some powerful writing that could only affect me this much.

It’s quite sad thinking what this series could have been if only the second book was better. It’s not a bad ending but not at all a great one either.



*models in my casting graphics/character inspiration: Regan Kemper and Darin Wilkens

*character template: credit on tumblr