Book Reviews

Review: Wildcard by Marie Lu

I have been waiting for Wildcard ever since I finished Warcross last year. And it was worth the wait.


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?


It feels good to be back with the crew. I always think of summer break when I return back to series, but that’s what it’s like! It feels comfortable and you sink into it like your favorite arm chair. The stakes are higher than before with the new lenses and the ethical ramifications are high in Wildcard. We are constantly reminded that to chase an ideal world requires paying a high price, one that doesn’t always come easy.

While I adored the non-stop action in Warcross, and that’s still present in Wildcard, what really pushed this book over the top for me is the themes that are developed. We are asked:

  • Can people be reasoned with? Changed? Influenced?
  • What is the cost of an ideal world?
  • The ethics of science
  • Is there are a bond of family that is essential?

All of these themes are explored in a variety of ways that make me shiver. I love morally grey villains who are doing things for the right reasons, even if the execution isn’t there. Did anyone also kind of admire Thanos a little? Just me…Okay back to the review.

If you thought Warcross was a ride, Wildcard will make you cry. It is way more emotional than the first, but in the absolute best way. I was tearing up multiple times, so bring your tissues. We are asked about the ethics of science and who should we sacrifice for which reasons? Inherently, science and discovery are not bad, but in the hands of the wrong people, they become disastrous and dangerous.

In some ways, a lot of what this book is about is control – control of murderous desires, of the ability to enter people’s minds, of your own life. Lu plays with the line between virtual and real in new ways that you could never have predicted.

Check out Wildcard on Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository, and Indiebound.


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