Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t affect my opinion of the book in this review in any way. This is also in participation for The Royal Polar Bear Reads‘ blog tour. My review is a little late due to some personal circumstances and I want to thank Raf for giving me a chance to post past the schedule.
Wildcard, the most anticipated sequel of the best-selling gaming and sci-fi novel Warcross by Marie Lu, picks exactly right where the first book has left readers hanging with many unanswered questions.
I’ll just go straight to the point. I didn’t love Wildcard as much as I did love Warcross, BUT I liked it enough for me to still surely grab it from the bookstore when it comes out.
More into the Neo-Tokyo
We were once again back to the colorful and vivid Neo-Tokyo with Emika Chen, Hideo Tanaka, Zero, and the rest of the Warcross players. One thing I noticed is even though expressed so colorfully and screaming with neon, Wildcard on the contrary seems to be in a much darker world compared to Warcross’s seemingly vibrant one.
Marie Lu gave us more tour into the streets of the futuristic Tokyo which is surely a delight for everyone who loves Japan and its culture such as myself.
There’s no doubt about Marie Lu’s ability to engage readers when it comes to world-building. That, I initially experienced in Warcross, and was once again proven with Wildcard.
However, I personally think that the first half of the book talked too much about the world to the point that it dragged down a little. Emika was mostly down the streets of Tokyo and everything around her were always told in full details. That kind of took too long to the point that I have to look forward for something more interesting to happen.
But while it felt a little dragging for me in the first half of the book, it slowly picked up in the middle until towards the end.
NeuroLink Algorithm and Artificial Intelligence
Readers were left with wonder and different stands after Warcross. Emika found herself caught up in a cobweb situation after finding out about Hideo’s NeuroLink algorithm and getting directly involved with Hideo and Zero. We were all left wondering who to trust. I am part of the majority who are against Hideo’s idea of utopia and in full support of Emika in stopping him.
Related link: Check my review of Warcross by Marie Lu
This is the part where Wildcard, I think, got more technical. There are parts that left me confused, and there are parts that made me excited.
When answers are starting the get uncovered one by one, the certain topic about Artificial Intelligence (AI) got me all worked up. I have written outlines and articles for work with topics about Artificial Intelligence and human nature (the cross between these two or how they will work together). And I personally find this topic really interesting.
I’ll try my best to go from here without spoiling too much about the book, but AI and human emotions were tackled in Wildcard. Once when I was doing my research about AI for work, I stumbled upon several articles that talked about how AI is becoming more and more human through the years.
Do you know Sophia the AI robot that once said it will “Destroy human”? This robot still creeps the hell out of me. So, yeah, well, you’ll get the picture when you read Wildcard.
Which leads to me saying that, even though I’m no expert with AI and all these techy programming stuff, I know for sure that Marie Lu did an extensive research about AI and all the technical things she talked about in the book. She was brilliant!
After Warcross, I looked forward the most to getting answers mainly about Zero, and Hideo’s brother situation. Getting more into details with this will leave me spoiling everything to you reading this, so I’ll just leave it like this:
Did I get what I want reading Wildcard? Yes, I did.
Did I get answers? Yes, certainly so.
Was I satisfied with the ending? Yes. Sort of.
While I did find some parts dragging, there are parts that certainly still got me absorbed. I liked how the Warcross duology was wrapped up overall. Not the one that left me with a remarkably satisfied and happy sigh, but I think it was able to justify the things that need to be justified. Well, at least for me.
My final rating is 3.5 stars.
Emika Chen Fan Art
I’ll also just leave my watercolor fan art of Emika Chen here.
Check what other blog tour participants think about Wildcard
Soleil @ Queen Soleil
Carmel @ Bookable Reads
Myrth @ Cliste Belle
Tour organized by The Royal Polar Bear Reads