{ Review } Wildcard by Marie Lu

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“And that’s when I realize that, at the end, we’d all wish for the same thing. Just a little more time.”

Read in April 2019

My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

You think I’m a masochist to have read this book even though I REALLY disliked the first one and knew this would be a burden? I prefer to think of myself as a hopeless optimist. I mean, at least Wildcard was slightly a tiny bit better than Warcross.

Spoilers. Kind of.

I knew from the first lines of this book that I would dislike it and that I would basically have the same bad things to say that in my review of Warcross, so I figured that at least I could document my reading, making it interesting by quoting and commenting things that I found wrong or annoying. And my Kobo died before I could properly write this review. I know I’ve read this in April and my Kobo broke after weeks of signs and pointers of its imminent death, which happened only around mid-July, leaving me plenty of time and opportunity to review this, but I couldn’t have guessed that my almost nine-year-old kobo would let me go after so many years. If you still want a well-built review that resumes my thinking, you can read this one, if you still want to follow up with me, prepare yourself for that review which will look like a mere shadow of its intended self.

Wildcard begins only three days after the end of Warcross. Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm is in place and he can control the actions of everyone who was connected when he first launched it. The only ones spared for now are those using the beta lens, including Emika and all her friends, how convenient. People start lining up in front of police stations, confessing their crimes. But ‘crime’ is a subjective word, some came for things that could be considered as immoral but not criminal. There is also word of suicides caused by guilty criminals, but are they all? Emika is no longer a wildcard in the Warcross competition and the title was put back into play, the final game has to be re-played. Déjà-vu much?

“That’s the difference between the real and the virtual. Reality is where you can lose the ones you love. Reality is the place where you can feel the cracks in your heart.”

You may have not noticed, but I used the word ‘bland’ 9 times in my review of Warcross (12 if you count synonyms). Well, it was because I hadn’t had read Wildcard yet. Our rainbow-haired snowflake Emika brought bland to a whole other level. In this book, she was so passive that she could have been an omniscient character and that wouldn’t have changed anything to the story. She had no point or use in this book except being an observer. She asked questions, walked around, eavesdropped, blew hot air, skated, told what she learned to someone else, was used as a pawn and witnessed other people actually doing things. The worst part is that she seemed to have no opinions or even independent thoughts on what was happening and her motivations are only tied to what others wanted from her.

I’m so disappointed, Marie Lu is the queen of morally grey characters and villains Adelina is the perfect example of it, and Emika didn’t have the shoulders to carry this book, she wasn’t even slightly grey (I don’t consider having a record because she was helping a girl who needed it a grey action), she clearly wasn’t a villain, but she wasn’t a hero either since she lacked the courage, the outstanding achievements and noble qualities that are listed in the dictionary. Actually, here’s how Emika reacts when her friend is at gunpoint; she hides and makes sure to make no noise and to not be seen. Let me precise that her ‘friend’ was in danger to begin with because of her (yes, because that one time she had an idea).

“The mind can make you believe whatever it wants you to believe.”

Emika is also incapable to take mature decisions; she is not able to see the bigger picture and she doesn’t realize that her relationship with Hideo was unhealthy. She never even says that what Hideo did was immoral and bad (and actually thinking it), every time she starts that thought process, she either changes her mind three lines after or ends up finding excuses for his actions. I wish I would have counted the underlined passages that were all paraphrases of ‘I know … but …’ (and very often you could fit ‘shouldn’t’ and ‘I still love him’ in the blank spaces). A weak main character and a poorly paced writing were the perfect mix for a dragging and boring book.

The upside of the previous book was The Phoenix Riders and they only appeared, like, once in Wildcard. That’s being said, this book wasn’t a 100% awful. I liked Jax and her story and the slow discovery of Zero’s modelling which was the only catchy part of this book and it got me a bit emotional at the end (which is more than I can say for the first book).

“That weight was the burden of not knowing, of years and years of anguish, of imagining the thousands of things that could have happened, of wondering whether his brother might ever walk back through the door.”


Have you read or will you read this book?
What did you think about it?

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French Book Blogger and avid reader 📚 - YA, Adult, NA, Fantasy, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance -, LGBT & disability rep 🏳️‍🌈, Ravenclaw Potterhead △⃒⃘, English teacher 👩🏼‍🏫 living to travel 🌍, proud mom of Padfoot 🐕 and Juniper 🐈

8 thoughts on “{ Review } Wildcard by Marie Lu

    1. How am I seeing this comment only now? I’m sorry it took me so long, I must have missed it.
      Honestly, I found both books of this series kind of dreadful and really difficult to get through. But yes, the previous book was better in a way ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: A-Z Authors

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