title: warcross (book 1) and widcard (book 2)
author: marie lu
genre: sience fiction, dystopia
content warnings: violence, blood, guns, kidnapping, mentions of suicide and death
my rating: highly recommended
i read warcoss at the end of 2017 and fell head over heels in love. it was my first marie lu book. i just finished wildcard last night and now i’m even more in love. it was my second marie lu book. what i’m getting for this is i really need to read her other works lol
the wildcard duology is a sci-fi that takes place in a future tokyo, where we follow hacker/bounty hunter emika chen. she lives in a world where everyone is hooked up to the neurolink, a software that connects your brain to the internet. the neurolink is, among other things, used to play warcross, the biggest online battle and strategy game in the world. emika is hired by the creator of the neurolink and warcross, hideo tanaka, to go undercover as a warcross player to help him uncover who is trying to hack the neurolink.
the world of warcross is such a delight to read about. i’m always a sucker for all the technologies of future civilisations, but it can very easily fall flat if the author doesn’t have everything mapped out. if not in the actual book, but for themselves. this was not the case here. i loved reading the descriptions of how emika’s world looked, her surroundings and all the people, and how everything became so reliant on the neurolink so fast. i kept forgetting that it had only been around for about 10 years, because it felt so ingrained in everyone’s lives that it had to have been a part of it for way longer. thinking of our real world and how fast we have advanced though, i guess 10 years is more than enough.
i have to applaud marie lu for her characters. we have quite a big cast of characters to follow, with emika at the helm. there’s her friends and warcross team mates, hideo tanaka, and his closest friends and co-workers. all of them are from different places, with different strengths and weaknesses and hopes and dreams. i love emika so so much. she’s hot headed and impulsive, but feels so strongly for other people and just wants a world where she and her friends can live happy lives.
without going to much into it, because it’s getting close to spoiler territory, i was blown away by how lu writes her villains. how someone can get corrupted and be driven by pain and fear, and genuinely think what they’re doing is good. i had heard about lu’s talent for morally grey characters, but i hadn’t really understood until i finally read something of hers. i almost got swept away several times, both after the big twist at the end of warcross and during wildcard, where i thought that maybe it’d be better if emika just left it alone. let what happens happen. maybe it would just be better.
that’s another thing – all. the. twists. and. turns. every time i thought i knew what was happening and it was all smooth sailing from here, something happened that just threw everything upside down. both these books took my breath away and left me speechless. i was constantly at the edge of me seat reading them. warcross ends on a huge cliffhanger that outright killed me dead, i was so chocked by it that literally all i managed to say was this:
warcross was one of the best books i read in 2017, and wildcard is definitely one of the best books i’ve read in 2018. i was scared it would disappoint me, because i had sky high expectations, but i’m so happy. if you want something fast paced, action packed, and racially diverse, i highly recommend you pick up the warcross duology.
i read wildcard for #mythothon, a month long readathon i’m participating in during all of november. i read it for the propt Ares – God of War, read a book with a compelling antagonist or a written from the villain’s pov.