Book Quibbles: Wildcard Review

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.

I remember getting hooked on Warcross and immediately preordered Wildcard. What did it for me was the NeuroLink and its effect on the world, with the Warcross game included. It’s something I would love to see become real in our world, but at the same would become dangerous, and this book is showing to what lengths.

*spoilers for Warcross*

The Blackcoats

At the end of Warcross, Emika was offered a job by Zero, the mysterious hacker Emika was after, but in the end, was trying to stop Hideo and his mind-controlling upgrade to the NeuroLink. Emika found out Zero was actually Hideo’s missing brother and it set up a great cliffhanger.

After those events, Emika is trying to keep out of the public eye, is banned from Warcross, and is struggling to figure out everything going on with Zero. One night Emika discovers she has a huge bounty on her head for her death and is saved by Zero’s people, the Blackcoats.

They offer her protection while also asking her to break into Hideo’s NeuroLink algorithm to put an end to it, and conveniently there’s an opportunity during the Warcross closing ceremonies.

For a while, Emika thinks Zero is in charge and things are as they seem, but throughout the book, there are a lot of twists and reveals that go deeper into their history and the truth behind everything from Zero himself and how he disappeared as a child.

The Riders In The Back Seat

One thing I enjoyed, much like the last book, is the Phoenix Riders. I think they got more attention and yet, didn’t? We learned more about each of them, and being some of the few people not affected by the NeuroLink, are always there to help Emika. But since Emika is no longer apart of the team, we didn’t get to spend as much with them.

That also goes with Hideo. At first, we only know what’s going on with him through conferences or Emika’s brief conversations. Of course, a good section of the book is Emika figuring out how to take Hideo down, but his presence didn’t add up until the last quarter of the book.

Zero/Sasuke 

One of my favorite things about the book is Zero’s backstory and Sasuke’s past. As more information is given about the real events that took place, which happens around half-way through, I just wanted to keep reading. A lot comes at once as we get to see through his memories.

I will say there is a twist I didn’t see coming, and it’s been a while since I actually shut a book and was like, “Shit.”

Overall

I realized I didn’t say much about Emika herself: she’s fine. I liked her plenty in Warcross and went into this one with the same feelings, but her importance didn’t have the same feeling as Warcross. She’s a great hacker, but those skills weren’t put into use much, and things seemed to be happening around and at her, but to be honest, it felt like she was almost just thrown into a situation.

And since she was literally thrown into this underworld group trying to take down the most powerful piece of technology in the world, I can get that. I just wish there was more with her and her hacking skills.

Honestly, I can’t say this one got to me like the first one. I think the Warcross games themselves created an exciting atmosphere, but without them here, and Emika not being apart of them, I didn’t get the same feeling. This one is Emika in hiding so she’s not killed and waiting for the moment to take Hideo down.

It’s still a good read though. Like I said, during some of those scenes, I just wanted to keep reading. If you read the first book I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, but may be expecting more.

However, the one thing I thoroughly enjoy about this world is the NeuroLink and it wasn’t until the very end when its importance is mentioned that I realized how much it does. It’s not just fancy technology making the world appear brighter and better but helping those in need or sick. It’s something I wonder about our world having and if it would end up just like this, with people exploiting that power.

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Disclaimer: Quibbles and Scribbles is an affiliate of Amazon Associates, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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