Wildcard, Marie Lu’s fast-paced sequel to last year’s Warcross (reviewed here) picks up right where the last book left off. In the near future, gamer/bounty hunter Emika Chen has discovered that Warcross’s creator Hideo Tanaka has hidden a NeuroLink algorithm within the newest edition of the game. The NeuroLink takes control of anybody who plays or even uploads the game and places them under Hideo’s control. Criminals are either forced to surrender to the authorities or kill themselves, and everybody else’s behavior is controlled by the algorithm.
Despite this chilling turn of events, Emika still has feelings for Hideo. Circumstances force her and her gaming champion friends the Phoenix Riders to ally with the nasty Zero (who has a personal connection to Hideo) and his Blackcoats group to stop Hideo’s plan, as well as keep Emika safe from bounty hunters now on her trail. But, as in the previous installment, things -and people- are not what they seem.
Exciting and well plotted, despite having less action than last time, Wildcard (yes, the title is important) will hold the reader’s interest from start to finish and makes a great series finale. If you’ve already read Warcross, you’ll want to read Wildcard!