Wildcard is the sequel to Warcross, an engrossing story that takes place in the distant future and
is centered around a teenage hacker named Emika Chen and her journey to hunt down a mysterious
hacker by the name of Zero by Hideo Tanaka’s (the founder of Warcross and Neurolink glasses) request.
Wildcard is about Emika’s inner conflicts about who to follow and support in their goal –Zero, who has
seemed to be a ruthless, dark person thus far, or Hideo, who has decided to use his new Neurolink lenses
to control people’s minds. At the center of this conflict seems to be Hideo’s tragic memory of losing his
younger brother, Sasuke, to a kidnapper in a park when he was a little child.
In terms of plot, I wasn’t all too interested during the first half, but it gets steadily more engaging
as you go on. There are once again plot twists that will not disappoint, that’s for sure. The ending is
gratifying in some ways and slightly sentimental as well, but you may have a different view on it. Anywho, I
think the ending of the story was a well-written and fitting one.
There’s no grand battle between two teams in the Warcross world that takes place in this book, at
least not in the way it was presented in the first book of the series. I was slightly disappointed upon
finding this, but the overall underlying messages of the novel and the masterfully crafted plot make up for
it. This time around, I found that I didn’t really connect with some of the characters, but it was great to see
the characters from the first Warcross book make a reentry into Wildcard, whose charms still remain.
Wildcard, like the first book in the duology, makes you think a bit and thus has a bit of a
philosophical element to it, if you will. There’s no easy answer to the conflict within Hideo about what to
do with his Neurolink invention, as his aims were to prevent all crime with it but at the same time, have
some degree of control over people’s minds. It’s kind of an ethics question, so if you enjoy that kind of
thing, hopefully, you’ll find this book and the one before it interesting. It also has science fiction, dystopian,
and romance elements, so it’s likely appealing to a wide audience of YA readers.
Review by ~ Andrew