Wildcard

Wildcard is the follow up to Warcross. I don’t want to say too much because it might get a little spoily…

Wildcard and Warcoss are cyber punk books. I’m never really sure if the setting is in the future or just an alternate timeline of the present. Anyhow, the setting is our world (in Tokyo) but with huge jump in technology. A set of contact lenses can take you into a whole other cyber world where you can project other peoples faces over your own to protect your identity, or overlay a map over what you are seeing right in front of you, no more constantly looking at your phone or car display for GPS, now there is an arrow line in real time right in front of you. If someone speaks another language letters pop up right in your line of view to translate for you in real time. All very nice and convenient….or is it? With the next step in technology coming out soon is where Emi comes into play… or does she?

The first book is where Emika is introduced and we find out her awesome hacker skills as she is commissioned to find someone who is hacking into Warcross games. These games are like VR, but with lots of people and the worlds are very elaborate. The games are basically capture the flag, but in a very crazy cool way.

Book two is different. Now she is trying to figure out a mystery between her love interest in the first book and his brother (?) in the second book. Which side will she take (you’ll have to read the book).

BUT…even though I loved this book and read it super fast, there were some glaring problems in this book (can I still love a book that has huge problems and even bigger plot holes…YES!!!)

First off of disappointments is Emika. To me she was okay in the first book, a bit naive, making bad decisions, but okay. In this book any personality she had in the first book was stripped away. The only time her character came to life was when she was with the man she loved, other than that she was an empty vessel for us to watch the story unfold though. It was such a huge disappointment and let down.

Not only is she a huge wet noodle her lack of doing anything really annoyed me…so much! She has a huge dilemma in figuring out what is going on, who is telling the truth, and who to trust, but she never seems to be able to make up her mind! She believes everything everyone says to her. Does everything they ask her to and hardly worries what consequences await her. This was so bad!!!! I wanted to punch her through the book a few times and ask her if she even cares about anything or is just amused about the plot without any opinions of her own. WET NOODLE!

Second, the plot holes were glaring!!! Glaring!!! They were so bad!!! If I had those plot holes in my writing I’d be embarrassed. And I might because I don’t have an editor and I’m not a NY Times best seller like Marie Lu did. BUT how in the world did these problems get through so many rounds of editing and not get addressed???? It was awful!

****Possible spoiler ahead****

Here is an example of what I’m talking about. Emi witnesses someone being shot point blank in the head. Well, later come to find out that he was only grazed in the head which sent him to the hospital where he barely made it out alive by a trained assassin, who is supposed to be superior to all the other assassins right in front of the people who wanted her to do it. I don’t care how great this assassin is there is no way this makes any sense.

On top of that she witnesses this from another room (through glass windows) and yet, later on, she says she can still smell the blood of that shot in a memory. How does that even work….at all??? There are other plot holes too, but you’ll have to read it yourself to find them.

Third, there was so, so, so much telling and not enough doing. Emi seemed almost omnipresent knowing exactly what people’s motives were or why they acted the way they did without actually interacting with the people enough to actually know those things. Telling, telling, telling….why God, why?

BUT, the best part of the book is the plot. In fact I’d say this story deviates from the fist book in that this book is completely plot driven. If it wasn’t for the plot this book would have been garbage. But it’s so interesting it kept me going and seeing past all the disappointments of the book and I ended up really liking it.

At one point I felt like it went from cyber to punk to full on sci-fi. It was a twist that really blew my mind and I didn’t see it coming at all!!! AT ALL!!! And it made the story so much better.

So, I recommend reading this book even though it’s not as great as the first. It’s still a fascinating read.

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Warcross

So, I just finished reading Warcross and loved it! It took me several chapters to get into the book because I’m just not a first-person present tense kind of reader, but it really was a good book. Although, sometimes it did slide into first-person past tense, which made the reading a little easier for me to read. 

This is my first cyberpunk novel to read. To be honest, I really didn’t even know what this book was about when I bought it, but it was all over the book group I’m in on FB so I thought I’d give it a try and I was so pleasantly surprised. 

Emika is a hacker in the near future who has rainbow hair, has a tattoo sleeve, and rides an electric skateboard. She lives a destitute life until Hideo the creator of the game Warcoss needs her help. In order to catch this bounty, she is thrust into the world tournament game. 

This book is pretty fast-paced and exciting. Emika is not only hunting a bounty but uncovering a mystery in the process. It has some twists and turns and romance. One thing I have to say is by the first breadcrumb, I already figured out who Zero (the one she is hunting) was. I think it was just too obvious, but that did not keep me from being entertained anyway. 

The book gives you many visuals to see in your imaginations so if you read it I hope you are good at painting pictures in your head because you’re going to need to. The way the warcross games were played were also very interesting and I almost wish that we actually had this technology so I could try it out. It’s no surprise that the author Marie Lu was a former video game tech. 

I cannot wait to read WildCard next in the series and learn more about warcross. The first book ends in a bit of a cliffhanger and leaves you wanting more!

FIVE-STARS

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