WILDCARD by Marie Lu
Kirkus Star

WILDCARD

From the "Warcross" series, volume 2
Age Range: 13 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The fate of free will hangs in the balance as Emika must choose a side in this sequel to Warcross (2017).

In the days after Japanese Hideo triggered the algorithm in the NeuroLink enabling him to control 98 percent of its users (all except those using the beta lenses), people are turning themselves in for crimes en masse, and some child molesters and murderers are even killing themselves. Those still using beta lenses—like Emika Chen, who is implied Asian-American, and her multicultural teammates—have a little more than a week until the beta lenses will download a patch and convert to the algorithm. The tight timeline has Emika dwelling on the team-up offer from Zero—which her friends are against as he’s a terrorist—until her hand is forced by assassination attempts and Zero brings her into the secretive Blackcoat organization and into the know about his identity. Emika struggles with the Blackcoats’ extreme ends-justify-the-means stance but goes along with their plan while teasing out the truth of what happened to Hideo’s brother, Sasuke, all those years ago. The plotting is exquisite, with tiny details connecting back to the first book, big twists that never feel forced, and emotional power drawn from character growth. The flawlessly rendered characters anchor the sophisticated themes and world-altering stakes right up to the end game.

A fast, intense, phenomenal read. (Science fiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-399-54799-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2018




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Kirkus Interview
Marie Lu
September 29, 2015

In the second installment of Marie Lu’s Young Elites series, The Rose Society, Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness? “The direction of this trilogy's conclusion is left refreshingly difficult to predict,” our reviewer writes. View video >

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