Author: Marie Lu
Science Fiction Young Adult
Let’s begin with Warcross, I already have a gushing review about this book (here), I couldn’t help myself and wrote it as soon as I read the book — I wasn’t going to wait a whole year to do that … which is what would have happened if I wanted to do a series review.. Anyway, if you want something more in-depth, go click on the link and check it out..
In broad strokes, what I liked a whole lot about this book (both books actually but particularly WArcross) was the world building… The whole Virtual Reality on top of real life thing that we get submerge into was something that you could easily picture happening… The plot was okay, intriguing and captivating enough even if it wasn’t incredibly original (but it’s kind of hard to find truly original work… most things always remind you of something else) The characters were in my opinion well set up… their background stories and their relationships with one another… I truly like them, all of them.
“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact”
The flaw I found here was the Romance between Emika and Hideo .. I must confess I liked the idea of them together but after reading the second book I felt that it was missing something — it tends to happen when I’m asked to believe in this epic relationship where we want to save each other and protect each other from everything and yet I didn’t see that relationship being built… In the first book I enjoy the play between trust and distrust that they had going, and their chemistry but that was it…
Then in Wildcard, we see Emika trying to save Hideo from himself because of how she felt about him, I did understand to a point that she admired him and didn’t want him to become a monster but there were her supposedly deep feelings for him that to me came out of the blue (when did you fall in love with him so quickly… you guys didn’t spend that much time together) In my opinion she was more in love with the idea of him that the real Hideo.
Okay, now let’s move to Wildcard… in spite of a couple of not so good reviews I had seen floating around I jumped into this book and I’m glad that I did.. I gave it an even higher rating than Warcross, Why? Because to me, the whole story flew the way it was supposed to with a few curve balls thrown in… (i was surprised by one of the big revelations we learn in this book). We have a lot of action, plotting and intrigue, but it was a different kind of action and I understand that you would feel disappointed if you were expecting more game like action like in Warcross.. I wasn’t so it worked for me.
That’s the difference between the real and the virtual. Reality is where you can lose the ones you love. Reality is the place where you can feel the cracks in your heart.
I’m happy that Emika acted the way she did and she wasn’t the biggest badass around (like so many other YA heroines) She felt confused, she wasn’t quite sure how to achieve what she set out to achieve and therefore followed different people’s lead but without losing herself in the end.
As for Hideo, he wasn’t as present (I missed him a little) and yet what we see from him, his struggle with the ramifications of his creation, all the possible consequences that he didn’t take into account and the true reason behind it all … I truly liked that, it made him more human and not so two-dimensional.
I’m not going to dive into their relationship again since I already rant about it a few paragraphs above… it was a weak point in my opinion even if I like them as a couple.
As for Zero, he was a great surprise… I wasn’t expecting what happened… and I’m not going to tell you much about it because I’m not spoiling the story for everyone… nevertheless it was a great way to handle the story so Kudos to Marie Lu.
“The mind can make you believe whatever it wants you to believe.”
We don’t get to see a lot of the Phoenix riders and I understand how that could be a letdown for some other readers out there, I wasn’t as invested in them as a group so I was fine with what we actually got from them in this book..
I wasn’t a big fan of the open ending we got but that’s probably because I like my books to be wrapped up prettily with a bow on top, so it’s not really an issue… Overall I seriously enjoy both books and the way the story flew between them and how everything was resolved… I would recommend them to anyone who wants to read some YA SCI/FI with a touch of Cyber punk… You won’t regret it.