**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Hardcover: 341 pages
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 18, 2018

Series:  Warcross #2

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo's new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she's always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo's grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone's put a bounty on Emika's head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn't all that he seems--and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Emika Chen seems to be caught in the middle of a high-stakes match, one where she could pay her life as a price. Rather than repudiate Hideo for the revelations in the last book, Emika makes a different choice. Instead, she tries to understand the human emotions and motives behind Hideo and Zero, discovering a much bigger plot than she ever dreamed. Wildcard kept me on the edge of my seat in anticipation! Where the first novel was building the idea of the game of Warcross and Emika was discovering her team, her mission, and an entire new "arena" of players, this next novel went past the game and contemplated hard questions of morality, choice, freedom, and society's system of punishment. This had less worldbuilding and gamification of the first book and covered more exploration of the characters.

Emika, who had been very used to depending only on herself for most of her life besides her father and maybe her roommate, had become part of a team even if she was mostly working on her own. However, her choices and their effects come to pay a price on her team and they push Emika to open up, to trust them. Here, she finally has a chance to show them whether she does or not -- with the revelation of her "kidnapping", Hideo's plans for the Neurolink, and her adoption into the gang. Emika also has to question her feelings for Hideo. Do they change now that she knows his plans? Does she question his motives? For instance, does Hideo not realize the consequences of his actions? The effect he has had on the populace? The choice of life that he's taken away from people? Emika has to weigh who holds the real power? Is it Hideo? Is it Zero? Is it someone else? It's a new question of Machiavellian power--do the ends (Hideo's algorithm saving everyone from bad choices) justify the means (controlling them and taking away their capability of freedom)?

There are a lot of answered questions and strings wrapped up satisfyingly, like the identity of Zero and what happened with his kidnapping. I like that this goes deeper into questions of humanity and actions, but also contains a lot of twists I never saw coming. We get more Hammie, who I love for some reason, and more Tremaine and Roshan (I loved this subplot btw.)...

Without sharing any spoilers, the one thing I'm still not sure I followed well was the, er, villain of the series and the motives behind it and the hidden dots that Emika puts together. Maybe I just didn't anticipate things well, but I think there should have been a little more stitching together. Who knows? Maybe I just need a re-read! I will say that my husband is reading this series right now on audiobook, and it kept him engaged over 8 hours of driving so much that he grabbed his earbuds and is now reading this second book. It's incredibly engaging and I recommend to anyone who enjoys videogaming or who liked Martha Wells' recent Murderbot series or Ready Player One. Can't wait to see what series Marie Lu embarks upon next! What did you all think?



Saturday, July 13, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [367]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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My full stack is over at Reading Reality, and it's not very tall this week. Which probably has something to do with the summer doldrums - in publishing and everywhere else. But there are still some great books on there! Look and see!








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Saturday, July 06, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [366]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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Last weekend was Canada Day for our Canadian readers, and this weekend is the long Fourth of July weekend for those of us in the U.S.

A terrific long weekend to stay in and read - especially if you have air conditioning in one of the many, many places that needs it this summer. Even my friends in Anchorage are sweltering!

And here are just a few books to whet your reading appetite on this weekend. Or possibly your real appetite. Doesn't the cake on the cover of The Ingredients of Us look absolutely delicious?

For more tempting reading treats, check out my full stack over at Reading Reality!








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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [365]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
My full stack over at Reading Reality provides ample evidence that I went a bit overboard at the American Library Association Conference last week. I saw a lot of gorgeous books and requested eARCs of entirely too many of them!

Just take a look at these teasers and you'll see what I mean...










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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [364]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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This week's stack at Reading Reality is a bit shorter than usual. I'm away this weekend so I'm working a bit ahead.

But I still have a selection of books that have been on my anticipated lists for months that I'm glad to see move to the stack!







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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [363]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
This week's stack over at Reading Reality is a bit short. It's my pre-American Library Association Conference stack. I have to do next week's stack early, so they both end up being just a bit short. The week after the conference is usually ginormous. I see so many bright, shiny new books and I just can't resist getting eARCs for entirely too many of them!

Meanwhile, here are this week's teasers:







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Saturday, June 08, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [362]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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This was an interesting week. My full stack, over at Reading Reality (of course) has more than a few pretty covers and several books that I've either been waiting for forever or didn't expect to see. At all. Ever. Take a look!








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Saturday, June 01, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [361]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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Here's an oldie but a goodie to celebrate the end of May and the beginning of June:

Another Month Ends:
All Targets Met
All Systems Working
All Customers Satisfied
All Staff Eager and Enthusiastic
All Pigs Fed and Ready to Fly

My full stack, as always, is over at Reading Reality. 






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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [360]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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For those of us in the U.S., it's a three-day weekend for the Memorial Day Holiday. Potentially, that's more time for reading. It's supposed to be in the OMG mid-90s here in Atlanta, so definitely more time for reading.

Here are a few teasers from the stack I'll be drooling over! (Full stack at Reading Reality, of course!)








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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Stacking the Shelves [359]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
I have more pretty books this week! The full stack is over at Reading Reality, but here are a few teasers to whet your reading appetite for the week!








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