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Wildcard: Warcross, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Wildcard: Warcross, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Emika steers cyberpunk thriller duology to exciting finish.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Explores how video games and social media might evolve in the near future. Deals with issues of privacy, surveillance, free will.

Positive Messages

Seemingly insurmountable circumstances can often be solved through teamwork. People need to be free to make their own choices and face the consequences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Emika Chen is smart, resourceful, brave, highly competent. A bounty hunter, she uses her hacking skills against criminals. She's motivated yet impulsive, sometimes finds herself in over her head.


Most of the action takes place in the virtual world, but characters are still in physical danger. One of Emika's teammates is seriously wounded by gunfire.


Emika and Hideo spend an evening together in bed and make love, with some light description of their early foreplay.


"Hell" and "damn" used more than a dozen times each, with fewer instances of "s--t," "bulls--t," and "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wildcard is the sequel to Warcross by Marie Lu (The Young Elites, Legend). A futuristic cyberthriller, it features real-world and online mayhem, including gunfights and hand-to-hand combat (although with little actual bloodshed). Sexual content includes a scene in which Emika and Hideo spend the night together and make love. Strong language includes frequent use of "hell" and "damn" and occasional use of "ass," "s--t," and "bulls--t."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 year old Written bylostintomes December 4, 2018

A decent, satisfying conclusion.

3.5 Stars CONTENT NOTES - There is some language like in the first book, a little violence and one "fade-to-black" sex scene. Nothing very noteworth... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDystopian October 24, 2018

I love this book series

This is a great book. Their is a brief sexual seen but doesn't describe anything in two much detail, just them kissing and it says they fell on the bed but... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written by0xmm January 17, 2019

Great Continuation!

Wildcard is a great continuation of the Warcross series. There is some bad language and romance, but nothing too severe. It is a great book for people 12+. Howe... Continue reading

What's the story?

Having barely survived the Warcross Championships, Emika Chen must handle a new threat. The man she loves, Hideo Tanaka, unleashes a new NeuroLink algorithm that turns everyone's virtual reality glasses into mind-control machines. Determined to stop him, Emika enlists the help of her Phoenix Rider teammates, only to learn that someone has put a bounty on her head. On the streets of Tokyo and in the digital world, she seeks clues to the central mystery of Hideo's life: the unsolved kidnapping of his beloved younger brother.

Is it any good?

Cyberpunk thrillers sometimes suffer from "no-rules-apply" stories, but this exciting sci-fi novel gives readers characters to root for in deadly situations that at least attempt to make sense. Wildcard raises its stakes right from the beginning, and author Marie Lu orchestrates a couple of jaw-dropping plot turns. Emotionally and physically fearless, Emika is a complex protagonist, and Lu excels at revealing her interior life. Some of the fight scenes go on too long, but readers who enjoyed Warcross will be satisfied by the breakneck conclusion to the saga. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Wildcard depicts the future uses of virtual reality. What are the dangers and benefits of immersive digital environments?

  • What might happen if everyone's mind were programmed to obey the same laws and follow the same rules? Why is the concept of free will important to society?

  • Is it possible to love a person who does bad things? 

Book details

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