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?
MY REVIEW: [5 stars]
Phew! I was SO nervous going into this, but Marie Lu did not disappoint.
The story picks up shortly after where Warcross left off – and to be completely honest, if it’s been a while since you’ve read Warcross, I’d recommend either rereading or refreshing yourself on the characters. I didn’t, and I kept forgetting who was who in terms of the Pheonix Riders/etc (I know, I’m terrible). With that said, I had a * little * bit of a struggle in the first 20-ish percent – it wasn’t that the pacing was slow, I think my brain was just trying to catch up.
Obviously, spoilers for book one, so read the below at your own risk!
With the algorithm in place, and Hideo basically controlling everyone (why is this so appealing? lol) – Emika knows she needs to do SOMETHING, and Zero is trying to convince her to work alongside him to stop his brother. But there lies a bigger problem: Emika suuuuper does not trust Zero. Only… it turns out… someone tries to kill her, so Zero to the rescue – wahoo! And then the plot takes off, and things get nuts, and the last half – let me tell you – is non stop action. Like, hello, I am still gasping for air.
But I can’t say much more without revealing important plot details that I think should be a surprise – and I assure you, the surprises are MANY. Marie Lu can write some damn twists. Instead, I’ll just hint at some tidbits that I know everyone is DYING to know about – without giving anything away.
1. Do Hideo and Emika get screentime together (because let’s face it, most of us still shipped them after book two)?
Oh yeah. Ohhhh yeah. Yep. Yes. Their moments miiiight have been the best part of the book.
2. Do we get more information on Zero?
Chyeah we do. Oh my gosh. THIS. I can’t. I can’t. My heartstrings – I think Marie stole them. As an author, she’s always been SO strong at character depth and emotion, and she doesn’t disappoint here. Zero and his story heighten the plot to a new level, and what you’ll learn is a game changer. And no, I doubt you’ll be able to guess any of it.
3. More Warcross games?
Heck yes. Though, again, this is where a refresher from book one would help, because I couldn’t help but feel a bit lost at times. I couldn’t remember how they worked. Either way, they were fun though!
All in all, this was a fantastic end to Emika’s story. I was SUPER worried because I thought there was no way this could end in a way that was satisfying. And while I can’t say much about the end, I’ll say I think Marie Lu did it justice – spinning it in ways I couldn’t have predicted. I mean, my heart is punctured a little, but that’s to be expected (and no, not in the way you think).
Lastly, I have to comment on the writing, because ahhhh HOW IS SHE SO GOOD. Also, If you haven’t picked up Marie’s other series, Legend, you’re missing out!