As much as it hurts me to say it, this one falls short of the first title.
Following the ethical dilemma posed in Warcross, Emika must choose which side she is on.
And neither side is an obvious chose.
Wildcard makes a classic mistake. After building up two great potential villains in the first title, it goes off story and brings in new ones.
It wraps up the story a bit too neatly because it incorporates this element.
There are two major complaints about this sequel. The first is that it fails to truly follow through on the fascinating moral question posed in the first. (Instead, it shows more unethical stuff that sort-of, squeamishly excuses some of the initial crimes.)
The second issue is a total lack of Warcross in this story. It seems that the breath-taking action of the first title was so much a strong point, that for most of this book I was wishing for it.
Complaints aside, I did actually enjoy this book. There was so much fascinating, crazy science and tech stuff that I can’t get into because that would involve spoilers. The Phoenix Riders are as fantastic as ever. Emika is still an interesting main character, even if she is exhaustingly indecisive. (As exhausting as it is, it is appropriately identifiable. We’d all probably be like this if put in her shoes.)
Unfortunately, however, weaker sequels appear to be Marie Lu’s vice. I certainly want to read more-Warcross remains one of my favorite books-but after Wildcard and Prodigy, I am notably wary of Lu’s ability to follow through on new stories.