Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review: Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu

Yay! I finally finished reading the second book in Marie Lu's LEGEND trilogy! I read Legend right when it came out last year and absolutely loved it! In February I attended the "Breathless Reads" book tour. It had a stop at Book People in Austin and the lovely Marie Lu, Andrea Cremer, Jessica Khoury, and Brenna Yovanoff were all there. Lu talked about her sequel to Legend, Prodigy, and how hard it was for her to write and how much pressure she felt to do it justice. Well let me tell you, she delivered! Prodigy had all the high stakes, action, and romance as Legend did and then some. Here's my summary and following thoughts on both books:

The United States is no more. Floods, disease and war have torn the country apart, dividing it into two sides: the west, or the Republic, and the east, the Colonies. June is a fifteen-year-old prodigy born into a wealthy family and being groomed into the highest of military ranks. While plagues run rampant and the low class fight to survive, June has everything she could want. Day, a fifteen-year-old boy from the slums, is just the opposite. His little brother is sick, his family has no food or money, and Day does everything he can, including break the law, to fight for their survival. Because of this, he is the Republic's most wanted criminal. When June gets the chance to prove herself to her country and take down Day, she jumps at the opportunity. Going undercover, she passes herself off as another one of the slum's kids. She meets Day and slowly gains his trust--but in the process learns there is much more to Day than she realized. His reasons for being a criminal are just. Suddenly June doesn't know how she feels anymore. What's right and what's wrong. Does she follow her heart or the law? June's shocking decision and the repercussions will shock readers with it's climatic and stunning ending.

**From the second I opened this book I was swept away. June's methodical way of thinking and reasoning for everything she does was fascinating  Day's fight for what his family needs as well as justice was somehow extremely relatable. When the two meet, you could feel their connection. You understood everything June was going through--her sense of duty and loyalty, as misplaced as it may be, was understandable. But June had something the Republic didn't think of: a heart. She fell hard and fast for Day and he the same. The action kept me turning the pages and the shocking ending left me hungry for the next installment.

Prodigy picks up where Legend left off. Day and June are dealing with the consequences of the decisions they recently made. A rift slowly forms between them as a rebel group, the Patriots, enlists their help to assassinate the new Elector (kind of like the President). They agree to help believing it will bring about a radical change in the Republic. Day is the one who's tapped to pull the trigger. He's the face of the rebellion the people are slowly starting. He has the crowds support and loyalty. June is supposed to get close to the Elector, draw him in to the Patriots line of fire. But then something unexpected happens. June gets to know the Elector and realizes that he's not the enemy--the Congress that hides behind him is. Elector Anden wants a radical change in the Republic just as much as June and Day do. He wants June to convince Day to help him win the support of the people. June and Day successfully manage to foil the assassination attempt and escape into the Colonies, the place they always believed would be the answer to all their troubles. But even the Colonies aren't all they seem. So when an old friend convinces them to return and help Anden, Day and June agree. It works. Day convinces the crowd to support Anden and he and June finally get to start a new life. But then Day receives some shocking news--so shocking that it changes everything, including his desire for a future with June.

**Rarely do sequels live up to their predecessors  That was not the case with Prodigy. I loved this book from page one and finished it in about 2 days. June and Day dealt with so much and never seemed to catch a break. All they wanted was what so many of us want--a chance. To live safely, to not have the people we love ripped away from us, and to not have to worry about the future. Their fight was huge and the stakes were high. I loved the character of Anden and what he stood for. He didn't want to be like his dad, the late Elector. And June didn't want to be like the rest of the elite. She wanted to make changes and use her unique skills to accomplish all that. And despite their differences and all the obstacles they had to face, I loved how Day and June held strong to how they felt. It was real. I can't wait for the final installment in the LEGEND trilogy, Champion. It comes out in November.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review. Feel free to comment below.