Review Detail

5.0 6
Young Adult Fiction 8287
Marie Lu is a master of "voice"
(Updated: October 25, 2013)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Prodigy (Legend, #2)

Author: Marie Lu
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Dystopia
Format: EBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
On Sale Date: January 29, 2013
Recommended Reading: 14+

Contains no spoilers

THE GIST: Prodigy—or as I like to call it: Frustration, Tension, Even More Frustration, Then Heartbreak—is the greatly anticipated follow-up to the 2011 novel Legend. Marie Lu delivers a healthy dose of action and anticipation while subtly peppering in bits of tension and drama, fooling readers into thinking they’re reading a good-time piece, only to pull the rug from under them in the final throes. The ending is an unexpected blow to the gut, while somehow still pointing to a glimmer of hope. The weight of this book certainly snuck up on me, but it’s worth the “goddy” journey.

SYNOPSIS: June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

BREAKDOWN: The first book in this series, Legend, was just plain fun. While it dealt with heavy issues and its fair share of loss, it was so full of action and excitement, that you just enjoy reading it. Lu has a unique style that is just as present in this sequel. Throughout the story, tension abounds between the male and female leads Day and June. Honestly, it made all the action a little hard to engage. However, at the same time, I felt their frustration and wanted them to just once say the right things to each other and see eye to eye.

I’ll admit, this wasn’t the sort of book I expected myself to be very emotionally invested in, yet in the final chapters I saw the writing on the wall, and the closer I got to the end the more I knew what was coming. Even then, I still didn’t expect the wave of emotion that washed over me while soaking in those last few paragraphs. Sucker punch straight to the gut, Lu. Not cool. Yes, darn it, I’ll buy your third book—I hope you’re happy!

Now, apart from my emotional fit, I have to show some massive respect for Lu. These novels are written from two points of view, June and Day. One female, one male; one rich, one poor; one extremely refined and educated, and the other a simple street con. They couldn’t be more different, and their voices couldn’t be more perfected. Even if I’d forgotten where I left off and came back, I could always quickly figure out whose chapter I was in because of the wonderful distinction between voices. All the little idiosyncrasies did not go unnoticed (by me, at least). Not to mention Day’s perhaps my favorite male character “voice” ever written. I love this kid, truly, and I can practically hear him in my head. From his speech patterns, to his vocabulary, and even his grammar, Lu left no stone unturned. And he’s the perfect blend of youth, softness, and masculinity. Honestly, I liked both the characters a great deal, but especially Day.

I love Day. Seriously…

I am reluctant to say this, because my heart is still a little sore over the ending, but I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the third novel, Champion (due for publication in 2014). I’m invested. I already loved this series, but now I do even more. Don’t break my heart, Marie Lu.

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