The Elector Primo of the Republic has died, with his son assuming power over what’s left of the USA’s West Coast as it teeters on full-blown chaos. June and Day join up with Patriot rebels so they can rescue Day’s brother and head east for the Colonies. In order to help, though, the rebels want June and Day to kill the new Elector, who may pose an even greater threat than his father.
Prodigy (Legend #2)FeaturedHot
The plotting of Legend follows a pretty standard dystopian outline, but, in Prodigy, Marie Lu really does something different. The first book set the pieces perfectly for her to branch out. Without spoilers, I really cannot tell you much specifically about what is awesome, but just believe me that it is. The ending leaves the plot poised to be completely epic in the next book, but I hope Lu is cutthroat enough to do what she needs to do, because that's where a lot of young adult authors miss the mark in dystopian novels.
Where June spent most of Legend being an annoyingly perfect, almost robotic, girl, completely devoted to her role in the Republic, she really develops in Prodigy. Torn between her childhood leanings and her new alliances, June has to learn how to evaluate the world on her own, no longer accepting what other people tell her to be true. Smart as she is, she has to learn about independent thinking. Readers will find June much more sympathetic and likable in Prodigy. Day, of course, we all loved from the beginning. In some ways, I don't think I like him as much now, but in others he's even better. Where Day is practically perfect in Legend, the reader now gets to see more of his flaws, giving him depth and perhaps ultimately making him more admirable.
The budding relationship between June and Day, thankfully, does not become a huge focus of the plot. Lu does capture both their strong feelings for one another (or how strong they think they are) and the insecurity of their relationship. She stresses how little they've known each other, and how their mutual trust suffers as a result. Lu does introduce a love triangle or two (love square?), and I hope she uses this wisely.
For those who like their dystopian novels full of explosions, I have good news for you. There are fist fights, chase scenes, bombings, jumps off of high objects, and even aerial battles. Lu does a really nice job with her action scenes, keeping them tense and exciting. Also, I never felt confused about what she was describing, which can be tricky to accomplish. And was that a reference to Joss Whedon there towards the end? I hope so.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The only real detractor for the Legend series remains the youth of the protagonists. I know I complained about this in my review for Legend, but it really does bear reiterating. Both Day and June are 15, but they are brilliant, gorgeous, strong, and respected by all. Now, a prodigy can certainly be clever than adults, but I really question both of them being incredibly gorgeous on top of that. Seriously, just take a moment and think back to your yearbook from freshman year of high school, or, even better, go look at it. Do any of those teens look model perfect at all times and anywhere near capable of taking on the Republic? Shouldn't at least one of them suffer from acne?
I also question their incredible physical abilities. At 15, odds are, they wouldn't even be done growing yet, and they're not at their physical peak. I mean, at one point, June jumps onto a door knob and from their onto the top of a door as it opens without anyone noticing. Unless she's secretly a member of the X-Men with cat powers, I just cannot buy that. As for the respect, well, even as a prodigy, I really do not see everyone in a country rallying behind 15 year old rebels. At most, they would be cute figureheads, not viewed as actual leaders. Katniss, for example, powerful though she is at 16, she doesn't lead the revolution; she just serves as a symbol of it. The story would make so much more sense with main characters in the range of 18 to 20, and every person I talked to said that they also kept forgetting that Day and June were so young. Obviously, that can't be changed now, but how about we make it more realistic by giving them some pimples or something?
The Final Verdict:
Marie Lu's Legend series is an excellent choice for readers looking for an action-packed dystopian novel. After that ending, I am pretty much desperate to read the next book, which is poised to be even better!
I love the direction the plot goes in, everything they discover and everyone they meet. It's just great, and I can't wait to dive into the third book and see what it has in store for me. The whole book is cliffhanger after cliffhanger. We do get some answers in this book, answers that I LOVE by the way, yet there's still enough mystery to set up the third book. Readers will be satisfied and you should pick it up NOW.
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.
(Review originally posted on GliteraryGirl.com)
*Spoilers for Legend. Do not read if you haven’t read the first book yet.*
Holy. Crap. Pure gold here. Prodigy was an AMAZING follow up to Legend, and it really exceeded my expectations for it. Legend was great, and Prodigy quite frankly just blew my mind away. There are so many surprises, twists, and traitors revealed that come so unexpectedly, and I found myself gaping at the pages all the way until the very last words. Marie Lu has become an expert storyteller, and I cannot put into words how much I loved Prodigy.
June and Day are on their way to Las Vegas to join the Patriots uprising association. They are fugitives within the Republic, and are constantly being hunted. With Day escaping his death sentence, and the Republic having to cover it up by killing Day’s brother John instead, well, you can say they are pretty darn pissed. The Republic will do whatever it can to quietly eliminate Day from the shadows. They absolutely cannot have classified secrets out that will cause mayhem in the entire nation.
That being said, the best thing for June and Day to do is get protection. How? Joining the Patriots, in return they obviously participate in the Patriots plots. You thought there was action in Legend? Yeah there was some, but you haven’t seen anything yet. Prodigy is filled with trepidation and action to the core. Sometimes when books get slow, my eyes will glaze over and I’ll just start skimming paragraphs. In Prodigy, I just couldn’t catch enough. I focused in on every single word because I did not want to miss a single thought. Prodigy keeps you on your toes and your mind at the brink!
In this installment, Marie opens up the world she created much more, both to the reader and to her characters. The whole plot essentially thickens and becomes more complex. As a reader, we know that half of the U.S. is not the entire world. In this, we get to see for the first time June and Day’s exposure to what is going on everywhere else; that places they never even knew about existed. That Russia, a country the Republic told them was erased, still existed. Prodigy just shows more and more of the Republic’s brainwashing and evilness, a 100% dystopic setting. June and Day are even going to get a nice meet-and-greet with the Colonies, which by the way was totally not what I expected it to be (just another twist to look forward to!). I knew right off the bat there there was something suspicious off about the Patriot society, but Marie’s delivery will just leave you jaw-dropped. So many of the questions that were swirling around in my head were answered, but Prodigy gave way to a whole new set of them.
I think I’ve already talked about how much I love the characters in my Legend review, but in Prodigy I have come to love the characters even more. I didn’t think that was even possible until I finished reading. Oh Day, how you make me laugh, worry, sob, swoon and fan myself. I cannot get enough of him. His relationship with June is a little tense in this book, but I was okay with that because I really didn’t expect a full-blown relationship only after Legend. There are lots of double agents in this book, and you can never truly see the truth about people with the naked eye. Smaller characters in Legend become part of the main scene in Prodigy, and Marie Lu will make you love each and every one of them!
I was a sobbing hot mess by the time I finished this book. Well, I actually finished it while I was on a bus and it was entirely inappropriate to just start crying my eyes out in public, so I had to wait until I got home to start the bawling fest. My mother thought there was something wrong with me. Day, my Day. And June! Oh god I just needed so many tissues after Marie dropped the bomb about Day. And the worst thing? She ended it. Right there. MEGA Code Red Cliffhanger Alert everyone! That is pretty common but still, it hurt and it still aches. You know that the Legend world is on the brink of change and revolution, and I must find out the fate of the Republic, and of June and Day. Champion (Book 3) is scheduled for 2014 and I honestly don’t know how I can survive until then. I’ve read over the Prodigy ending countless times, and everytime my feelings are exactly the same and tears form in my eyes. Truly, this tale by Marie Lu is becoming a masterfully told legend. You must read this series, especially if you’re a fan of dystopia!
Marie Lu has done it again. Legend impressed me, but Prodigy is a whole other story. She knew when to pack in lots of action and life-threatening situations and when to have slow, sweet, emotional, and even sad scenes. She really taps into the emotions, June and Day have for each other. Unfortunately, suspicions about June are planted into Day's head and he wonders if June truly loves him. June often wonders if she is doing the right thing. Both struggle with their grief for their deceased family members.
Truly a captivating page turner to Marie Lu's dystopia series. In a year or two, she may emerge as the new YA queen of Dystopia! ;)
Thanks so much to the ladies of Winter Haven Books for a copy of Prodigy!
Prodigy gives the readers a better understanding of the dystopian society that June and Day live in, not only the Republic but the entire world. In Legend, the Republic seemed isolated and the rest of the world seemed nonexistent, but in Prodigy, the other countries are explained, which helped me build a better image of the world the characters live in.
In addition, I found myself liking the character June more. Prodigy reveals more of the character’s backgrounds, giving the readers a better understanding of the characters themselves. Unlike other authors, Marie Lu’s characters are real and full of the substance. After she embarks on a dangerous journey, it becomes hard to differentiate right from wrong, friends from enemies and finding a balance between listening to your conscience and carrying out your duty. She also struggles with her feelings toward Day, who comes from a different background than she does, while next to Anden, someone with the same economic class and whom she can relate to. It also doesn’t help when Tess confronts Day on how June is, although indirectly, responsible for his family’s death and all the misfortune that has befallen him since they met.
Marie Lu, an undeniably talented author, has managed to make the ending, for me, best part and the worst part. The ending was so sad and heart-wrenching that it made me want to stop reading, yet at the same time, the cliff-hanger left me wanting more.
Prodigy unquestionably surpasses Legend and will leave readers wanting more and counting down the days until the last book is releases