Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu


Title: Legend
Series: The Legend Series
Book #: One
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Source: Bought 
Format: Hardcover 
My Rating:    
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills. (taken from goodreads.com)
I love, love, love dystopian novels. I seriously can't get enough of them, and thankfully young adult authors are stepping up to meet the demand. Legend is yet another brilliantly written futuristic novel filled with nail-biting action scenes and fascinating conspiracies. Throw in a tiny bit of forbidden romance and voila! Another addictive novel to join the ranks of The Hunger Games and other beloved tales. 

The novel is extremely character driven. Too often I find myself dulled by the cliched characters of many young adult novels. Thankfully, Lu introduced a cast filled with intriguing and intelligent characters. From the moment the reader is introduced to the two main characters, it is obvious that Day and June aren't average teens. Both can scale scale ten story buildings in a matter of seconds and defend themselves better than any soldier. Not only are they physically advanced, but they are also incredible strategists. I cannot explain how relieving it was to finally feel impressed by characters' observations and decisions. I only wish I could be as BA as fifteen year-old June. Don't even get me started on Day- I might never stop ranting about his overall awesomeness. As the book alternates between Day and June's points of view, we are able to bond with and understand both teens.

The futuristic world Lu created is both believable and engaging. While many questions are left unanswered, (Why did America fall apart? How far in the future is it? Why is the Republic at war?) the final chapters hint at the potential epicness to come in the future sequels. With every chapter, a little more of June's world unravels as she discovers the secrets of her world. I'm dying to know more about the Republic's motives and where June and Day will go from here. My curiosity may drive me mad before the next book is released. 

The entire time I was devouring Legend, I couldn't help but compare it to several other infamous novels. In no way does the novel leach off of other stories' plots, but Lu's style is extremely reminiscent of books such as Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and 1984 by George Orwell. Personally, I enjoyed reading a teen novel with calculating characters and adult-level concepts. One can only take so many "mysterious, beautiful strangers" and insta-romances. 

If you, like me, are dying to get your hands on more epic dystopian literature, then Legend is right up your alley. Unlike many other teen books, romance is put on the back burner while action and plot are kicked up a notch. Refreshing and addictive, the story will hook you in the first chapter.