Thursday, December 29, 2016
Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu
I've had my eye on Legend for awhile now. It's come highly recommended by several people, and now that I have read it, I can see why.
Legend is a duel point of view story that follows June, a highly regarded soldier of the ruling Republic, and Day, an outlaw whose goal is to find a cure for the rampant plagues infecting the poor and sabotage the Republic to destroy their hold on power. June's and Day's worlds collide when June's brother is murdered and Day becomes the top suspect. As June tries to figure out if Day really murdered her brother, she begins to uncover a much more sinister dealings within the Republic.
I really enjoyed Lu's world building in this story. It seemed so natural and she did a terrific job of twisting the reader's opinions of her world. I honestly couldn't tell (and still can't tell) whose side I was on. I think that Lu created her world and then created characters that fit seamlessly into it. I liked that she created relatively straightforward characters. Day is a fifteen year old boy who is a kind of parkour master and protests the Republic through mostly peaceful sabotage. He wants to protest his government and will use means necessary to do so, but he also makes sure no one is killed in the process. This trait made him seem more realistic.
June is also a fairly straightforward character. She is born into a family of soldiers, and when her brother is murdered, she goes to all lengths to find out who did it and why. Normally, straightforward characters bother me, but in this case, I liked it. Let me be clear, I'm not saying the characters had no depth! There just wasn't a whole lot of baggage to tie these characters down, and there weren't a whole lot of moral dilemmas to sort through. It made for a quick, intriguing, uncomplicated story.
Someone I know compared Legend to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and I can definitely see the parallels. Both books are post-apocolypic, have terrific characters, a secretive government, and a mystery that must be solved. But really, that's where the similarities end. I was about halfway through the book when someone mentioned The Hunger Games comparison and became a little afraid that Legend was going to be a Hunger Games clone. It isn't. I still can't pinpoint exactly why this book feels so different, but I really, really enjoyed it.
If there was one thing I would have changed, it was the "insta-love" between Day and June. Yes, yes, they are both described as being beautiful, but personally, I wanted a little more foundation to the relationship than that. Towards the end of the novel, there is a scene between the two main characters where they are both emotionally vulnerable and open up to each other about their pasts. I would have liked to see their love story come out of that connection, instead of their physical attraction and admiration of each other's physical abilities. At the end of the book, after everything the characters go through, I can see their love being a possibility. So, it really is just in the middle where their romance was a little annoying.
One of the great things about this series is that (as far as I know) it is already completed. No waiting for the next book to be released! Woohoo! I'm definitely going to go and buy Prodigy and Champion, sometime this week. I really want to find out what happens to these characters. I'll let you know how it goes.
There is an extremely good chance that Emily will blow all of her Christmas money on new books between now and New Year's Day. This is a good thing for readers of this blog because it means more reviews for you! Happy New Year!