Monday, January 9, 2012
Legend by Marie Lu
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' 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.
I heard nothing but positive things about Legend before reading, and so much hype is always hard to live up to. The book didn't quite meet my expectations but there's still plenty I like about it.
The major thing that prevented Legend from living up to all I had heard is just how long it takes it to truly get going. The book's official summary, the one above, does a better job than most at hiding the secrets the characters discover later on, but these secrets take a ridiculously long time to be uncovered in the actual novel. It was also incredibly easy to at least have an idea as to what shady government business is going down, which took all the fun and suspense out of the eventual reveal. The time it took did allow for some excellent action and conflict to occur, a seemingly nonstop supply of it, but I'd rather have a big, non-anticlimactic secret after all that previous excitement.
Despite my grievances, I do like other aspects of this book, namely its two narrators. Both June and Day, because they're from such vastly different areas, manage to be equally interesting. I enjoyed seeing the effect of both of their homes upon them, because even with their similarities in mind, it was easy to see the edge and style the military or slums gave each of them. I loved even more when their paths overlapped, because the contrast between their lifestyles is so drastic that it makes for some interesting, complex conflict. However, the romance between them is lackluster at best, because there really isn't a basis for it and yet I always got the impression that it's supposed to be a huge deal.
It could have used a bit more development and a faster start, but the action and equally intriguing main characters makes me think that, despite my lack of "!!! love" for Legend, there's plenty of hope for the series' next installments.
Book details: Putnam/Hardcover/$17.99
Source: sent by publisher for review