Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: Legend

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA, science fiction, dystopian

Rating: 5/5 stars


I was feeling a little down one week, wandering aimlessly around campus, when it hit me that the best way to cheer me up was probably to get my hands on a book. There were a lot of books I could have chosen to buy, but I picked this one up because I had heard many good things about this series and I've always been a sucker for dystopian novels and science fiction. I wasn't disappointed.

Legend takes place in a future where people take a test at age 10; either they pass and are assigned to a position in the military or the elite, or they fail and are sent to labor camps. The United States is part of a mythical past, now separated into the Republic and the radical Colonies. The Republic is at war with the Colonies and the rebellion they stand for, but things aren't going so well on the home front. Plague threatens to wipe out the population, especially the poor who have no access to vaccines. 

June is the genius who is the only one to pass the examination with a perfect 1500. Day is the notorious criminal whom no one has seen and know one knows the identity of; he's a blight on the Republic's immaculate plan for its society, and the military will do anything they can to stop him. In an interesting turn of events, one of Day's robberies goes wrong and ends up leaving one person dead. That person just so happens to be June's older brother and guardian, Metias. June swears to avenge her brother's death, but along the way she discovers that there are secrets and sinister motives she never imagined.

I really enjoyed the fast-pace of the book and the way it rapidly shifted between June and Day's perspectives. Both characters were incredibly smart, and it was refreshing to see their witty interactions as they played cat-and-mouse. Both characters had a lot of courage and loyalty, and they grew quite a bit as the story progressed. The fast pace kept things suspenseful, and I raced through this book. It may not have been very long, but I still felt this novel had impact.

I also liked the darker element to the novel. Some of the secrets are a bit expected (having read Atwood's The Year of the Flood and Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, I don't think any novel can make things more shocking or disturbing), but they are still very sinister.[Show Spoiler]

This isn't my favorite dystopian novel; not by a long shot. It's still a fun, fast, intelligent read, and I enjoyed it. It got me out of my sadness slump, so I suppose I will always remember this book fondly. I'm looking forward to continuing this series!


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