Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Prodigy

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: dystopian, YA

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This boosted my opinion of the series from "not one of my favorite dystopias, but still good" to "DEFINITELY one of my favorite dystopias."

Prodigy picks up where Legend ended, with June and Day fleeing from Los Angeles. They need help, and they decide to join the Patriots in order to get the resources and safety they need. The only catch is that in exchange, June and Day must assassinate the new elector, Anden. Killing in cold blood isn't June or Day's style, and things get even more complicated when Anden seems to be more than just a power-hungry tyrant like his father. There are also more personal struggles - Day feeling insignificant and wondering about the sincerity of June's feelings towards him, and June continuing to grapple with the loss of her brother and who to trust.

A lot of people have pointed out that Legend lacks a lot of world-building. I agree, and what is a dystopia without world-building? Still, I felt like since June and Day knew very little about how their own world worked, it was only natural that the reader would be kept in the dark too. In Prodigy, June and Day learn a lot more about their world and we even get a look at the Colonies. The world of this novel is much more firmly established, and it is pretty darn twisted. I loved learning more about the origins of the Republic and seeing how it changed from its original intention. I also really liked seeing the darker side of the Colonies. I appreciated that there were two societies with their own good and dark sides instead of just having an evil regime and a benevolent one. The solution to cleaning up America isn't as clear cut anymore, and I can't wait to see how this pans out.

I love intelligent characters, and both June and Day continue to think fast on their feet and out-think their enemies. I thought both main characters developed more distinct voices in this book, so it was easier to get in their heads and contrast June and Day's different outlooks. I absolutely love June and her ridiculously logical self - she always had these parentheticals about the grade of steel or the dimensions of her room, and it really shows you how observant and resourceful she is. I thought her blabbering about the good quality material of the paperclip ring was adorable (and then internally scolding herself "why don't you just punch him in the face?"). The paperclip ring itself was adorable too!

The relationships get way more complex in this book - not just between characters (oh my goodness, the jealousy needs to stop), but between groups and governments. There is a lot of mistrust and not really knowing who the "good guys" are. Until the end, I really didn't know who to root for or what the main characters would do. Some of the secondary characters have a larger role in this book too - Kaede, for one, continues to be awesome.

There were a couple of revelations in this book that made me see the events in Legend in a new light. For one thing, I want to punch Thomas in the face way more now that I know how much he meant to Metias. HOW COULD HE? AGH.

The end of this book is conclusive and empowering, but also shattering. I was very happy with the way things were going until Day's hospital visit. (view spoiler)[ How could he just tell June that "things wouldn't work out between them" without telling her that he was DYING? He really didn't give her a fair shot at working things out or letting her show how much she cared. You don't do that to friends let alone people you (think you) love! (hide spoiler)].

I am looking forward to seeing how everything gets wrapped up in Champion!

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