Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Source: Bought it
Book Description from Goodreads:
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
On the heels of their great escape June and (the presumed dead) Day try to track down the last of their friends and family before they make a run for it to the fabled Colonies - where life is supposed to be better. But their plan comes crumbling down as The Republic has its own shake up when the Elector Primo dies and his young son Anden takes his place as the new figurehead. With The Republic in such a fragile state of transition the Patriot rebels seize the opportunity and offers Day everything he could want: retribution against The Republic for his family's death, his brother back and a better life in the Colonies ... the catch? The two biggest celebrities of The Republic have to come out of hiding to very publicly execute the new Elector.
I love the cover and its more grungy spray painted feel. Like the symbol on Legend, the meaning of the falcon like bird is revealed in the book, so it's a cover with a deeper meaning! I'm also a total sucker for deckle edged binding (uneven feathery paper edges). Aesthetically my favorite part of these books is the contrasting font colors for Day and June. This time Day get's this gorgeous deep blue instead of gold. While it might not add much to the story, it's a small detail that sticks out in a reader's mind and helps mark the transition from June to Day easily while reading.
I know a lot of people were disappointed that Legend didn't tell us much about how The Republic was formed or the rest of the world. Prodigy reveals it all! Or at least everything important. We get a quick world history lesson and if you thought life in The Republic was bad, wait until you see what's outside. Lu creates a shocking and eerily probable world in The Colonies that will leave you wondering where you would rather be.
June - the prodigy of The Republic and at one point their greatest weapon. She gave up her life of luxury and prestige to be with Day and to fight against the festering corruption and secrets that were plaguing The Republic. She grows so much in this book! While she still kicks a tonne of butt, we get to see her more analytical and political side. The way she reasons and rations situations, plots and interacts with others makes me completely forget that she's only 15 years old!
Day - the champion and hero of the poor just wants to pick up the broken pieces of his life and move on. He's willing to do anything for it, even something he hates like killing. I'm glad that even though he was a pawn in a plan he didn't forget who he was at his core, and his values. People's ideas and opinions about him and June constantly assault at him but he keeps up healthy amount of skepticism and trust in June.
This time characters that make a somewhat brief appearance in Legend are a bit more central to the plot such as Tess and Anden. Tess - who was this innocent street urchin that was like a little sister to Day. Her attitude shift completely surprised me, the persistence and dogma in her words made her seem like a master interrogator of the Patriots.
When I first met Anden - I approached it like a paranoid Patriot with a "kill all Republic scum!" [heh Star Wars] kind of attitude and I was just waiting for Anden to slip up and reveal his true nature. But Lu doesn't make it so easy. She creates villains that hide in plain sight and I was never sure who was going to betray whom until the big reveal!
With these two characters Lu drives a wedge in early on between Day and June and we end up with this love 'U' that I was both uneasy and curious about at the same time. Class and wealth will always be a problem between Day and June - I just wished that it wasn't repeated so often by absolutely everyone.
Loaded with action, political tension and a few stolen moments between June and Day the ending is what took the cake. In a spectacular bout of action, death defying flight and riots Lu manages to craft an ending that gives hope for a better world but at a terrible cost. That ending, *sigh* it just gets you right in the feels.
Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
That ending leaves me so conflicted for what I think/want/hope for in the next installment now entitled 'Champion'.