Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Title: Legend (Legend #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Published: November 29th 2011
Add It: Goodreads
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’s 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 automatically compare every dystopian book I read to the epic-ness of The Hunger Games and The Divergent trilogies. Can’t help it actually, these two have set up a bar for others to surpass. Did Legend surpass it? No. Was it a fascinating and thrilling read? Yes, it was.

"You should have taken me with you," I whisper to him. Then I lean my head against his and begin to cry. In my mind, I make a silent promise to my brother's killer.
I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.

The plot. While reading a dystopian novel I’m always intrigued by the question of how the heck did these societies end up like this? Legend was no exception. California is divided into different parts and plague is spreading everywhere. It’s the matter of how wealthy you are and whether or not you’ll be able to buy the curing medicine if you were to fall ill. The plot moved on very quickly and there were a few extremely shocking scenes like the one where Day is on the roof of his house protecting his family. Holy smoke! I did not see that coming. This and some of the surprises were essential to win me over, because whenever I read a book, and even though I like my clicheé books as well, I want to be surprised more than anything else. Legend didn't dissapoint with its cruelty and shocking actions in some of the major scenes like this family protecting scene.

The characters. Day is our male protagonist and someone close to him has gotten the plague. The boy stops at nothing to receive the cure, however, there’s this one tiny little problem: he is supposed to be dead and his new identity is a pain in the butt for him at the moment since he is the most notorious criminal in California. At the age of fifteen he has taken remarkable steps to harm the authority, therefore, has to pay for it. How to catch him? Enter June.

June is probably what we’d call a little bit of a genius. She, also fifteen years old, isn’t famous for her criminal record. On the contrary, she is the one person who has gotten a perfect score in the annual trial carried out by the government to determine one's future. She is unbelievably (and I mean unbelievably) smart and her physical abilities resemble to an Olympic athlete. At the beginning of this novel June’s brother is killed and the main only suspect is Day. So a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? June is set out to be the leader of the investigation that is supposed to capture Day and bring him on his knees.

I was stunned by how smart these two were. Honestly. They were physically like little ninjas, playing an updated version of Tom & Jerry. Also, June was like a 21st century version of Miss Marple. I didn’t know how to deal with that, because my sister is 15 and it was hard for me to accept these two teenagers as some sort of master minds. Well, in fiction you can create anything, so I guess I can accept it on some level, but it was just funny at times. If June and Day would have been a bit older, it could have been more believable. Still, it was exciting to be in both of their heads.

The main disadvantage of this book was that Lu didn’t give us enough information about the society and I would have liked to know more about it in general. I hope there’s more to come though and I’m looking forward to exploring this dystopian community even more. I have a few guesses  where the story could go, but I'm not that sure I'm right this time so I'll just have to wait and see.

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time...You try to walk in the light.”

It was a decent read with a few drawbacks. If you’re a fan of THG, Divergent, The Maze Runner trilogies etc then this book is probably a very suitable read for you. I enjoyed it and I’m eager to read the sequel next year.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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  1. "The main disadvantage of this book was that Lu didn’t give us enough information about the society and I would have liked to know more about it in general."

    This happens a lot to me with dystopian reads. I always, always want to know more about the world. I feel like a little kid when reading, constantly going "why?" every time I get a tiny little piece of information. Still, I've heard such great things about this book and I do love dystopians so I'm thinking it's a book for me. Thanks for the review Siiri!

    1. The same goes for me! I don't think there was anything particulary wrong or missing, but I just would have liked even more insight to this society and why why why and how did it end up like this? It was a really decent read and considering I pretty much like all the books you like, I think you'll enjoy it as well:)

  2. Oh, yes, I was troubled by lack of worldbuilding in Legend as well. It had so much potential, but that's not something I can forgive. However, a friend assured me that this gets a lot better in Prodigy.
    Wonderful review! I'm a new follower.

    1. Yep, I really wanted to know more -.- but the story worked for me otherwise with its criminal aspects 'n stuff, so I could only lower it to four stars. I hope Prodigy'll be better though with its world building. Thank you! I appreciate it so so so much:)

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this!! I'm a HUGE dystopian fan, so I love when I come across one that offers something fresh, exciting and unpredictable. I do agree with you on wanting more worldbuilding - enough is NEVER enough for me. I'm eager to see how much more is explored in Prodigy. And yeah, I haven't met too many 15 year old's with that kinda skill, although I like to believe I could have been that awesome at 15 if I wanted to :P

    Fab review!!

    1. Haha. I wasn't a fan immediately, THG definitely gave me a push, but I was sceptical at first when trying other books from that genre, but I sure am a fan now! LOL!! I wish I had had that great skills in scheming and masterminding like these two have, I would have never been caught at telling mini-lies to my parents :D Thank you, Brodie! :)

  4. I so have to read this one, I really don't know why the heck I haven't. I totally agree that I compare all dystopian novels to The Hunger Games! I also know what you mean by the uber smart 15 year old and it being a little hard to believe. I struggle with that a lot in YA books too, and have to constantly remind myself that it is fiction. Great review chickie!

    1. It was pretty good. I was a bit disturbed by über-smartness at 15, but when I forced myself not to think about it, it was better. Haha, and THG definitely is my "idol" when it comes to dystopian books, I think no dystipian book series actually compares to that, but they can get pretty close though. Thanks, girl! Hope you read it soon so I can see what you think of it ;)

  5. I loved legend- it was perfect but probably not as perfect as the Hunger games... I'm reading Prodigy now and so far it's fantastic- better than Legend. But this is one dystopian book where the cover is not that great.