Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review: Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu

This will be the first time I'm writing mini reviews for books! I decided to do it this way since they're books in the series and because I'm honestly a bit short on time (DARN SCHOOL).

Legend by Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (Penguin)
Release Date: November 29th, 2011
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.
I honestly had high expectations for this book. Maybe a little bit too high. I'd heard amazing things about both this book and the series as a whole. I was expecting amazing. I don't know that it delivered that, at least compared to what I was expecting. Instead, I felt as if the majority of the book dragged on and on, and I just couldn't get into it. Perhaps it was just the time that I read the book, and I'd definitely like to reread it again some day. I also couldn't connect to or really care about the characters. I did sort of root for them, but I didn't have any strong pull towards them.

All in all, it was full of twists and turns and a whole lot of deception going on. The plot was interesting but slow at times, and I felt like it dragged on quite a bit for the first half or so, finally picking up at the end (then, it was heart-racing, fast-paced, and fun to read). The characters stood on their own and of their own merit, but I often had a hard time connecting to them or really caring a lot about them, which is usually so necessary in a series.

Prodigy by Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (Penguin)
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?
Prodigy was much more intense than Legend, and I don't think it suffered Second Book Syndrome. It shined on its own, and I found it to be stronger and more compelling than its prequel. It was in Prodigy that I really became invested in the characters and their mission. It was fast-paced and heart-pumping throughout. This was a much quicker read, and I enjoyed it a lot more. I felt that there were still so many unanswered questions from the first book that I was hoping would be answered in this book but weren't.

Overall, Prodigy was a solid second book, far exceeding my expectations. It kept me at the edge of my seat. The characters were much better written. Some parts were predictable, and I can see the set up for Champion, but it's much more well laid out. The pacing felt a lot better, and I was glad to finally feel connected and attached to the characters.

Marie Lu: Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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