Review: Legend by Marie Lu

September 22, 2013



Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9780142422076
Rating: ★★★½☆
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Legend is a debut Young Adult dystopian novel by a Chinese- American author, Marie Lu. It is the first book in the trilogy and will be followed by Prodigy and Champion.

The story is told from two alternating points of view: June who is a 15 year old Nobel citizen ,who  has a perfect score in her trial exam and is trying to avenge her brother’s death,  and Day who is also 15 but is a notorious criminal who is only trying to survive after escaping death. In my opinion, he should get the award for the most tortured YA hero! They are born on opposite sides of an ongoing war in a futuristic Los Angeles in the Republic of America.

In the book, USA has been divided into two parts, the republicans and the colonies, after a flood submerges most of the eastern part of the country. Both the sides are constantly at war with each other. In the story USA is not a super power anymore and is lacking behind in technology as compared to the countries in the world.

With YA dystopias such as The Hunger Games swamping the market right now, it's still definitely safe to say that it's worth giving Marie Lu's Legend a try. It is fast-paced, action-packed and utterly captivating – the pages just fly by. It features two extremely likable protagonists whose voices really get to you. They are both smarter and stronger than others, but they are not immune to making mistakes. They both have a strong sense of honour, and their families are the most important thing to them. . As the book is bit flimsy and only 320 pages long we don’t get to the depth of the society and the people in the series. I must admit that I didn't get particularly attached the  characters until the second book, Prodigy.

It is true that, to a certain extent, the plot lacks originality. We already have a general idea which makes some parts in the plot totally predictable. There is, however, something in the book and the way the story is told that makes you want to read more.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian fantasy action and is willing to overlook minor issues to enjoy this book.

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