Novel: Legend by Marie Lu
Summary (from 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.
Characters: Legend is a dystopian from two points of view. Day is the most notorious criminal in the Republic. He hates the government and disrupts them whenever he can, but his real goal is to acquire money and food for the family who thinks he is dead. June is the prodigy soldier who is determined to find Day and bring him to justice. This is a dystopian, so I don't think my next sentence is a spoiler, but if you are completely unfamiliar with the genre, then go read Hunger Games and ignore the rest of this paragraph. Throughout the course of the book, Day gains a purpose, while June learns how corrupt the government is. I loved the ways their lives intertwined. Both characters are smart and resourceful. At one point they even comment on this, but they are truly the same character in different situations, which is fascinating. I can't wait to see what they accomplish in book two.
Plot/Pacing: Definitely fast paced, which isn't unexpected for the genre. The stakes are always high and the action goes places I didn't expect. I loved watching Day and June, two equally smart, likeable characters, go head to head. However, the inevitable moment when they have a common cause is perfectly timed. This is definitely one I'm going to want to reread.
Moments I Loved: So many. I loved the moments when June showed her excellence (scaling buildings, outsmarting people, cage fight), but I also loved her more emotional moments. As for Day... I'd have to say that the way he escapes the hospital was very cool, but hands down my favorite moment was learning what is so important about his necklace.
WTF Moments: POTENTIAL SPOILERS: (highlight to read) When Day gets arrested, they shoot his mother in the head. It's horrible. And unexpected. And also horrible. Not a bad moment, just, man, my heart. (end highlight)
Narrators: I listened to this at 1.5 speed, which is a fabulous feature that I'm so glad to have found. It's a little hard to get a full grasp of the narrators at that speed, but for the most part I think they both captured the characters. June is no nonsense and Day is a bit more wistful. I would listen to other productions with these readers.
Overall: THANK GOD I HAVE AN ARC OF PRODIGY. I can't wait to spend more time with these characters.
Legend gets a FakeSteph rating of...