Legend by Marie Lu

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Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu

Series: Legend #1

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

Legend wasn’t a bad book, but I’m not understanding where all these 5-star-rated reviews proclaiming it was “AMAZING!!!!!!!!one~” are coming from. Honestly, it approaches mediocre, shakes its hand and turns around so that its back firmly faces mediocrity.

It doesn’t feel polished at all. The writing is stark in a way that doesn’t come off as intentional but rather from a lack of skill. Again, reflective of the book overall, the writing isn’t bad, but it’s certainly far from spectacular.

The same can be said of the story itself. It’s got a gripping premise: Boy Genius runs the streets, agitating a hamfisted government rule for the good of its neglected and needy, kinda like a modern Man in Tights; Girl Genius, proclaimed prodigy, motivated by the death of her older brother, tracks Boy Genius down; and, together they do stuff… fall in love… uncover a government conspiracy… run away together…

It’s the execution I found lacking.

But, having said all that, there’s gotta be something to say for a 300ish-page book that proceeded so swiftly, I finished it in almost exactly 24 hours. A weekend 24 hours, but… still.

Although, I’m willing to bet that effect owes greatly to the fact that the writing was a tad underwhelming, so that I didn’t really have to read it so much as skim it and still catch every important detail.

Ahem. Despite the negatives (of which there were a few more, but I’m not so dedicated to them that I memorized my reactions to include in the review), I did enjoy Legend. It was a cool story with cool characters and a straightforward narrative to match an equally straightforward plot. I really appreciate how it takes every apparent “staple” of YA dystopians–an illness (the plagues), a corrupt government (the Republic of America), a huge secret covered up by the government SPOILER » the existence of the United States (not the most original in the universe, and easily guessed, but ehh), the rebel faction(s) (the Patriots), a war (against the Colonies)–and brings them all together in a way that actually… kinda… works. I may be a sucker, because even I thought it was predictable, but I liked the ride.

My last note will take the form of my number one complaint:

Excuse me, but did no one else find Day and June’s feelings for each other a little rushed? They literally hung out for like 3-4 days, and when the big betrayal happens, it’s to Day, and he’s innocent, damn it! After like a half a bottle of wine and one little kiss, he thinks he’s fallen for her, and then she RIPS HIM A NEW ONE. All the reviews had me thinking the majority of the book revolved around their travels together, both in the dark about the true identity of the other, and their time apart would come later in the book.

But seriously, 3-4 days, and he’s fallen for her. Okay. Okay. I’ll hand it to him because maybe it’s love at first sight. It’s not like they don’t each kinda have eyes for other people before they meet a la Romeo and Juliet. (Well, not really, but they’re exposed to the possibility, so it’s not like “MY FIRST EVERYTHING AGDHSFLDS;KGL!!!!!”

That’s not even my biggest catch. Because Day is a much more forgiving individual than any one person, especially in that world, has any rights to be. June betrays him, injuries him, endangers him, has him arrested, his family brutalized in SEVERAL different ways, won’t listen to him, doesn’t have the decency to feel for him, not even a smidgeon of remorse for her role in his misery, and then on top of it all she doesn’t even apologize, ever.

I hope this all comes up in Book 2. Usually I hate the “relationship bump” that sequels impose on two people, especially when I like seeing them together (I do like June and Day together; a lot, actually), BUT THEY NEED TO HAVE A TALK. OR TWO. HUNDRED. And in every single one of them, June needs to express deep, deep regret for me to trust her again. Seriously.

Of course, I realize that the second book’s already out, so now my only hope is to cross my fingers and pray for the best.

Other than that, I look forward to Prodigy and Champion. Hopefully it won’t take me as long to get to those as it did to finally get around to this one.

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One thought on “Legend by Marie Lu

    Prodigy by Marie Lu | Caps Lock Thinks said:
    5 January 2014 at 658

    […] I am one tough cookie to wring a full 5 stars out of, but I tell you what Prodigy tried its damnedest. It really, really did. It tried so hard that I’m not entirely convinced it’s a product of the same universe, the same characters, the same author, even, as Legend. […]

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