Monday, October 15, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Pages: 305 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: audiobook clip | book trailer | author website

Legend (Legend, #1)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 may be the only dystopian novel other than The Hunger Games where I hear few to no complaints from my friends. That's rather impressive, especially for a dystopian novel published in the wake of The Hunger Games among many unimpressive dystopian debuts. Massive amounts of hype made me waffle about whether or not I'd read it for months, but this adorable dress-up game created by the author and a friend reading the novel shortly before me gave me the final push I needed. (Yes, I like dress-up games. My girliness shines through!)

To me, Legend is no different than any other unimpressive debut dystopian.

Lu's writing prowess is great and flipping through the book until there are no pages left to flip is all too easy thanks to great pacing. Day and June have their motivations and it's easy to get caught up in their world. Some scenes, like the Skiz fight that allows the two to meet and the climactic escape, are nothing short of fantastic.

I wish I had more to praise, but that is where the things I like about Legend stop.

Generally, this dystopian world feels very... typical. Confusing it with the dystopian regime of another novel would not be very difficult for me because there is nothing that makes it stand out. Questions I had about the floods, what made the USA split into the Colonies and the Republic sometime before 2130, and the overall idea of how Day and June's world got to where it is went unanswered. The "just go with it" method of worldbuilding isn't one that typically works for me.

As unique in personality as they are, Day and June have interchangeable voices that made mix-ups of who is narrating what section very common. This might be less of a problem in a print copy, where the font and font color change with the narrator, but I didn't get anything like that in my ebook. The predictable plot made reading on a little bit of a chore after a certain point. The book reminds me of an action movie, really. There's a lot of blood-pumping action that keeps readers going, but personally, I don't care for action movies or action books because characterization and depth are often neglected in place of action. Such is the case here.

Friends of mine who have gotten ahold of ARCs of Prodigy have been swooning all over it, but all of them were in love with Legend too. How can I be sure the sequel is actually better? Seeing a few glowing reviews from people who also weren't impressed by Legend might sway me, but until then, I do not think I will be reading on.

2 stars!

What am I reading next?: Undeadly by Michele Vail