ARC Review: Legend by Marie Lu
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.
Told in alternating perspectives between male and female protagonists this book is sure to find a welcoming audience of boys and girls that are eager to fill the void The Hunger Games books left. The similarities between the two books are minimal–aside from both being dystopian in concept, there is little else to compare.
The writing style in LEGEND is not flowery or lyrical like in others of this genre yet it still draws you in with the character driven plot. From fairly early on I had a good idea of the events that were to unfold in the story. Normally, one would think that obvious clues would be a deal breaker, but for me personally, I couldn’t put the book down and that is due in large part to the captivating way Marie Lu has written the character’s voices. Both leads are very distinct and different but they each have something that makes them easy to relate to and sympathize with.
The Character of Day (great name for a hero of any sex BTW) was so layered and amazing that I struggle to find ways to describe him with justice. A bit like a futuristic, teenage version of Robin Hood that steals from the rich to give to the poor he is the type of character both young men and ladies will be able to embrace–for different reasons. He is humble and confident. Smart and reckless. Day is full of honor and morals and yet his Society deems him a criminal. Despite his labeling by the republic as “WANTED”, his rebellious actions and infamous heists accomplished has turned him into somewhat of a celebrity–and he still somehow manages to keep his identity a secret…that is until people he cares about are in danger. Day risks everything in a desperate attempt to help loved ones and ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
June is the opposite of Day in many ways. She was raised in a life of privilege and nurtured by her family (her brother) blossoming into the Republic’s poster girl of perfection. She is just as smart as Day mentally, but possibly because of her gender there are some physical feats the criminal has achieved that she is unable to pull off. Obsessed with being better than the criminal in every way in order to bring him down, June takes on a mission that is personal for her in more ways than one.
Throughout the book Marie Lu demonstrates great character development and pulls the readers along in order to see the final outcome and it really is the characters that shine the brightest in this debut. Both Day and June are strong leads that are inspiring in their own ways. I was up until the wee hours of the morning desperate to stay in the author’s world and spend a little more time with these wonderful heroes. Emotional, fast paced, action packed and easy to read, Legend is a must read.
Check out the for original sketches (which are insanely awesome) by the author of her characters and a fantastic trailer and other media.
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