Legend by Marie Lu
Dystopian YA books are really not my bag. That’s the same thing I said before picking up Hunger Games. This book series by Marie Lu has been thrown around in the Booktubes so much and since I liked the Hunger Games trilogy – even after many skepticism – I decided to give this one a go. This is not by the way a review of the Legend as a series, but just as a stand alone book (since I haven’t picked up Prodigy and Champion yet).
What It’s About – Set in futuristic Los Angeles where the population is at 20,174,282 and the United States is now called Republic of America, a young boy known as Day is marked as the most dangerous criminal. He is the most dangerous because besides constantly avoiding capture, Day’s appearance is unknown. Born in the poor side of the county, Day has been the enemy of the government because of his constant disobedience of the law, helping the poor and by simply being alive. A plague has broken out and Day’s brother is carrying it. With the desire to save his brother’s life taken over him, he risked being captured by breaking into a high security lab hospital, where a young captain, Metias Iparis is in charge. Suspecting that he is the most sought after criminal Day, Metias ran after him and was killed in the chase. Metias’ only surviving relative happens to be the government’s young prodigy, June, the only Trial (a test that is mandatory taken at 10 years-old to weed out the strong from the weak) taker to have scored a perfect score of 1500. She was then tasked by Metias’ former commander to take lead in the capture of Day. And June, who is still grieving the loss of her brother, is willing to do everything to capture Metias’ killer, even lie her way into Day’s good graces. But her lie slowly becomes truth and what she discovers will completely flip her view of the government and the world she has come to known.
What I Think About It – One of the problems that I find dealing with dystopian fictions is that the first 4-5 chapters is mostly about the world building. Sometimes, I would lose interest even before the actual story started. But I’d have to say with this book, Marie Lu gets straight to the point, but it also left me with a lot of questions. I understand that this is the first of a trilogy, so I’m hoping that I would get the answers answered in the sequel.
I don’t know why but I am not as attached to the characters as I hoped I would be. I really wanted to sympathize with Day because he is the underdog but there is something about him that keeps holding me back. When he got captured, I did not feel sorry at all. And the same thing goes to June. I don’t know if we’re supposed to feel sympathetic towards her character. Maybe we are because she has some sort of tragic past, growing up with no known parents, losing the only family she’s got, but there are certain parts in the book where I just felt annoyed and wanted to stop reading from her point of view.
The great thing about June’s character though is that she is consistent. She is raised to be a soldier, a super smart soldier. When she is in the presence of another character she meticulously analyzes them and it gives you, the reader, a zoomed in picture of whatever it is that’s going on.
It’s hard not to compare this book with other successful dystopian YA trilogies. The Trial is faintly similar to the Faction segregation in Divergent (which I did not read but I did watched the movie), only this time, you’re sorted out into 2 groups. Those who passed and those who failed. Elector Primo, the main villain I guess, is like President Snow in a way. Maybe it’s just me who is making this similarities but that’s what I felt going in to this series.
Over all, I thought the book was OK. I was not entertained by it as I thought I would. The dialogue seemed farce in some parts and I also have a problem that these main characters are only 15. It did not help in making me believe in them. And maybe I was upset by some of the dialogue because they are coming out of a 15-year-old’s mouth, I don’t know. But I am going to continue on with the next book and maybe I’ll change my mind about this one by then.
Read This Book When – You loved Hunger Games or you just love YA fiction in general. If you want to take a break from reading your classics and self help books. I read this book in 4 days but you can easily digest this in one sitting.