REVIEW: LEGEND

Author: Marie Lu (rrp £6.99 Puffin; pub’d 2nd FEB 2012)

Verdict: Legend does great justice to the genre of the moment, Dystopia.  Moving, fast paced and at times incredibly chilling, it’d be quite something not to like it.

Review: 15 year old Day is Number 1 enemy of the state.  Living in the shadows, he spends his time trying to raise money for plague cures.  His younger brother has been infected, and it is Day’s prime concern to keep his family alive and safe.  If it means creating havoc for the Republic whilst doing so, then so be it.

June, having scored full marks on The Trial, has now become the Republic’s golden child.  However, an unexpected event changes the course of her life.  She is fast tracked into the Force and her first mission is to track down the elusive criminal, Day.

Legend surpasses many of the ‘dystopian’ attempts on the shelves.  Lu’s Republic is cruel and its ruthless and she never allows the reader to forget this.  As the paths of Day and June’s lives inevitably entangle, the author wonderfully manipulates the tension in a story which is ultimately a game of cat and mouse.

It would be hard to dislike the protagonists.  Day exists as a rebel but is assured, caring, cheeky and at times scared.  He’s not that unrealistic hero, he’s one with flaws and doubts.  June,  represents the ignorance and naivety of a citizen essentially brought up by the state.  Conditioned to never question nor bite the hand that feeds her, her subsequent emotional journey only causes the reader to truly respect her.  My only reservation, was their romance.  To be honest, it didn’t particularly add anything to the story.  In essence these two characters are brought together by their inadvertent like mindedness – their intelligence and ability to think outside the box.  They are a rarity, but does this automatically mean that they had to fall for each other.  It would have been refreshing to have them remain allies or friends.

There is so much more I want to learn about Lu’s world.  I wanted to know more about the Colonies (with whom the Republic is at war).  What happened to the United States of America? What’s happened to certain characters, mainly Day’s young companion, Tess?  This does not mean that Legend was lacking however, it means that this is one of the occasions I’m really quite happy that another trilogy has just been born.

4/5

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