Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: November 29, 2011
Genre: YA, Dystopian
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.
The differences between June and Day are vast - much like night and day. June is a prodigy, being prepared for a high life in the military. Day lives in the slums as a common criminal, barely surviving day to day. Their lives become entwined in the senseless and heinous murder of Metias, June's brother. Day is accused, and so June becomes the hunter and he, the hunted. Determined to track down the only suspect in her brother's murder, capturing Day becomes her mission, but when June and Day discover the truth, their worlds will unravel around them, and it might be all they can do to stay alive.
Dystopian novels are known for their rich and debilitated worlds. It sounds like a contradiction and, truly, it is. There is the extreme wealth, and there is extreme poverty. But to be able to spin a world of dystopian fiction that masks the extremes and hides the true sinister nature of society is a task these days. Legend does so seamlessly, engrossing the reader in a story that's equal parts action and deceit, keeping one tethered to a story that won't let go. Author Marie Lu has crafted a thrilling, heart-pounding adventure that awes and terrifies at the same time. Legend is a glimpse into a world that could quite possibly be, and giving us an insider perspective, we see through the facade into the grim underbelly of a crumbling society.
Legend utilizes some of the most powerful tools to craft a great novel. First, it must be said that Day is an absolute breath of fresh air. He's painted as a villain in the novel, but there is a lighthearted nature to him that allows us to see he's really a kind soul. Plus, he's every bit the daredevil, which is absolutely captivating. Then there's June, who's presented as this beacon of hope for the society, but she's more of a puppet than anything. Legend let's us see her character build from the ground up as she begins to discover the truth about herself and the world around her. That said, Legend also utilizes a dual narrative, which can be rather tricky. While, for the most part, the transitions were clean and crisp, there were times that their voices ever-so-slightly became similar and nearly indistinguishable. That said, Legend features heroic action and dramatically woven conspiracies that continue to make the story completely captivating. Plus, Legend is a book that burns brighter with each passing page. Starting with the dregs of society and building to show us the darker nature of the master plan surrounding the characters in Legend, the story builds momentum and becomes nearly impossible to put down.
Overall, despite a few minor hiccups, Legend was a fabulous addition to the dystopian genre, and Lord knows I'm picky. I give it a strong 4 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy dystopian.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.