Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Pros: dystopian/postapocalyptic America, complex world building, intelligent characters, minor romantic elements, fast paced, real concequences for actions, clear POV


For Parents: some violence, no language, kissing

Day is 15, from a poor sector, and the Republic's most wanted criminal: for acts of terrorism and because they can't identify him.  He breaks into a hospital to steal plague medicine for a family member and has a run-in with military Captain Metias while trying to escape. 

June is also 15, the only person to score a perfect 1500 in the Trials.  She's being training for a job in the military.  When her brother - and only living relative - Metias is killed by the fugitive Day, she's given the job of hunting him down.

Legend takes place in a future where the U.S. has broken up into the Republic and the Colonies.  Electricity is intermittent outside the richer sectors and, due to the war, sometimes even within it.  Lu has crafted an intricate world but only shows what the characters would notice or care about, so there's a lot of information regarding class distinctions (especially pointed out by June) but little history or politics outside Los Angeles, where the story takes place.  Hopefully later books will add more of such information.

The two teen protagonists tell the story in alternating chapters, with Day's side in a brown font so it's impossible to mix up whose point of view it is.  And while both teens are super smart, noticing details and getting into adult problems/situations, they're not angsty at all.  The characters face very real consequences for their actions even as they develop feelings for each other.

The pacing is fast and the plot is compelling.  If you like dystopian YA, read this.

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