Thursday, May 30, 2013

Legend - Review

Title Legend
Author Marie Lu
Genre YA Fantasy, Dystopia, Urban Fantasy
Publisher  Putnam Juvenile
Publishing Date November 29, 2011
How I Got This Book Bookstore
Paperback 305
Stand alone or Series Legend #1
   My Average 44 pg/day
   Reading Difficulty 2.5
(on a scale of 1-5 5 = dictionary vernacular)

Plagued With Unexpected Surprises

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.

Legend is full of gritty, in-your-face plot twists coupled by amazing visual details, and Marie Lu is a master of twisting emotion into action.

First off, I'm a sucker for a good opening sentence, paragraph, page... and this book didn't hold back.
 My mother thinks I'm dead."  
Why? What did you do? Did someone try to kill you? A million questions pop up with just this first sentence immediately dragging me into the story to see why his mother thinks he's dead. 

I was a bit nervous about the POV change, but the way the publisher handled it was perfect. When you are in Day's mind, the font is a sort of yellowish-brown and more of an Arial font. When you are in June's head, the font is your standard black and Times New Roman (or something similar). It was very easy to tell the difference, and if for some reason, you can't ascertain the difference in font, the character's name is in big letters at the top of the chapter. 

In my rating scale, I have a special place for the effectiveness of the villain. When the villain is the government or a large body of people influencing the mass majority, it always scores high. How do you defeat something that has multiple heads? Sure, you can take out the leader, but another one will just sprout in it's place. This makes the novel exciting. You feel hopeless for the main character.

Sometimes I hate trilogy's... Half of the conflict and questions were never answered in this novel. You have to follow through with the second and third novel. I was even a little surprised there was a resolution with Day in the end. The way the pace was moving and the amount of pages I had left,  I half expected his situation to be left up in the air for the next novel.

Love is a touchy things in novels. Some people blindly accept that character A falls madly in love at first sight with character B. I need something more. Why? What do they do? Sure, character A thinks character B is beautiful, but there has to be something more than physical attraction. This novel isn't much different. Maybe there could have been a spark when Day saved June, damsel in distress... though June is fare from a damsel in distress. I was glad June had some inner struggle about her feelings though. Day really didn't have much struggle with his though.

The pace of this novel, as mentioned above was a bit sloe at times. Not so slow as to derail my interest in the novel, but slow enough for me to decide, 'I'm going to mark my place and clean the house'." When I'm reading, there shouldn't be anything else on my mind. I should feel like I did when I read the 7th book in the Harry Potter series. "Must devourer every syllable, NOW!"


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Marie Lu
I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers' markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)

 I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I'm currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.

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