[Book review] Legend by Marie Lu.

[This post is done as part of GaCoWriMo, my own personal twist to NaNoWriMo.]

legend

Source: Goodreads

 

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.

Goodreads

Legend was one of those books that I kept hearing about but never seemed to be able to get my hands on. I wasn’t too rushed about getting a copy, though, thanks to the deluge of dystopians YAs I had devoured over the past months, which had all became a jumbled mess in my head. Still, when I came across a fresh copy at the new library@orchard, it got bumped right to the top of my borrowing stack. Was it worth my foray back into the genre? Spoiler alert: mostly.

The book is a pleasure to read, Lu’s writing breezy and concise. There’s plenty of action and the pacing was masterfully executed. I was hooked pretty much all the way and never felt bored. Plus, there were plenty of tantalizing hints of intrigue and promises of answers to big mysteries which kept me coming back for more. Legend is one of those books that almost anyone can jump into and be thoroughly engaged for the relatively brief time it takes to finish the story.

It has its issues, though. Ironically, one of the problems keeping it from perfection is that the characters are too perfect. They always seem to know what to do, or say, and pretty much are great at everything. Plus, the book is written from two perspectives but they both sound exactly the same. Thankfully, their circumstances (and chapter fonts) are different enough that it’s never too difficult to tell them apart. Also: instalove much?

I feel like the worldbuilding, or at least what’s shown of the world, is a bit thin. Being the first in a series could mean, though, that much more will be revealed later on. There is quite a bit of potential for the series in general, although I feel like there’re plenty of details that are (intentionally?) obfuscated. At the end of the day, I swept through it and am looking forward to the next one, which makes it a pretty good recommendation in my book.

Rating: Buy/borrow/bin, but might be moved up (or down) depending on how the rest of the series pans out

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