Review: Legend and Prodigy, Marie Lu

Here’s what I did that was foolish. I read Legend (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository), liked it, and considered writing my review of it right then. But my computer was kind of far away, and The Raven Boys was right next to my chair. So I read The Raven Boys. Now I can’t think about anything except for The Raven Boys. I’m going to do my best by Legend and the sequel, Prodigy, which I read on the Fourth of July.

After failing the exams that would have given him a place in society, Day fled his home and became a street kid and a guerrilla fighter, one of the most wanted criminals in the whole Republic. He’s determined to find a way to help his brother Eden, who has been stricken by one of the many strains of plague that strike frequently in the Republic. June is the Republic’s best and brightest soldier. The only person ever to achieve a perfect score on her exams, she’s destined for greatness. As a test of her skills, the Republic assigns her to track down the person responsible for murdering her brother, Metias: an independent rebel named Day.

Spoiler alert: The government is evil. That’s not a real spoiler because I am pretty confident you figured that out on your own. You are smart people that way. Also, Day didn’t kill Metias. That is also not a spoiler because the book tells you it all along. June and Day are on a collision course that will challenge the beliefs of both.

Legend was a lot of fun because it was nonstop action, but Prodigy (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository) veered a little too far into love quadrangle territory. In the second book, June’s assigned to lead the Republic’s ruler, Anden, to a place where he will be assassinated by a group called the Patriots, but she kind of gets a little crush on Anden, and Day gets all insecure that she doesn’t truly love him, and he kisses a friend of his called Tess who has a crush on him but she’s like thirteen or fourteen so that’s kind of gross. It is too much angst about kissing, not enough political intrigue, in the second book. Lu’s good about exploring issues of privilege and how it affects you allegiance, but I am tired of everyone all the time thinking about kissing while they should be thinking about REVOLUTION.

And now, although I really liked Legend a lot, I sort of don’t feel like reading Champion because Tess bums me out.

  • For the record, I don’t think it’s weird for a 15-year-old to kiss a 13-year-old. It’s just a kiss! They’re both adolescents! Also, would I like this? I seem to be reading a lot of YA lately. I BLAME YOU.

  • It’s such a drag the way that so many of these trilogies start off totally great, and then start degenerating big time in book two, with total ugh taking place in three. But here’s what is good about a trilogy. You can say you read THREE books. This, as bloggers will attest to, counts for more than reading one BIG book. In fact (showing my math prowess here), it counts for TWO more!

  • Amy @ My Friend Amy

    I liked Legend okay (but thought it was overrated tbh!) but never got around to reading more. Sorry to hear the books got worse :/

  • I just sorta-liked PRODIGY so I dragged my feet with CHAMPION, but when I finally got to it I had this total, “I thought I wasn’t invested in these books. Why am I crying so hard????” moment and those are the best. So.

    Another thing about CHAMPION: I listened to it on audio so I could squeeze it in alongside other things, and my library only had it on CD so I had to rip it and I messed up the order somehow and experienced massive confusion when stuff happened out of order. But I fixed it with some clever chicanery, and it still made me cry, so that’s all right.

  • That happens to me all the time! Here I am, ready to review a book when a more enticing book catches my attention and pretty soon, I’ve forgotten a lot about the earlier book!

  • Haven’t read the books in the Legend series, but loved The Raven Boys.

  • aartichapati

    I was thinking of getting the first book earlier! But now… Maybe not.