Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Pub. Date: November 29th 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 305
Readership: Young adult
Genres: Dystopia, Science-Fiction
Rating: ★★★★
The United States is gone, along with its flooded coasts. North America’s two warring nations, the western Republic and the eastern Colonies, have reached a breaking point. In the midst of this broken continent and dark new world are two teenagers who will go down in history…. 
Born into the slums of Los Angeles, fifteen-year old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family’s door with an X—the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it. 
Born to an elite family in Los Angeles’ wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic’s most promising prodigy. A superintelligent girl destined for great things in the country’s highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country—until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital. 
Only one person could be responsible. Day. And now it’s June’s mission to hunt him down. The truth they’ll uncover will become legend.

I wanted to read this book from the second I read the synopsis on GoodReads. It sounded like it had everything I wanted in a dystopia so I was surprised to find it took me a while to get into. For whatever reason, the story just couldn’t catch my interest until after about 100 pages. But I will say, after that, I was hooked and found it hard to put down.

The story is told from two different people’s POVs and the story wouldn’t have worked if that were the case. You see the Republic, the war, and everything else from two very different – yet very similar, we realize – people. If it was only told from Day’s POV, or only from June’s, I think I wouldn’t have enjoyed the book as much as I did. With Day, you see someone who was born into slums, who grew up with little and who became a vigilante of sorts. With June, you get to see the life of a prodigy, born into luxury who will be an agent for her Republic. Then it all comes together perfectly.

If you’ve read The Hunger Games, Divergent, Shatter Me or any other traditional dystopian novel, you will definitely like Legend. It has all the classic characteristic: a sense of a utopia, but with obvious flaws if you look beneath the surface. What happens after the Trials? What of those who fail? Is it really true that they go to labour camps? There is a sense of very little questioning of the Government, until Day comes along.

Overall I was left feeling satisfied. There are still questions and things left unanswered but the wait until book 2 won’t be excruciating because it didn’t end on a cliffhanger.


  1. Wow, great review. I really liked this book, too. And I also agree that it did take a while to really get into the story. Awesome blog!

  2. I have not read LEGEND yet, so it seems I need to not give up on it when I start to read.