BOOKTALK// Legend by Marie Lu

Legend_Marie_Lu_Book_cover 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_uk_ausI’m going to be superficial in a review again, are you ready? Off I go. This new(er) cover is just as gorgeous as the previous UK cover edition (around 2011/12 ish and pictured left) but an extra dimension is added with the hardback. I’m glad that I shelled out the extra money for it. All of Day’s chapters are written in a gorgeous gold font and all of June’s in the standard black. For the sequel’s Prodigy and Champion, they are equally stunning, using blue and red fonts respectively. All in all, the Hardback box set (published by Putnam, an imprint of Penguin US) is gorgeous and I highly recommend that, if you can, you get that edition. I promise you won’t regret it.

So, paragraph fawning over the aesthetics over, I will now talk about what I thought of the book.

Legend was, for me, a book that I have wanted to read for some time and, with that, came quite high expectations that weren’t met in the quite slow beginning. Honestly, it takes a little while to get going and connect with both of the characters in any real capacity. The opening has an awful lot of telling. I suppose this is partly due to there needing to be a set up of the world for the rest of the story but I guess I just wanted it to move along a little quicker, you know?

Once you hit around 60 pages in, however, it takes off at quite a pace and you will not want to put it down. The alternating chapters in each perspective keeps the story quite fresh. You don’t really get a chance to become bored with one perspective as you are very quickly shot into another. The only problem I had with this, however, is that Day and June (our two protagonists) are quite similar. It is even mentioned at the end that they are practically the same person from different backgrounds. It’s a little bit frustrating. They both have that awful character trait where they can do practically anything and everything without really trying. I guess that’s my main issue, and it’s kind of a doozy, but if you look past it, you have an absolutely fantastic story.

The pace is electrifying and the idea behind it feels new and different. Because this came out at a similar time to The Hunger Games (or at least it appeared around the time of the hype) I thought it was going to basically be the same thing, but I was wrong. The world, though underdeveloped, is interesting. And the characters, though strikingly similar, make for interesting reading. Overall, I thought it was a great book and, as soon as I put it down, I wanted to start the sequel. It just had that effect on me. Well played.



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