Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pub Date: 01/29/13
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is action-adventure dystopia at its best. Marie Lu delivers a swashbuckling sequel to Legend, complete with dynamic action sequences and fleshed out heroes that drive the story right along with the plot. The emotions and romance aren't just a subplot sideshow: they directly effect the events and make them all the more meaningful and high-stakes. Prodigy is a particularly satisfying sequel because of the way it expands and develops the world of the split United States and lets the reader glimpse the surroundings of the Republic dictatorship through the uber-capitalist Colonies. Telling details and backstory are revealed on a need-to-know basis and feel completely natural.
Memorable or Forgettable: Instead of getting caught in the trappings of of YA dystopia, this series avoids the common "overthrowing the government is the only answer" cliché and introduces a realistic sense of ambiguity. Instead of fulfilling their destiny, the characters find themselves in power and struggle to figure out the right thing to do with it. This makes the story all the more unpredictable and compelling. Another thing that sets the Legend series apart is that when Lu's characters fall off buildings or get shot, they actually get hurt, a reality that other action stories blatantly ignore.There are no miracle cures or “it’s just a flesh wound.” Best of all, these characters aren’t just running around on rooftops. They’re taking action for a reason, and it’s much more complex and exciting than “kill the bad guys.” I can’t wait for the next book.
Cover: The cover has a nice color balance and matches nicely with the first book. I like that there are no people or photos used in it.
Age Range: 12 through 17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Additional Comments: This is my current favorite action series. It would be quite cool if they got turned into movies.
Annotation: Marie Lu delivers another stunning dystopian thriller, bringing back June and Day as they struggle to balance between the totalitarian military state that killed their families, a rebel group that is not what it seems, and each other.
tags: science fiction / action / dystopian romance / thriller / Legend series / ya lit