Legend (Legend #1)

Read on 28th September, 2014

Author: Marie Lu

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5 Stars

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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.

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Eloquently written, full of unexpected plot twists and starring intelligent, relatable characters, Legend makes for a brilliant read.

June and Day were quite enjoyable characters. They were both remarkably intelligent, physically capable and extremely loyal. In other words, they had everything you could ever want in a character. Strong, quick-witted, intelligent, loyal – June and Day are who I aspire to be. They are my role models.

Tessa, Metias and John were all strong, notable characters that found a place in my heart. They were all full of integrity and had a fundamental goodness in themselves. The relationships that they had with June and Day (respectively) were so sweet, genuine and full of love.

Thomas and Commander Jameson were great in that while I initially liked them, I soon grew to loath them with a passion. In contrast, I hated Chian from the start.

“If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system. That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.”

So many books have the protagonists uprising from the “outside”, but Metias is right – it’s much more effective to rebel from inside the system. It made for a nice change and was rather enjoyable – especially given the nature of the characters.

The world-building truly was spectacular. I believed it right from the get-go and it was set up realistically. The trials were actually a very clever – if somewhat impractical – method of governing the future of the population. But questions do arise that I hope will be answered in the following books – Why did they lie about Day’s score? The Elector seems to indeed be elected, so one would think the Republic would be democratic, but it seems this is not the case. Do people actually vote? The poor certainly have no say. Indeed, it seems the Republic is more a military dictatorship than anything else. Where did they take Eden? What is this new strand of plague? Would they still have taken him if events did not play out as they did?

Highly recommended, Legend is a stunning tale with a unique spin on the dystopian genre.

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