Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: Legend

“Legend,” by Marie Lu. The Goodreads summary:
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.
“Cute” and “fun” are not typically words I use to describe books in the dystopian genre, but I kinda feel like they fit in this case. Legend was about as untaxing a dystopian as any I’ve come across, though I don’t think the author necessarily intended it that way. But the plot was pretty straightforward and the characters relatively simple, and the result for me was that the whole book went down pretty easily. I don’t mean any of this pejoratively at all. I enjoyed Legend more than quite a few other dystopians because of all these things, in fact.

Like I mentioned, the characters in this book aren’t too complex. Their motivations are clear, and although June misleads Day for a while, that gets brought out into the open pretty quick. June and Day are fairly young—15, I think—and it shows a bit in their naiveté and how quickly they get all starry-eyed about each other. This is the kind of thing that usually annoys me, but this . . . sweetness, I guess . . . fit well with the relative simplicity of the book.

Even the things like street fights, interrogations, escape attempts, and confrontations with soldiers never quite seemed as brutal as might have been realistic. And although some really tragic things happen, I never really felt for the characters; it was more like an “oh, that sucks” reaction. Again, these types of things would usually bug me, but since they meshed with the other uncomplicated aspects of the book, I didn’t care as much as I typically would.

Overall, a dystopian that stays in the shallow end. But honestly, after some of the convoluted and confusing dystopian plots I’ve read, light and easy was a bit of a relief. The jury’s still out on whether I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

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