Published: 29th November 2011 (US) 2nd February 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (US) Puffin (UK)
Pages: 336 (US) 304 (UK)
Series: Legend (#1)
Readership: Young adult
Event: Dystopian February
Legend is set in a futuristic Los Angeles where the now defunct United States of America is split into two warring factions: the Republic and the Colonies. 15-year-old June is an elite citizen and part of the Republic of America’s military. After her soldier brother is killed while trying to capture the Republic’s most wanted criminal, June makes it her mission to track him down and avenge her brother’s death.
The story is set in a traditional dystopian world, which I think is the best kind of a dystopia. It is made clear who the governing elite is and who is the repressed and the controlled. The society is also under the guise of being a utopia: many citizens believe that the military is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of the devastating plague that’s hit the Republic of America, and that those who fail the Trial – a test of intelligence – are given work elsewhere. Legend takes the reader into the depths of this thrilling dystopian world in an attempt to uncover the truth behind the terrifying police state.
Legend is told in two alternating viewpoints: June and Day. I think this is the only way that Legend could have been told effectively. To eliminate one of the characters’ voices would have been a great shame. I enjoyed being presented with two characters from completely different worlds, but who are strikingly similar in some ways: June’s super intelligent and strong-willed while Day’s a Robin Hood-type character. He’s abnormally agile, stealthy, and heroic. But both are underestimated by the Republic. They make an interesting pair to follow throughout the story.
Legend was a super quick read for me – I rarely read books in less than 24 hours these days but I couldn’t put this one down. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building and adored the characters, completely invested in their fate. It’s a novel I’d recommend to those who love traditional dystopian societies such as in The Hunger Games, Divergent and Delirium. It has a lot to offer the reader and although it’s part one of a trilogy, it doesn’t feel incomplete.
Thank you Puffin for providing me this book for review!