Prodigy is the second book in the Legend trilogy, so I advise you not to keep reading this review if you’ve not read the first book.
Revenge. Retribution. Vengeance. Rebellious thoughts are running through the mind of fifteen-year-old June Iparis, thirty-five days after the death of her older brother Metias. June and Daniel ‘Day’ Wing travel illegally to Las Vegas in an attempt to attract the attention of, and join forces with, the Patriot rebels who aided them at the end of Legend. But the Patriots are not shy in once again asking for payment in return for help, this time in the form of murder. They want the new Elector Primo assassinated. Will Day and June willingly comply?
Prodigy maintains a fast pace and riveting examination of life in a strict dystopian society – and of the complicated nature of sedition – as in Legend, while continuing to portray an endearing, believable love story between the Republic of America’s most wanted and their star military trainee. Yet not once does this romance get in the way, or take precedence over, a captivating story. It’s not always clear how June and Day truly feel towards each other, torn between trusting what they grew up believing and what surrounds them now. Day questions whether June really is a dependable person despite coming from a privileged background of exorbitant wealth, while Day grew up on the streets, and June questions where her alliances lay – in protecting the Elector Primo or demolishing the system? It would be easy to write a story in which both characters transform into two people with converging beliefs, but Marie Lu shows us that our background is not so easy to escape from. It’s anything but an easy ride for these two dedicated teenagers.
Marie Lu takes us through an unpredictable series of events that show that a repressive society is not always black and white, that those who at first seem abhorrent, or righteous, may surprise you. I first read Legend over a year ago and I was worried that I would no longer be able to follow the storyline, but flashbacks are seamlessly added, meaning that I was able to jump right back in without any trouble. Prodigy is a fantastic balance between an engaging plot and complex, alluring characters.
Legend is shaping up to be a brilliantly fun series that is straightforward in its traditional approach to a dystopian storyline, yet does not patronise its readers, instead taking them through the complicated political mess of living in a world unceremoniously torn in half, with marvellous characters showing us the way.
Published: 29th January 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books (UK) Putnam Juvenile (US)
Pages: 368 (UK) 384 (US)
Source: Thank you Penguin Books for providing this book to review!
If you liked: The Hunger Games, Matched, Delirium, Divergent
Soundtrack: Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars