Thursday, 5 September 2013

Legend by Maire Lu

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”

I was a little bit apprehensive about starting this book, I have read both amazing reviews about this story and not so great ones. However when it was selected to be our book group read I knew I finally had an excuse to read it and while not perfect I have to say I really enjoyed reading Legend. It was a fast paced and thrilling read that had me turning page after page.

Legend is set in a dystopian world known as the Republic that was once the United States, 15 year old June is a prodigy who scored a perfect score in her trails, this has placed her on the fast track to a high ranking position within the army, she is the perfect solider with her keen observation skills and quick reflexes. However one day her older brother Metias is murdered and the suspect is notorious criminal known as Day. June vows to get revenge for her brothers murder and to bring Day to justice, she will do anything to track him down and as she begins her hunt she soon starts to unravel the dark and disturbing truth about the society she has put all of her faith in.

Day was by far my favourite character, known as the most wanted criminal in the Republic, he is not the person society thinks he is. He was sweet and nurturing with Tess, he makes sure she is protected at all times and he even though his family think him dead he still does all he can to protect them, even breaking in to a government hospital to steal plague cures for them, which is the cause of all his future problems, he is a modern day Robin Hood, he steals from the rich (the republic) to help the poor (the lower society). Yet Day is also cocky and smart, he knows he is good at what he does and he has a way about himself that comes across as charming, even when he is getting beaten up, he'll come out with a snarky response which will make me laugh yet I know its just a mask to cover up how lonely and hurt he is by the horrors the republic inflicted on him. Sometimes I just wanted to hug him and tell him it would all be okay.

What to say about June? I suppose out of the two leading characters June is the one who grows more than anyone during this book. At the beginning she is a little insufferable and honestly I was rushing through her parts just to get back to Day. She is the republics prodigy and a little naive to the world around her, she trusts far too easily and never questions anything until Day comes into her life. Saying that she is definitely a kick ass heroine, she is just as good if not better then most of the male characters in this story and when she starts to question society, she becomes a lot more likeable. It is a real testament to Lu's writing that she is able to change my mind on how I feel about June, she becomes vulnerable and lost in a world she thought she knew. My favourite parts with June are when she is remembering her brother, it breaks my heart and I can feel her loneliness pouring out of the pages.

“The memory fades, and I’m left hanging on to the ghosts of his words.” 

I know I've seen a lot of complaints about the romance in this story but I actually liked how it wasn't at the forefront of the story, I'm a little fed up with every story having to be overly romantic. So it was nice to see that even though these characters feel a connection that isn't why they risk everything for each other. June acts because she knows its the right thing to do, she wants justice for her brothers murder but she wont let just anyone pay.

Legend is a really great book, Lu has created an action packed thriller that doesn't let up. The interactions between Day and June really made this book what it is. The chapters alternate between the two characters pov and so you get a real insight into each mind. Day and June both have unique voices and it made the book even more intense as you got a great perspective of what each character is going through even when they are together. Both characters have similar qualities, they are smart and strong-willed and yet both are so troubled, they learn a lot from each other and it helped me appreciate more what a different lives they have lead, As well as being full of suspense it is also an emotional story both Day and June have a lot of baggage that they are trying to work through.

So onto the negatives, the world building in this book isn't great, the thing will dystopian fiction is that we as the reader need to have a real feel for the world, we need to understand the world in which the characters are interacting and the world in which they have grown up in to really get a feel for them and I didn't really get that with this story. I was left a little lost at the beginning as to how this world came to be and a little bit of the political back story, as the book progresses we do start to get a little more of an insight about the world before the republic and little clues sand hints start to be dropped which I'm hoping will develop more in the second book. The other thing I didn't like was how quickly characters were able to solve the mysteries in the book, they seemed to be able jump to amazingly accurate conclusions with very little evidence and I just couldn't believe that that would actually happen, even if you are a prodigy, it just didn't seem believable to me.

If you like dystopian fiction then definitely pick this up, its a fun and fast read that will have you turning the page in search for answers.

My Rating: 3.5

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