by Marie Lu
I like an action-packed adventure, don’t you? Legend is a lot of fun to read, and follows two teens who are born into opposite sides in a futuristic Los Angeles in the Republic of America.
15-year-old June is an exceptionally gifted prodigy who is being groomed to become a military star. But when her brother is senselessly murdered, she embarks upon a mission to find his killer–and discovers that all signs point towards Day, a notorious criminal who is already wanted by the Republic.
This is a cocktail of dystopian YA, Romeo and Juliet, and various wronged imprisonment stories all blended together with liberal dashes of adventure and intrigue. I liked both June and Day, and I was eager to learn more about the big mystery behind why the government is so interested in Day’s brother. The best thing about Legend, however, is the terrific action sequences that the author writes into the story: there are great chases, exciting escape scenes, girl on girl sparring, and lots more.
As with so many of these books that are stretched out to accommodate sequels, there really aren’t enough answers unearthed in this first installment, so presumably we’ll have to wait until book two to find out the details of government’s involvement in biological experimentation.
What prevents this from being a truly excellent book, however, is that the book overall feels very slight. At 300 pages, it is surprisingly short and there isn’t a great deal of complexity in the characters, the world-building, or the plot. It’s also extremely predictable. While the story is certainly well-written, most readers will be able to anticipate pretty much every plot development and thought that crosses the characters’ minds…and really, what’s the fun in that?
Still, I liked this book and I think it’s among the better dystopian YA books that have been released lately. It’s definitely an entertaining read and I’m interested in seeing where the story goes next. I do wish, however, that it contained more depth and more originality and more…everything, really, in order to make it a truly outstanding and truly memorable book.
Big thanks to Flannery over at The Readventurer for touring her ARC!
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Rated 3 out of 5 stars
30-Second Synopsis: A quick, entertaining entry into the dystopian YA genre that is a little slight on world-building but terrific in action sequences.