Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Legend series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is the first book in the legend series by Lu. The second book in the series, Prodigy, is set to release in Jan of 2013. This is a decent dystopia novel, but I had some problems with inconsistency in June’s character.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. There are different narrators for June and Day; which made it easy to tell when the book changed point of view.
Day is in hiding as the nation’s most wanted criminal. He is trying to help out his poverty stricken family and do what he can to give the Republic trouble. June is a prodigy in the Republic’s army who is trying to track down Day after he kills her brother. The story takes place in a world that’s been devastated by some sort of volcanic disaster. The west coast is now known as the Republic and is at war with the rest of the country.
I loved the contrast between the two characters of Day and June. June comes from an influential family with lots of money; she is a prodigy; smart, hard working, and all about following rules. Day is a rebel from a poor family, he is smart but is all about breaking the rules.
The interactions between the two are interesting. They are bitter enemies at first but as time goes on they challenge each other to find out the truth. It is only by Day’s comments that June ends up digging deeper into some issues with the Republic that have been bothering her.
There are a lot of well done action scenes too. Some of the torture scenes and plague scenes get pretty graphic and gory, just a warning if that bothers you.
The plot is fairly predictable. Things (such as the reoccurring plagues) have origins exactly as you would expect. I kept hoping for some twists and turns that would surprise me and was sorely disappointed.
I was also a bit disappointed in the sameness of this world with so many other dystopian worlds out there. The background behind the Republic’s origin is never really explained. The cause of the current social status is hinted at (such as when they where white to funerals to represent ash) but also never really explained.
The other thing I didn’t enjoy was June’s inconsistency of character. At times in the book she was incredibly insightful and intelligent; then at other times there were things she needed spelled out in the simplest terms. I also found a lot of the events towards the end of the story to be a bit contrived.
The story stops at a decent place. There are a number of issues unresolved but you aren’t at a total cliffhanger. The writing style is easy to read and engaging.
Overall this is an okay YA dystopian novel. I enjoyed June and Day as contrasting lead characters and the book was engaging and readable. I was a bit disappointed that the world wasn’t more interesting and also disappointed that the story was so predictable. All that being said it was a decent story. I would recommend The Hunger Games, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and Mystic City by Theo Lawrence over this book. But if you have read all of those and are still hungering for more dystopia, Legend is a decent enough read. At this point I am not sure whether or not I will read the next book in the series.