Review Blog

Jan 09 2012

The legend by Marie Lu

cover image

Razorbill, 2011. ISBN 9780141339412
(Age: 13+) Recommended. An exciting dystopian novel, The legend is set in the near future where what was the United States has been divided into the Republic and the Colonies, both at war with each other. 15 year old Day, born into the poverty stricken Lake area, is a wanted criminal who is trying to bring the Republic into disrepute. Wealthy 15 year old June, is a military prodigy, being prepared for the elite military forces. When Day's family is threatened by the Plague, he takes daring risks to find medicine for them, and June is sent to track him down. But what they both uncover is shocking.
An action driven first novel, this is a stand out among the many dystopian novels that are being published at the moment. Lu has managed to keep the thrilling pace going until the end of the book. As a reader I became immersed in Day's story, and avidly followed his adventures to try and keep his family alive. I found myself holding my breath as the military got closer and closer to him. Lu has also included a mystery surrounding the death of June's brother, Metias, which adds to the suspense, as the reader follows the clues about how he died and sees the development of June from a self centred 15 year old genius to a thoughtful young woman.
Not only was the action engrossing, the characterisation is fabulous. The story is narrated by the two main protagonists, Day and June and their narration is so well done that the reader begins to know them very well by the end of the book. I loved the character of Day, who is a daring risk taker, but who looks after his family and the orphan Tess, while harrying the military of the Republic. June too is a genius as well as being an outstanding athlete, and as a reader I was sympathetic to her plight, so it was great when the sparks began to glow between the two.
The dystopian nature of the Republic, the rigidness of the society and the manipulation of the poor, provide a satisfying background to what is essentially Day and June's action packed story.
The thrilling, suspenseful action, fascinating characters and growing romance will keep the attention of the reader and the open ended conclusion will ensure that the next in the series is picked up.
Pat Pledger

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