Legend by Marie Lu Review: Souped up spies in two different worlds

April 1, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Legend by Marie Lu Review: Souped up spies in two different worldsLegend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Published by Penguin Australia on February 2, 2012
Source: Purchased
Genres: Dystopian, War & Military, Young Adult
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What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. 

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. 

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills. 

There is one word that comes to mind when describing Legend, and that word is thrilling. Yet another novel following the dystopian genre, what made Legend shine was the brilliant characters. As a fated Romeo and Juliet story, there’s only so much you can do to make the story unique, but Legend had me glued to its pages, wondering what was going to happen next.

Set in a futuristic Republic that was once the United States, 15 year old June is a prodigy who scored a perfect score on her trial, which has placed her on the path to education, wealth, and success. With her keen eye, quick reflexes and supreme observation skills, June is the perfect soldier admitted into the military at a young age. One day, her brother Metias is murdered and the prime suspect is the city’s renowned teen criminal, Day. Vowing for revenge, June tracks Day down despite the apparent altruism for his crimes. As the two pursue each other, they slowly uncover the sinister truth of the Republic.

While the novel doesn’t waste any time on extended world building, it excels in exciting, heart pumping action sequences. With street brawls, tracking, recon missions, kidnapping, and plenty of fight scenes, Legend is hardly a novel that you can put down. Both June and Day are extremely talented and seem to mirror each other in their smarts, battle ability, and observation. The two are perfect agents, tracking each other and taking down a group of soldiers single-handedly (sort of reminds me of Mr and Mrs Smith). “Sometimes it feels like we’re the same person born into two different worlds”.

June is definitely one of the most kickass chicks I’ve read about in a while. Not only can she take care of herself in a street brawl, we see her doing recon missions, saving people’s lives, deducting secrets at only the smallest hint. It was truly refreshing to have the roles reversed for once, as June does the saving and is definitely not a damsel in distress. Day was pretty much the same in that regard, he’s performed crimes against the Republic but only to save people’s lives.  United together, the two can be an unstoppable force.

While the June and Day’s quid pro quo was going on, the underlying mystery of the Republic and why they have sprayed a strange red cross on Day’s door is fascinating, and I wish there were more answers here. No doubt this would be covered in Prodigy, the sequel that is out now. In terms of where Legend falls when it comes to dystopians, it’s one of the better ones out there, but suffers from quite a bit of predictability (which seems to be a common problem amongst the genre). It’s not as mindblowing as Divergent or The Hunger Games, but I’d definitely rate it over Matched or Delirium. The film rights for Legend have also been sold, so we can look forward to a movie in the near future.

Series: Legend #1. Check out the review for the sequel, Prodigy here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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11 responses to “Legend by Marie Lu Review: Souped up spies in two different worlds

  1. […] While Legend was filled with heart stopping action and world building, Prodigy with excellent character development between the two kick ass leads, Champion was mainly about politics and wrapping things up. The Republic is finally at war with the Colonies and both June and Day use their high ranking positions to protect the country and the people they love, but what I really wanted to see was more action, more kick ass fighting scenes, more June and Day. Instead, what I got were political developments and outside world building that I didn’t really care about at this late stage of the series. […]