Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ARC Tour Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 with No comments
Legend (Legend, #1)Title:  Legend
Author:  Marie Lu
Series:  Legend
Publisher:  Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date:  November 29, 2011
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From Goodreads:

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.

I’m a sucker for a good dystopian novel. We both know this. And though there is no shortage of dystopian novels, they are not all alike. For some, the stand-out attribute is the plot itself. For others, it’s the well-developed characters and relationships that set the book above par. With Legend, I think the preeminent feature was the writing itself.
I think the plot was a little contrived, and it was pretty easy to envision where the story was going early on in the book. But I’ve also read a ton of books in this genre, and the same could be said for a lot of those, as well. The characters in Legend weren’t developed as well as I would have liked to see in this first installment, but like I said, it’s the first installment in the series, so I have faith that I’ll feel like I know them better by the end of the next book. I found all of the characters to be likeable, but they had no depth.

Characterization is a big point of contention for me. I want characters I can believe in. Not necessarily that they have to exist in the real world—this girl loves the paranormal—but that their actions should be realistic and believable considering the circumstances the characters find themselves in. In Legend, we’re not only given a strong, intelligent protagonist to admire, but she’s got an equally strong, intelligent male counterpart.

The main characters shared the point of view in this narrative, and though that’s been done before, too, I found the POV switches in Legend to be refreshing. I felt like the narrative was all-encompassing rather than an inner monologue. Some split POVs feel forced and jump around between the action, but in this novel, it was as if you could see what was happening from both sides of the coin, simultaneously. Whenever one narrative would leave off, the other would pick up, sometimes going back a few scenes to give insight to this character’s take on the situation. This is a big part of why I think the writing in this novel is the big selling point. The story may not be wholly unique and the characters may be a little archetypal, but the writing stands on its own.

Besides the writing, I loved the details. It’s the little things that make me happy. Like how we’re not just told that June is uber-smart, but we’re also shown in the way that she’s always sizing up the situation, gauging possibilities and probable outcomes, and inwardly making calculations on the fly. And like how we’re shown that Day is really intelligent through his cunning actions before we’re ever told that his cleverness is comparable to that of June's intelligence. Or, for example, that there are still cars in this future version of our country. I find that interesting. To me, it means that this story is set in our very near future. I don’t really have to guess at the time that has lapsed between our present and the future in June and Day’s world.  This cannot be said for a lot of dystopians.

Marie Lu’s debut novel is full of intense action and kept me turning the pages well into the night. I really enjoyed this novel; I love a good book full of fighting and betrayal and doomed love. It was one of the better dystopians I’ve read this year, and I’m eager to read more in this series.

Thanks to the ladies at Good Choice Reading for offering up their copy for an ARC tour!!!


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