Friday, December 2, 2011


Well, it's been a month since my daughter was born and over a month since I last posted here. My site is in need of new pictures, I see too.

I've managed to watch a few movies, whose reviews will hopefully make their way onto my blog, but I managed to read only one book in all those weeks, so I thought that should take priority. If I leave it too much longer, I may forget what it was about, let alone my first impressions.

Legend, by Marie Lu, is not quite that forgettable, to be honest. It took me awhile to get started, but that was more about me having a baby and less about the book itself. Once I really started reading it, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This young adult novel tells the story of two teenagers, one born into privilege and one born to be a criminal in a dystopian society in an undeterminable point in America's future where the Republic rules half of what was once the United States and is at war with the Colonies of the other half.

The book alternates between the two narrative viewpoints of Day, the Republic's most wanted criminal, a boy of 15 years who failed his Trial at age 10, and June, the Republic's prodigy, the only person to ace her Trial, on the fast track through school and into the military. Day and June are on opposite sides of the spectrum, but when Day is accused of murdering June's brother Metias, June vows to find the boy that no one could ever find before, and if anyone could do it, she's the one. But along the way, June and Day discover that they are involved in conflicts far bigger than feuds and revenge. They are pawns in a war.

It takes a little time to get into the switching viewpoints. In fantasy, it's common to have many different viewpoints, but in young adult fiction, the story is usually very narrowly focused on one person, though that's not always the case. But the characters are intriguing enough that though there are two different stories slowly converging, the reader doesn't get lost switching from one story to another. Both are entertaining.

As far as dystopian novels go, the dystopian aspect of this one isn't a major focal point of the book until perhaps the end. In that, it's somewhat unusual, at least in comparison to what I've read. The book really focuses more on a story than on the world it's built in. I appreciated that, even though I also enjoy reading about dystopian worlds. The dystopian aspect of the book is almost taken for granted by the characters. They aren't trying to escape it or compare it to tales of something better. They don't know any different world. The difference only slowly becomes apparent with the revelation of fascinating critical details.

It's not a book that will attract a huge fan base or that you might put at the top of your favorites list. Still, it's worth the read for its great entertainment value. And it's a clean read, appropriate for teens. There's some militaristic violence and bloodshed, particularly near the end, so I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone younger than middle school and, even then, with caution for sensitivity to violence.

Three and a half stars for a surprisingly interesting story with great characters and detail.

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