I’ve been interested in reading this one for a while! Over a decade ago when I was part of an online art website (middle school days what up), I stumbled across Marie Lu’s art and a novel she had written featuring the character Day. Ten years later, Day resurfaces in this very different novel. My inner middle school self was excited and then I promptly forgot about the book until a girl in my creative writing class last semester recommended it (#story of my life). So, a decade in the making, here’s my review of Marie Lu’s Legend.
“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.” (from goodreads)
It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to stay up late to finish reading a book, but Legend did that for me. The book was fast paced, with interesting characters, and I loved the initial cat and mouse game between Day and June. That said I think the major flaw in the book is that I would have liked it to have been longer. I would have liked to see more into the Republic’s society, see what makes Day such a threat (we hear about his exploits and see him escape capture at the beginning but I would have liked to hear more details about what makes him a “legend”), and because the ending felt a bit rushed to me.
The strongest part of the book for me was the beginning where Lu set up the characters and world and then introduced the Les Mis-eque Javert and Jean Val Jean relationship between Day and June. I wish there had been more of this, because I think this could have solved my second wish (more time devoted to Day’s legendary exploits) because if June hadn’t discovered him quite so quickly she could have spent that time on the streets hearing rumors about him and really seeing how the poor people of the Republic felt.
The ending felt a tad rushed, although that may have been because I figured out some of the twists in advance and so I was reading faster to see how things played out. However, there are two more books (it’s a trilogy) and I don’t know where the story is going and I’m very curious!
So basically, I enjoyed it and want to read the sequels. If you’re in the mood for an action packed adventure, grab a copy!
Stay magical readers!