Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu

A YA post-apocalyptic dystopia needs believable characters in order to distinguish itself from the many other books in this genre. Marie Lu's Legend accomplishes this in the alternating voices of Daniel "Day" Wing and June Iparis. Day is a teenaged outlaw who failed the Trials and has since eluded the authorities, while becoming an embodiment of the Robin Hood legend. June is a member of the ruling elite, four years younger than her classmates in her university graduating class, legendary for being the only person to get a perfect score on the day of the Trials.

The setting is a repressive dictatorship called The Republic of America, occupying former California after much of the coastline has been flooded. Sure, there are elements shared with The Hunger Games et al, including an America at war with itself, young people forced to undergo some kind of life-changing ceremony, and even personal ornaments that carry symbolic significance. Day and June are star-crossed lovers as well as being pawns in a game much larger than themselves. It was the honest emotions kept me enthralled, along with thrilling adventure and secrets revealed. I also liked that Day's portion of the story is printed in bronze-coloured ink - sometimes it doesn't take much to please me!

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