Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Book Review - Legend

Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian | Young Adult
Release Date: 2nd February 2012
Publishers: Speak
No. Pages: 295
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 
Buy From: Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbours. 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.

When I first started Legend, I knew we wouldn't be the best of friends; the writing lacked any gripping feature, I failed to connect to both the main characters and the entire plot was vague at best, but given time and more commitment to the installment, Legend did improve, the characters did become more relatable and the plot became a teeny tad bit more interesting, but as a whole, Legend far from wowed me.

Now, that may sound less than complimentary, but the first half of Legend really wasn't much to write home about at all. Let me start with the world and history. This is a dystopian novel, set in the world of an America split into two parties, The Republic and The Patriots, they're at war and there's a lot of storms, a lot of floods and just a lot of, well, nothing really happening. Now, what questions do I have? Let me tell you them? Why is America split into two? (probably going to be answered later in the series) What exactly does this future America look like? (I'm genuinely serious about this, what exactly does it look like, it's just a selection of indistinguishable buildings and people cladded in black, help me out here people!) Why one earth isn't there anything remotely intriguing or interesting about this world?! (I mean, there's absolutely nothing, it's all either shining expensive glasses or mud, mud and more mud) I'm trashing a book you like, I apologise, but I really couldn't get to grips with this world at all, I was lost, I'm from the UK, there's nothing at all that I could personally take a hold of to keep me in this world and that seriously damaged my entire reading experience with Legend. The writing wasn't anything fantastic either; the duo perspectives was predictable and disappointing and the characters themselves failed to have distinguishable voices during the first half which just made the entire story a flop. If it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to see if it improved, I would have just not finished it.

However, I did finish it and I'm glad I did because Legend did improve. The characters, June and Day became much more development, became identifiable as separate entities and as a whole, they became much more relatable. I managed to connect to Day more than I did June, maybe this is because I feel that I would be a lower sector of this world based on family backgrounds, and I genuinely felt sorry for him, for all his family loss, for the secrets he holds, how he was cheated out of a life that could have been so much different, it was extremely easy to follow him, believe in him, and as a whole, be on Day's side. June however was much more difficult to entice into my connection group; she was a first class moaner, wanting to follow her brother, wanting to do this and do that, being immature and too smart for her own good and her perspectives were my least favourites as a whole, but, she did squeeze her way into my better books when she took a hold of herself and actually started using her 'two of a kind' brain to actually gain some answers to her questions. It was in fact the development of these two characters that inched up this rating, without the development and growth these characters did go through, Legend would have been joining a list of disappointments this year. However, I didn't appreciate or approve their relationship, it felt insta-, it felt unreal and it felt waaaaaay too quick for my liking; they know nothing about one another other than they are both stupidly intelligent which really doesn't show, and that they are from different privileges, other than that, do any of us know much about them? This definitely needs improvement.

It would seem that I didn't enjoy too much about this book and the truth is, it was difficult to get into, difficult to keep coming back and difficult to understand, but as a whole, from a reading experience, it wasn't too bad. I warmed to the characters, I'm stilled interested in seeing where the direction of this plot goes and I really really want to know more about the history of this world, even if it starts info-dumping on me, please give me something to work with Lu. I would recommend this if you're all good with insta-love and vague world building and if you like character development, but do, like me, give it time, it needs a hand.

10 comments:

  1. I did love this book but I completely agree with what you said about June. I wasn't her biggest fan in this book and will always prefer Day to her. There is just something about Day that June simply doesn't have. *sigh*

    I am glad though that it did get better for you! :) Even if it took more than half the book to do so!

    Hopefully you'll continue on with the series and like the other instalments better :) (although I cannot say I preferred Prodigy to Legend.. eek).

    Great review, Amanda!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. She was a little, difficult to relate to, but she wasn't too bad in the end I think.
      I think Prodigy and Champion have mixed feelings in the community, but it'll be interesting to see how I feel. Thank you! :)

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  2. I haven't read this series yet, but I know many people loved it! I'm sad you had some difficulties with this, but glad it got better for you :)

    Lovely review, Amanda <33

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    1. It did improve, so I'm pretty glad I continued with it - thank you Celine! :D

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  3. Awww I'm sorry this one didn't wow you! I actually liked it better than Divergent! I still need to continue with the series but I'm hoping it just gets better from there! I've heard really good things about the second and third books!

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    1. I haven't read Divergent yet, I hope to one day, but right now, I'm just too busy to do it. I've heard great things too! :D

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  4. I COMPLETELY AGREE! And this sounds awful, but I'm finally glad I found someone who doesn't like it as well. x) It wasn't that it was awful....I just felt it was completely average and used all the cliches in the dystopian pool. I never felt the least inclined to finish the trilogy. (Plus I heard it grew into a love-triangle, and that just makes me annoyed.) XD So! Awesome review. I completely agree.

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    1. I feel exactly that way, it was really cliche in areas and didn't bring anything new to the table, which is a shame. It grows into a triangle, oh god, I'm just about on aboard with this ship, I canny cope with anyone else, gah! Thank you Cait! :D

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  5. I actually felt the same way about Legend, but then I ended up reading Prodigy and Champion and loved them! Also, the only love triangle in this book that I can think about is that Day kinda loves his brother more then June??? It's more of a teenage girl having a crush on Day because he saved her and took care of her then a true love triangle really.

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    1. Ahh, I see what you mean about the Triangle, doesn't sound lovey dovey to me, but guess I'll have to see! I do plan on trying to read them very soon, if not in the next month, so it'll be interesting to see where it goes! :)

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