I know I am a sucker for dystopia…I can’t help it…it may be all those scary movies that my parents made me watch as a child. Who knows. This is the first book in the Legend Series by Marie Lu and is called Legend. It is no longer the United States of America, but The Republic of America. And things are not at all the same. This book is told in two voices: Day who is a 15 year-old renegade who is kind of a Robin Hood-type character. He commits crimes against the corrupt government in order to get food, money, supplies, and medicine to his family and friends who do not have access to these things easily. Day was sent out on his own after he failed the Trials. The Trials is a test all 10 year-old have to take, and the score determines their future. Will they continue on with schooling and work for the government? Will they become a necessary, but poor worker? Or will they fail and be “donated” to the government to work in a labor camp? Day has failed, but he has escaped the labor camps and is wanted by the government for his crimes against them.
June is also 15 years old, but she leads a completely different life. She is the only known person to score a perfect on her trials and is considered a prodigy. She believes in her government, and trusts what they do. That is until her older brother Metias is murdered, and June becomes mixed-up with Day. They begin to unravel the truth about the government and the horrible plagues that seem to effect only the poor. This leads them on a fast-paced race where they find themselves fighting against street kids, government soldiers, and each other. Who do they trust? Can they trust each other?
My 12 year-old (who has just started the book) likes that the two voices of the characters are written in two different colors and styles of font….a visual change to the reader. The characters are strong and well-written. There is a romance between the two that works very well and the descriptions of this unpleasant future are clearly constructed without being too overwhelming. I have already ordered book two Prodigy, and I will have to wait until the fall for the conclusion Champion. I will be waiting for several new releases this fall….between Rick Riordan and Veronica Roth…..I will have a ton to read come October.