Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Title: Prodigy (Legend #2)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: January 29th, 2013
Page #: 371 (in my ARC, 384 according to Goodreads)
Acquired: ARC at New York Comic Con 2012
My review of the first book, Legend

From Goodreads:
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

Prodigy starts off pretty much where Legend left off and continues from there. The book has a very quick pace to it, and pretty soon June and Day are thrown into a world of revolutionaries and social unrest. I really don't want to give away too much of the plot, but even though I was uncomfortable with the pacing at times I felt like everything fit just where it should have. The plot putted along at a good pace and never once did I feel like it was lagging, or that a scene that had been added was just fluff.

My favorite thing about the book was Lu's self-reflection on June and Day through her secondary characters. I agreed with the opinions that some of these secondary characters held and was glad to see that they were being addressed within the novel, that Lu looked at her work and said "This seems like this, does anyone else notice this?" That's very mature writing on her part, and I enjoyed that aspect. As for those secondary characters, we meet some old faces from the previous book who fit nicely into their new roles in Prodigy, along with some new ones that help to shape the personalities of and highlight the differences between June and Day further.

The lack of detail that we get of cities and daily life is a double-edged sword when it comes to dystopian fiction, or any kind of fiction, really. On one hand, a little more layout detail would have been nice. I had trouble picturing a few of the fight and flight scenes because I felt like there wasn’t enough detail to make an accurate mental picture. I often had to change that picture in my head as I went along.
On the other hand you don't want the characters telling you a whole lot about where they live because it's normal life for them, and normal life, no matter how unpleasant, isn’t something that you feel compelled to describe. I don't think that Lu should be criticized for not showing us every single chunk of concrete in every city of her novels, even though that's something that June could certainly share with us.

The ending was heartfelt, and not having another page to turn after that was difficult for me, but understandable. I thought that the book ended just fine, and so I'm a little surprised to read in Lu's FAQ that the series will be a trilogy. We only get a vague allusion as to what happens to several characters, one of my favorites among them, which was a little disappointing for me so I’m hoping that these characters will get some more solid endings. Where we go from here I really don't know, which makes the prospect of a third book all that more exciting.

If you've read Legend I would pick up Prodigy (and if you haven't read Legend, well, that's another thing all together). I loved getting a chance to peak at the next chapter in the world of the Republic, and I'm very interested to see what Marie Lu will bring us next!

Four Stars!
P.S. There are a TON of spoiler-y things that I would love to discuss with people who have read the book (or, heck, have read Legend with no intention of reading Prodigy), so if you want to chat email me at bravenewshelf[at]gmail[dot]com!

And before I forget, there was a little two-sided postcard tucked inside the ARC. Sorry about the harsh light spot in the center:

We've got Day and June advertising the Facebook game based on the series. I've yet to check it out, but I just might and review it later. Day looks a lot different than I pictured him, and towards the end of the book I adopted this as my mental image. I'm assuming June is wearing the military uniform, which I had originally pictured as black. Still, I think they both look awesome, it's always great to see what other people's depictions of characters look like. Thoughts?


  1. I'm starting this one very soon - I'm excited to read it :) Glad to hear it was good :)


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