Friday, 26 July 2013

Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 29th January 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: 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?

Prodigy is an exhilarating adventure that surpasses Legend in every way. Marie Lu serves up a perfect mix of action, romance and suspense within a nation that’s on the brink of a revolution.  Loyalties are tested and the truth is exposed as Prodigy delves deeper into the detailed world that Lu has built. The history surrounding the Republic and the Colonies is explored including the reasons behind their formation.

Told from a dual point of view Prodigy takes on more of a political plot than its predecessor. Picking up where Legend left off, June and Day are on the run from the Republic. They travel to Las Vegas to meet up with the Patriots. In exchange for the Patriots help they agree to assist in assassinating the new Elector Primo Anden.  New elements such as the Patriots and new Elector Primo add another layer to the wonderfully complicated story. Lu skilfully uses the uncertainty in the Republics bureaucracy as a way to explore themes of duty, loyalty and identity.

The book is a lot slower placed, with ample action interspersed throughout. It packs a shocking ending that is daring and unexpected. It left me wanting to read Champion immediately. The slow burn allows more time for character development and the exploration of relationships new and old. June and Day are very compelling characters. Even though they spend a large majority of the book separated, they are both engaging separately as well as together. June is a strong, determined and logical young lady. Her drive for justice and need to do the right thing made her my favourite character. Day is devoted and fierce in the way he sacrifices everything for the people he loves. He was a little more vulnerable given the events that happened to his family.

June and Day go through a lot of self-discovery and growth and struggle with the loss of their families. They are more introspective and contemplative whilst they figure out whom to trust, where their loyalties lie, and ultimately what their role in the revolution is going to be. June and Day’s romance is passionate and intense. They constantly prove that they are there for each other. Marie Lu weaves a web around all the characters in this book. June, Day, Tess and Anden are all intertwined. They all have complicated relationships with each other due to their pasts, the things they have lost and the consequences of their actions. They have to reconcile the actions of the Republic with their own feelings of love, loss, faith and trust, making for a complicated yet gripping story.

Prodigy is a fantastic book in the Legend trilogy.  This is one series that is a must read. With complex characters, political undertones, suspense and plenty of action it makes a perfect read.

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