Prodigy by Marie Lu (Legend #2)
In her debut novel and the first book in a planned trilogy, Marie Lu taught readers in Legend that looks can be deceiving The Republic of America demands excellence and has little tolerance for those who cannot live up to high expectations. But insisting on perfection and being perfect are hardly the same. This theme of never being able to take anything at face value continues in the electric second installment of this saga, Prodigy.
June, the Republic's favorite daughter, and Day, their most wanted criminal, have managed to escape Los Angeles and are in search of the Patriots and help. Unfortunately, everything comes with a price and the Patriots are willing to help June and Day for a high cost: they want the two of them to help assassinate the new Elector, a young man named Anden who has just taken his dead father's place as the leader of the Republic. But as the plan gets underway, June learns that Anden is nothing like his father and could actually be just what the nation needs for a new beginning. Meanwhile, Day questions everything he thought he knew - including June - and is will stop at nothing to get his little brother back.
This sequel had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Lu continues to be a master of the dual-narrators (this time, Day's chapters are in blue ink while June's are in black) and seamlessly weaves the two voices together. I could see why Day thought the things he did and why the answers June desired suddenly weren't as black-and-white as we had once believed. Anden was a huge part of this, too. I wouldn't go as far as to say Lu introduces love triangles (yes, plural - Day realizes little Tess isn't really such a little girl anymore), but she brings in very realistic questions about the nature of relationships and allegiances. Just like the political situations of the story, love is hardly simple, either.
In my review of the first book, I mentioned that my biggest complaint was a lack of understanding of the exact geography and situation of the Republic of America, the Colonies of America, and the Patriots and how they all fit together, and in this novel all of those questions were finally answered in a way where the puzzle made much more sense.
Prodigy has action, suspense, and plenty of plot twists and turns that would be surprising but never in an unrealistic sort of way. Secondary characters from book one are flushed out even more, and the stakes are raised once again as I must patiently wait for the finale that will come in book three. A five-star sequel in this blogger's opinion.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!
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