Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend, #1
Release Date: November 29th 2011
From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths…
Until June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.
In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
He knows he should stay away from them but Day continues to watch his family from a distance. As the most wanted criminal in the Republic it can only ever be from a distance but he does what he can to help, and when Day discovers his younger brother has caught the plague he makes a very reckless decision. Breaking into the hospital for whatever he can get his hands on to suppress or cure the plague Eden has caught Day is nearly captured. He manages to escape, but only after injuring the captain who nearly caught him.
Later that night June discovers her brother has been murdered by the infamous criminal Day. Shocked and grieving June is immediately pulled out of university and put on the trail of Metias’s killer. No one has ever succeeded in catching Day before, the Republic doesn’t even know what he looks like, but as the Republic’s Prodigy with a grudge against him June is determined to hunt Day down and make him pay for Metias’s death.
However as June gets closer and closer to Day she starts questioning his role in her brother’s death, and questioning her country in ways she never thought to before.
June and Day live on opposite sides of the Republic. June is a Prodigy. She scored 100% on her trial and since then has been the Republic’s golden child; given the best training and the best schooling to prepare her for her military career. Day on the other hand is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. Ever since failing his trial he has lived on the streets; his mother thinks he’s dead while the Republic offers rewards for any information on his whereabouts.
Legend was a re-read for me, but I was surprised how much of the story I’d forgotten. I guess this is what happens when you try to read a series in the middle of a reading slump. Sometimes in debut books of series you find the action pushed to one side to introduce the characters, the situation and the world, but in Legend that wasn’t the case. The characters and the world were still incredibly developed but the action was fast-paced and addictive from the start until the end.
Day is smart, after all he managed to evade the Republic for years without leaving any trace of himself behind before nearly getting caught at the hospital. Day learnt some hard lessons on the streets, and knows how to take care of himself, but despite that he still opens up to people. He visits his family in secret regardless of the fact that it could put him and them in danger, he looks after Tess despite knowing an orphan girl is the worst liability to have on the streets, and he still reaches for June when she’s in trouble.
June was a great characters to discover. Her whole life she has trusted the Republic, believed what they told her about the trial and what they mean for all people living under the Elector. She’s never had any reason to look beyond the surface until her brother died. With Metias’s death June is alone in the world and although she believes Day to be the person who killed her brother she can’t help but keep looking for more clues, more places where her brother’s presence can still be felt.
What I enjoyed the most about reading June’s chapters was her view of the Republic. A lot of time in dystopian novels we see the POV of characters like Day; people on the outside who are already distrustful of their government, people on the down and out who have no other choice but to rebel. June has been given everything by the Republic, raised to respect the Elector and to believe the lies fed to her. Reading her inner turmoil as she uncovers their secrets made for some very interesting character development.
Both Day and June are the same person born into two very different circumstances. If Day had had the opportunities June had growing up it would be easy for him to have become the Republic’s Prodigy as well as, or instead of, June. There is something that draws these two characters together, despite June thinking Dare killed her brother and despite Day not knowing much about June at all.
Family is very important to Day and June. June lost her parents when she was young so Metias was all she had left. Her brother was her world and when he dies it’s like her world has been torn apart. Metias’s death shakes June enough that she starts looking for secrets inside of the Republic she may not have discovered had he lived. Day lost his whole family when he went on the run, but he still looks over them and you can see how much he cares for them in how much he is willing to sacrifice for them.
We get a lot of information on the Republic in this book; how it’s organized and run by the Elector and the military, what the trial is and what it means for the children who pass and those who fail. All this information was well-written and well integrated into the story so it never felt like info-dumps but also never left me with unanswered questions. Still there is a lot I want to learn about this world, about the history of the Republic and what happened to America that split it in half and turned the two halves against each other. The Republic is fighting a war again the Colonies, however we see very little of the war in this book. Instead we focused on the immediate parts of June’s and Day’s lives; the privilege of June’s and the squalor of Day’s.
It took me a long time to get back around to the Legend series after I first picked it up, but it was well worth the wait. This is a thrilling first book to the series, and I can’t wait to get back to Prodigy and then get started on Champion. June and Day are incredible characters to follow, and after the way this book ended I’m excited to see where the information they’ve learnt takes them next.
What did you think of Legend? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.