REVIEW: Prodigy (ARC Novel) by Marie Lu

prodigyProdigy by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, this review is based off an ARC, or Advance Uncorrected Galleys, of the book, so please know that there could be possible changes in the final printed book that might change the review of this at a later date.

With that said, this will be a *spoiler free* review, thus no details will be mentioned. However, this is the second book of the Legend trilogy, so if you haven’t read the first book (Legend), then you might want to read that first before you go further.

At the end of Legend, we see that Day and June have escaped from the Republic, Batalla Hall, and Day’s execution – though not without leaving a mess of a trail behind them. An emotional mess of a trail, really.

Prodigy obviously has a lot to deal with in the wake of all that’s happened in the first book. There’s Day having to deal with the loss of his mother and brother while also trying to figure out what’s happened to Eden. And there’s June having to deal with not only the loss of her brother, with whom she’s had to deal with the majority of the time in the first book, but also the whole idea of her faith in the Republic as well.

They both have the challenge of dealing with this new “relationship” they have with each other.

The book pretty much starts up where it left off in Legend. There’s a lot of questions to be answered, like what happened to Eden, will Thomas get his due for killing Metias, are the Patriots going to help, will Day and June find happiness in the Colonies, where’s Tess, and what’s up with the plagues?

I was pleased to see that some of these questions were answered, but then the problem was that more questions popped up in its place.

I also had to try to remind myself that Day and June are still teens and that emotional turmoil (hormones) is still so much a strong influence in their lives, regardless of how smart or physically awesome they are. And emotions certainly take a toll on both of them. It was so much a part of their thoughts I almost wanted to slap them a bit and tell them to snap out of it. But then I would have to slap myself my 15-year-old self, too, and probably much harder.

As usually what comes with a second book, the beginning is a bit slow-paced, because there’s so much to be set up before the second half of the book sets in motion (and probably for the third book as well). So yeah, there’s good amount of talk in the beginning, but not that it’s unimportant – it’s just that with strategy talk, there’s also time for angst.

It’s interesting where the story takes you, and I kept telling the book, “No, that’s not a good idea!” or “Oh, no, this is going to screw things up!” or “Why did you say that!?” Yeah, I was freaking out just a bit.

Needless to say, the characters go through a lot of self-doubt and confusion and even desire.

In the first book, I wasn’t sure if I liked June. In this book, I found that I liked her a little more. She reminds me, in a certain way, of Sherlock Holmes in that she’s calculating, deducing, and just plain smart. However, she’s not that smart and sometimes doesn’t act upon her gut instinct or doesn’t think it through all the way until it’s almost too late.

She’s also mentally strong, a smart fighter, and even though she can get hurt by words, she tries not to let it show, pushing forth her tough exterior to the front.

Being that she was raised to believe wholeheartedly in everything that the Republic was doing was right, she’s having to struggle constantly with what she does believe in and if there’s any way she can accept a different life than the one she was born into.

As for Day, being that he was raised in a totally different way of life, his distrust in pretty much everything comes into play a lot and we see him struggle with his own self-worth and the extent of which he’s willing to go to be with those he loves, whether by blind faith or extreme emotion.

Not only that, there’s something about Day that doesn’t really come into play in this book as much as it will definitely come into play in the final book (there’s hints of it throughout the book), and I will say this much… prepare your heart for major “feels”.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that the book is good. There’s elements that may seem familiar to you, that were used in other stories, but the characters stand on their own, and Marie has created an exciting dystopian steampunk future.

Remember to walk in the light.

Check out my other reviews

‘Cities of Legend’ Game Immerses Players in Marie Lu’s ‘Legend’

For fans of the Legend books, this should peak your interest, especially if you love those addictive Facebook games (unfortunately, my time is rather limited thus I’ve had to sacrifice my playing time to small bouts of Words With Friends.)

After completing the first draft of Legend, Lu created an online game called Legend: Dystopia. In it, players could create their own Legend-themed avatar and play a series of mini-games based on the book (the game has since been taken offline). The project, she says, had unforeseen benefits–it allowed her to “stay in the world” of the book while providing a sort of sandbox for ideas that she could later incorporate into the story. Although Lu never intended her game to be anything more than a fun diversion, it attracted upwards of 12,000 players and intrigued CBS Films co-president Wolfgang Hammer, who had spearheaded a movie deal for Legend (the film is currently in development). With branding in mind, he suggested adding an online social aspect to Legend – a perfect opportunity for Lu to create a new game.

Together with Los Angeles’s Wicked Sweet Games, Lu created Cities of Legend, a free-to-play game that takes place before the events of Legend and uses puzzles, role-playing, and social elements to bring the world of the books to life. Developing an in-game storyline, Lu says, is very different from writing a novel. She had to consider interactivity – the player “is actually part of the story” instead of a passive observer – as well as the pace of a video game, which compresses the story into bite-sized bits, which forced Lu to “boil it down to the essentials.” Developing Cities of Legend and writing Prodigy concurrently, she adds, let her “draw energy from each,” with the game inspiring parts of the book and vice versa.

New Facebook Game Immerses Players in Marie Lu's 'Legend'

Players can choose from 10 different characters from either the Republic or the Rebels and duke it out for points.

In Cities of Legend, players can choose to join the Republic or fight alongside Day and the rebels, earning points for either side through various challenges and missions. The decision to use Facebook as the gaming platform was an easy one for Lu. Creating a game on Facebook, she explains, is relatively easy compared to developing a traditional console game, and using the social network as a platform can help foster a thriving, active community of Legend readers.

I’m rather impressed with this.  I like the idea that this is for the fans, but it definitely seems like something that those who haven’t read the book could still be interested in.  I guess it helps when the author has a background in video game design.

(Source:  PublishersWeekly)