Saturday, February 9, 2013
ARC -- thank you, Penguin!
YA Dystopian / Sci Fi / Romance
371 pages, ages 13-17 (though I think adults would enjoy as well)
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
I am always a bit anxious when I embark on reading series books because so often, I am sorely disappointed with the endings, or when the next book doesn't come out for a year or more (helloooooo, five years from Unwind to UnWholly and clock's ticking on #3).
Marie Lu has done it again with Prodigy, the sequel to her also awesome book Legend (which I forgot to review but gave 5 out of 5 to as well). Yes, the ending leaves us hanging, but it's in a completely acceptable way. In both books, the particular stories they were telling were complete, but there are ticklers of stories to come. It's okay that there is space between the publishing dates because it's not URGENT to find out the next story. It's coming, it's coming. And yeah, I'll snap it up as soon as I can (it's called Champion and is expected to release in 2014).
Prodigy allowed for some depth to be created in the complex relationship between our two main characters, Day and June. We see more of the emotional impact they each are feeling about the losses of their families and of their identities. We see them both exploring their feelings (love?) for each other, though they do it at a distance from each other for most of this book.
There are some serious twists and turns in this story and though it's heavy on dialogue, the action sequences make-up for it. And this dystopian story is a believable snapshot of the future of what we call the United States, making significant (though mostly subtle) political and global warming commentary in the process.
There is a bonus book in the series called Life Before Legend, billed as Legend 0.5, that is two short stories, one each about Day and June in their twelve-year-old lives before they met. Has gotten pretty good reviews, so I may read it just for grins.
I give Prodigy a 8 out of 10 stars on the Clean-O-Meter scale. Lu is clever to use alternative swear words so that the reader gets the impact of the language without the offensiveness (certain rotten people are "trots" and the expletive is "goddy"). Character Kaede uses "damn" and "hell," but it seems appropriate for the situation. There is no sex, though a good bit of kissing, and given that the story revolves around war and revolution, there is violence. Lots of things blow up and people get shot, but there aren't any gory explanations.
Here's Penguin's trailer for the book (though June and Day aren't quite right in my assessment!). Enjoy!
Also, Marie Lu has playlists, artwork, and even movies and games for both books on her site .