Marie Lu is the art director at Online Alchemy, a video game company, and also owns the children’s brand Fuzz Academy. She was first inspired to write Legend while watching Les Miserables one afternoon, and wondered how the relationship between a famous criminal vs. a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 and lives in Los Angeles, California.
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
I picked up Legend on a whim and was pleasantly surprised by it. It’s a good dystopian story with strong characters who I liked a lot. The setting of the book was the most intriguing part of it: the Republic of America is a deadly place that is described perfectly by the author. I was saddened by the state of the society in the book – they had forgotten that the United States of America, and all it stood for, had even existed, and fact had degenerated into legend.
The characters in Legend were great – I really love Day. I think he is an awesome hero and I enjoyed reading the action sequences that featured him. I found June to be a strong character as well, and I never thought that she was stupid for believing what her government told her. I think Marie Lu handled June’s situation well, because many dystopian authors imbue their characters with a blind faith that frustrates me, but Marie didn’t.
I liked how the author didn’t shirk away from the harsh realities of the world she has created. Her characters see and do some terrifying things, and I found the Marie Lu’s honest rendition of her world refreshing. The writing quality of this book surpasses what I usually expect from the first published work of an author, so I have high hopes for the rest of her trilogy.
Legend is a great book! Even if you read dystopian novels frequently, I believe you will find this one to be innovative and enjoyable. Marie Lu is definitely an author to watch out for!
About the book: