One of my favorite authors right now is Marie Lu. The first book I read of hers was Warcross which I discovered after watching Super Space Chick on her YouTube channel. I became entranced by the mixture of a digitally advanced city mixed with this virtual reality, World of Warcraft inspired game. I clicked with Emika Chen as I felt she was a strong, well crafted, independent female character. Marie Lu has many other successful series out now which is the main reason why I purchased Legend. Legend was SO good. I finished the book earlier this week and immediately drove to Barnes & Noble to purchase Prodigy the 2nd book in the series. I plan to finish reading the trilogy in 2019.
Legend describes a dystopian United States where the Republic forces young kids to participate in a test titled “The Trials”. If they pass, these kids will receive the best jobs, education and living situations. However, if they fail, they’re sent to work in the mines or another undesirable career option. Fifteen year old June was born into a privileged family with her father being a scientist and her brother Metias working in the Republic’s military. Day however, was born into poverty where he is seen as the “Robin Hood” in the story. His crimes include stealing medical supplies or disabling Republic military style vehicles. June and Day are brought together when Day is accused of murdering Metias in a medical operation gone wrong. June’s relationship with Day tests her knowledge of the Republic and whether or not she’s on the right side in this society.
One reason why I adored this book is all the themes being brought up in this society. First, is the “psychology of dictatorship”. One such example includes Thomas (a friend of her brother Metias) and how he blatantly kills people because of his orders. This upsets June. June is forced to rethink her position in the Republic and witnessing the deaths of these civilians allows her to start thinking for herself. Meeting Day was the force June needed to confront her abusive government.
Another theme I uncovered in this book is the prevalence of men asserting their wants on women. For example, June is in her room when Thomas tries to force himself on her. June rebukes at his advances and Thomas’s “ego” is hurt. He is mad at her for a couple days until he gets over it. This scene is realistic to today’s society. I can’t tell you how many times I have lost friendships with men because of their hurt feelings at how I don’t want to date them. June doesn’t owe Thomas anything and I’m glad she pushed him away and stood up for herself instead of letting Thomas get what he wants.
As I read this book, I liked June’s character growth throughout the novel. I won’t rehash what I stated above, but she starts to think for herself. She was a pawn of the government until she was forced to reflect on how the Republic has impacted her own life. I see myself in June because I as a cis, white woman have privilege in society. I used to be ignorant about struggles from other groups until I opened my eyes. June has this same character growth in the book.
I could keep going on about why I appreciated the themes in Legend, but if you haven’t read this series yet, I highly encourage that you read it. After I’m finished with Prodigy, I’m going to take a break and read the 2nd book in the Warcross series. Marie Lu’s writing is fantastic and I will purchase any book she writes.