Thursday, January 12, 2012
YA DYSTOPIA: Legend by Marie Lu.
My love affair with YA dystopia continues with LEGEND by Marie Lu. Legend tells the story of two very different people. Day and June. Day, a teenage boy, is the most wanted criminal in the Republic and June, a military prodigy, is chosen to track Day when he is accused of murdering a soldier, June's brother. But what happens is a little more complicated than a revenge tale. Secrets are revealed and all is not what it seems.
The Republic in which they live in was once the USA, but its citizens don't know that. It is a dictatorship where class lines are clearly drawn and fear of a plague keeps the masses down. It's a fun set up, as most dystopian worlds are. We get two clear points of view as each chapter is split between Day and June's experiences. This is the fourth YA book that I've read that has done this kind of structure. It seems to be working.
The world is richly described and the characters are well drawn out. I could see the Lake sector clearly and the squalor of the poor areas just as well as the military bases and where the rich live. Marie Lu has created a believable world and is able to get under the reader's skin. I could imagine the tight reign of the regime and could feel its suffocating hand reaching down on its people. The tension is tight and the conflict pops off the page.
It's Book 1 of a trilogy (a growing trend, or just a trend), and I look forward to finding out if Day and June can survive their world, and how many more casualties are to come.