Legend, written by Marie Lu in 2011, depicts a dystopian society based in a futuristic, battle-torn North America. This continent has been split up into two forces: the Colonies in the East and the Republic on the West, with a battleground in between. The book revolves around two main characters, both situated in the Republic: Day, an infamous pacifistic criminal determined to keep his family alive, and June, the Republic’s perfect prodigy determined to catch him. After June’s brother Metias is killed in one of Day’s raids on a hospital, June sets her sights on Day. However, Day is pre-occupied: his family (who don’t even know he’s alive, save his older brother) has caught the plague. While pursuing Day, June discovers that Day may not have been the murderer, and there’s more to the Republic than she’s ever known.
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The future that Marie Lu depicts in Legend is still North America, but North America if we continue the wars and violence present in our modern-day society. While there are still rich and powerful, there are also still poor and weak. From this book, Lu wants us to try to prevent this type of society from ever occurring, where the poor outweigh the rich, and a continent is split in two due to violence. It may be the future, but man still finds a reason to kill man.
Lu wrote this book in a specific, intriguing fashion: by swapping between the first person narratives of Day and June, the two main characters. June’s style of narrative is more grammatically correct, and uses more “educated” language. However, Day, coming from a poor sector, uses more casual, slang-like language, while still sounding competent.
Legend was a captivating book through and through, with dynamic, relatable characters and visualizable settings. It also intrigued me through its action-packed, conspiratory storyline that made you want to both have the book end (so you could know the truth) and never have it end. I felt for Day’s family in the poor sector, June’s brother Metias, and the innocents of the Republic. Despite being set in a traditional “futuristic dystopian society”, I found that I still loved this book, and found nothing that I didn’t like about it. I found that I prefered the double-perspective narrative, as it showed me two sides of the same coin, or two sides of the same story, to put it in a literal view. As a rating, I give this book 5/5 stars.
Book Reviewed By Ryan Quan
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