So, Legend by Marie Lu a sci-fi YA about a dysfunction dystopia where a young boy is hunted down by the establishment for unknown reasons. Could this be the new and exciting twist on the genre? Is Donald Trump really not gonna start WW3?
I really wanted to like this book, partly because I didn’t want to have to kill myself from boredom. But no, it’s dull and predictable in such a way that it infuriates me. Actually, while writing this I feel the need to get up and punch a punching bag to dust and we’re only 102 words in.
Throughout the first quarter of the book I thought it could turn everything round, sure it was predictable but I could see how a twist could develop, but more on that later. What really made me believe that this book was going to be the same junk that tries to latch on the success of The Hunger Games and Divergent was the short chapters. When a chapter is less than two pages long, you realise its suffering from Dan Brown syndrome. Short chapters are meant to trick the reader into thinking its gripping because you can read ten chapter in five minutes, but in reality its lazy and frustrating to come across.
Okay, so what is the actually story? Set in the Republic of America, Daniel “Day” Altan Wing, a rebellious 15-year-old deemed as the most-wanted criminal in the country, stages a failed attempt to steal a medicine from the Central Hospital for his younger brother, Eden Baatar, who is infected by a plague. However, he ends up becoming accused of the death of Captain Metias Iparis. Metias’ younger sister, June, a 15-year-old prodigy, vows to seek out Day in revenge and kill him.
First off there’s no emotional connection with these characters, the two main characters are such Mary Sue archetype you can feel every beat of their perfect programming. There’s no human emotion in either of them. They don’t act like normal people which, shockingly, makes it hard to emphasize with them. Which also isn’t helped by the book trying to pull at the heartstrings in third act. You know you’re supposed to feel something but that’s so hard when the characters are just ‘insert strong character here’ types.
So, most of the book June is trying to hunt down Day for murdering her brother and this is where the book could have, well not shined, but at least surprised me. She could has killed Day for murdering her brother and the story could have continued with her finding out more secrets of the Republic. But nope, she can’t bring herself to do it, she feels compelled to help him. And it’s not because he didn’t do it, nope it’s because as soon as she meets him, she sees something different in him. Just Jesus Christ.
And this is the book’s main problems it the same as every YA sci-fi, just ticking the boxes off. Strong (meaning no weaknesses) orphaned protagonists who are somehow special, an evil corrupt government to fight against, joining rebellion and becoming the figurehead of said rebellion, a love at first sight relationship, which makes me want to grab the collars of the horny teenagers and shake some sense into them. And Legend has two sequels which I’m guessing will be just as easy to predict but that’s something I’ve got to find out. (Kill me).