I have to admit the only dystopian novels I have read are The Hunger Games. I loved those a lot and didn’t think anything would ever be able to compete with them. Though Legend was a good read (towards the end) and a great Dystopian novel, it wasn’t as enjoyable for me as the aforementioned series. I think I will be hard pressed to find anything as interesting as The Hunger Games.
The plot was slow moving; mostly focused on character development, which isn’t a bad thing, per se. The characters were well-developed and interesting, though a bit too similar, and the world-building was decently done. I also enjoyed the writing.
Legend is set in the future in Los Angeles where the United States is no more. Now, it is split into two warring factions: the Colonies and the Republic. June, a 15-year-old prodigy in the Republic military, is attempting to track down the Republic’s most wanted criminal after he is accused of murdering her older brother, a prestigious member of the military.
“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”
It took me A LONG time to get into this novel. I was soo close to not finishing it, but I pushed through it and found myself really liking it, after the fact. There just weren’t many interesting moments; something to really hook me into the story. Yes, I felt bad about the world in which these people live and I knew something peculiar was going on, but it wasn’t enough for me. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE character-driven novels, but this just wasn’t enough in this case. The last third of the book is where it started to get better and I finished that part quickly. I wish the pacing would have been better, but at least the plot was complex enough to keep me guessing as to what was behind the plague (though that didn’t even take me long to figure out).
It was unfortunate that this was such a predictable novel. I easily guessed the ending from very early on and was actually hoping I was wrong. I think this made it more difficult for me to enjoy the novel as much as I wanted to, though it may not bother a lot of others. I also figured out who killed June’s brother without much trouble and very early on.
Maybe my complaints are typical for a dystopian novel. I haven’t read many, but maybe I should.
In this world, it is very clear who the governing elite is and who is the repressed. Those under the Republic are thought to believe their society is a utopia, with many of them believing their government is helping to control the spread of the plague, but it is obvious from the beginning that this is not the case. The citizens even believe that those who fail the Trial, a test of intelligence, are given work elsewhere. Only a few know the truth.
I greatly enjoyed the world building within this novel. There was a lot of detail and it sets the stage for the rest of the series. Everything about this society is terrible and wrong and I look forward to reading about how the people will revolt once they find out the truth. The most intriguing aspects were the Plague and the reasons behind it as well as the Trials. I hope in future novels we get to see the Colonies since they were only mentioned in this one.
I would also like to know more about the war and the reasons behind it (though I have an idea).
The book is told in alternating viewpoints of the two main characters, June and Day. I loved both characters, especially the fact that they are very smart because it’s always annoying when characters are not. June and Day are also interesting and multi-dimensional and develop a lot as the novel progresses. I guess June develops much more than Day though. One thing that bothered me was the fact that the two characters were just too similar even though they were raised differently (one with wealth, the other without).
“If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.”
I also didn’t like that they fell for each other almost upon meeting. That is irritating and just doesn’t happen–I hate instant love. It would have been better to wait for awhile until they got to know each other. Then, it would have made more sense.
There were very few secondary characters, but I liked them okay nonetheless. They were horrible people and I wish they would have had more distinct personalities, but I think there was just too much focus on the main characters for the secondary ones to have any sort of personality or development beyond the basics. Hopefully, there is more of a focus on a couple of them later.
I enjoyed the writing immensely and thought the alternating viewpoints was the only way to tell the story effectively. I liked the inside look at the two different classes in the Republic and how they live. Everything flowed very well and was easy to read. I didn’t even mind the one viewpoint being in bold (ebook). Nothing distracted from the story.
I love the illustration on the cover as well as its simplicity. However, the blurb just ruins it and there isn’t anything to notify you that this is the first book in a trilogy.