A fairly good trilogy, but with a general lack of excitement and spice.
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Format & Pages: Hardcover, 1088 (total)
Published: November 5th 2013
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
COVER REVIEW: Very boring, until Champion. You don’t get any sense of what the book is about!
Just to make everything clear for you, this is a general (and spoiler-free) review of the Legend trilogy. Each of these book were published separately, and can be bought separately. However, I don’t think I could write a long enough review for each book, so an overall review seems to be the best fit.
The cast of this trilogy was fairly *meh*. I’m sad to say that I didn’t really empathize or connect with them. We didn’t get entirely rounded characters… It was like Marie Lu described the most important aspects of them, pertaining to the story (i.e. dead parents, troubled backstory, unique physical feature), and then left it at that.
There are two protagonists, June and Day. June Iparis is training to be an officer of this dystopian Republic government. Day Wing is an escaped criminal trying to fend for his family. Both are in their late teenage years, and both have at least one dead parent.
I will forever like June better. June was more relatable and… she just made more sense. Day was a *traumatized* wild card, and I never understood him. June had been brought up with the Republic’s rules and standards drilled into her, and her confusion and mistaken loyalty was understandable until she finally realized what the truth was. However, I did think she was a bit stubborn and cold, which was annoying because I really wanted to get to know her more.
Day was a mysterious person. He’d been fending for his poor (in the unwealthy sense) family for so long, and he’d seen so much death. I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, why would you dislike him? He sounds cool and heroic?” The answer is… complicated.
Imagine, if you will, that you met this woman in the middle of the streets, fussing over a ton of grocery bags. You offered to help her, and you chatted on the way home. You guys became friends, and she eventually moved to a house a few blocks down your street. But she never really talked to you like a normal human being. She was constantly thinking & worrying about what she’d cook for her family, where she put her laundry, if she should ask her kids to do their chores, etc. You gave her space, knowing that she was going through a rough time. You supported her for around two years. But about halfway through the third year, you realized that you weren’t actually friends with this woman. You didn’t know anything about her, any of her hobbies and interests. It might be selfish, but you were sick of the constant blathering and ranting about her life. You never got to talk heart to heart with her, and it wasn’t likely to happen in the future. So, you lived with it until the end of that year, and then you moved and lied about not being able to pay the mortgage. You hightailed it out of there and prayed to God that she would not follow you for the rest of your life.
That might be a little exaggerated (OK, very exaggerated), but it describes my relationship with Day perfectly. And also a litle bit of June’s, too.
The other various political characters, family members, and friends were all fairly similar and blend into the background. This review is already really long, and I don’t particularly feel like talking about them. I would like to say that Tess was adorable, and I shipped her with Day ALL THE WAY. I would go down with that stereotype-breaking ship.
This trilogy’s overall plotline is not really unique enough to ‘stand out’ to me (cough cough Divergent cough), but it’s an interesting theme. I think a more experienced writer might have carried it off better, though, because it turns out to be a bit simplistic and barren in Marie Lu’s hands.
So, the USA (in 2053-54) has separated into two different countries, West = The Republic and East = The Colonies. They’ve basically taken the Mississippi River and drawn a line straight down it. The Republic is all for a new world, a new country, a new way of life. The Colonies are still fighting for the old ways of the United States. June & Day live in The Republic, but Day is basically on the Colonies’s side because the Republic is very oppressive and experiments on its own people. There’s a big spoilery secret behind everything, blah blah blah. Day is a wanted criminal, but June hunts him down only after he kills her brother, Captain Metias. They meet, they fall in *insta*love, they team up. And anything after that is clearly a spoiler.
The thing that gets me about this trilogy, even MORE than the characters, is the damn writing. It is soooooooooooo simple and basic. I cannot tell you how many boring-as-hell action scenes I have sat through whilst reading this trilogy. Marie Lu’s style does not lie in this genre. Believe me, I have read The Young Elites (a fantasy tale of empowered, godlike teens against a vengeful Inquisitor, set in a world similar to medieval Italy), and THAT is her style. She wrote so beautifully, seductively, passionately, and immersingly in that book *P.S. it’s also going to be a trilogy*. But in this series, it’s all so flat and boring. That’s probably my biggest problem with it.
Another issue I have with the plot is that June and Day have the dreadest insta-love. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The chemistry between them is so awful, I gag almost every time they hold hands. As I said before, Tess & Day is amazing (Tessay? Daessa? TESSAY). June & Day is horrible. They don’t get to know each other at all. June basically feels bad for him the whole time, and Day wants her body. It’s annoying and repulsive and I hate this canon. Just… no.
φ Interesting plotline
φ Simple writing (easy to get into)
φ Fast pacing
φ Flat, dull style
φ Boring characters
φ INSTALOVE OMFG NO
I’ve made my peace with it, in the end. It’s an OK trilogy, and I don’t *really* regret reading it. I just found out that it’s going to be made into a MOVIE, which I am very excited for because it will *hopefully* translate into film very well. I wouldn’t recommend it to you, unless you want to get into YA but don’t know where to start. It’s very easy to get into. Here are some titles that I would recommend INSTEAD of this trilogy:
The Hunger Games
Throne of Glass
The Lunar Chronicles
The Infernal Devices
The Shatter Me Trilogy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ = MEH
Lu was born in 1984 in Wuxi, China. By the age of 5, she and her family moved to the United States in Georgia in 1989. She attended the University of Southern California and interned at Disney Interactive Studios. Before writing her first book, Lu worked as an art designer for the video game industry.
Marie (born Xiwei Lu) is an American young adult author. She is best known for the Legend series, novels set in a dystopian and militarized future. The novels form the basis of a movie to be produced by CBS Films and directed by Jonathan Levine.