by Marie Lu
Published by Putnam Books
on January 29, 2013
Source: ARC giveaway at BEA (Book Expo America)
Summary (from Goodreads): June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.Spoiler free for Prodigy. One Legend spoiler -- sorry!
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
My take: Fourteen months passed between the time I read Legend and the day I started Prodigy. I had just started reviewing when Legend came out, and I didn't review the book, and didn't take notes. So it was a bit of a problem for me that there's almost no recap in Prodigy. I mean, I don't want a huge info-dump, but I'm in the middle of a LOT of series,** so little memory-jogging is always appreciated.
All I really remembered about Legend was that June is some kind of child prodigy (ooh -- lightbulb moment on that title!) and darling of the Republic, while Day is a scrappy outsider. Then Day is accused of murdering June's beloved brother Mathias, and becomes the Republic's Most Wanted. But June realizes that Day is innocent. No spoilers there -- that's all pretty much in Legend's blurb.
Prodigy takes up right where Legend left off. June and Day are hiding on a train headed to Las Vegas, and Day has a badly injured leg. They are trying to make contact with the Patriots, a rebel group, and find Day's brother.
Like Legend, Prodigy's story alternates from June and Day's points of view, with June's in black text and Day's in blue. Usually in dual POV stories I prefer one point of view, and this time it was June's. I'm not sure if that was because I found Day's typeface a little harder on the eyes, or because his storyline dealt mostly with his medical problems, Patriot tactical strategy and arguing with Tess, a girl he grew up with, about why he shouldn't trust June.
Middle books in trilogies often either separate a couple or create circumstances in which their love is tested, and Prodigy is no exception, using the latter to great effect. I'd forgotten how ridiculously young these two are and what a short time they've known each other. At one point, Tess says to Day, "You think you're in love with a girl you've known for less than a month, a girl who's responsible for your mother's death." Me: Yes, exactly. And... what was that last part? I'd forgotten everything about Day's family from the first book and still am pretty much in the dark in that department. So I have to take Day's word that June is not technically responsible for his mother's death. But kind of.
June -- as the blurb indicates -- gets assigned to assassinate someone. She also throws knives, takes lie detector tests, plays dress-up, and generally does all this great Mata Hari stuff, which was a lot of fun. Needless to say, I loved her chapters.
Some people have said that a love rectangle develops in Prodigy, but I can't quite agree. Day's affection for Tess seems brotherly to me, and while June comes to admire Anden, the Elector-to-be, I thinks she's a straight-arrow of a girl who will at least figure out where she stands with Day before taking up with some other guy. The two do have a huge, nicely-written, wow-they-really-do-seem-like-a-real-couple kind of argument. Then there's a fantastic series of events around the assassination attempt that force Day to decide whether or not to trust June, the girl who he's known for a month who (kind of) killed his mother. Good stuff!
I won't tell you what Day decides. But right after he makes up his mind, there's a big "whoa" moment -- a shocking revelation. Interesting. Let's just hope this Romeo and Juliet-inspired dystopian tale doesn't wrap up as tragically as the original.
**So I always complain how many series I'm in the middle of, and this weekend I decided to put my money where my mouth was and count them. Here's the list. I stopped counting when I hit 75. That does NOT even count multiple books in the same series. And I don't think I'm that unusual.
Trying to remember June being responsible for Day's mom's death...was it something to do with the plague/illness? Maybe he could've gotten medicine to his family but she somehow thwarted it? I read Legend almost a year ago and have been dying for Prodigy but I do not remember that part. I remember June's brother though!ReplyDelete
Starry Eyed Jen filled me in. LMK if you need the recap on that. I couldn't remember anything!Delete
June goes undercover and makes friends with Day. She follows him back to his house, then reports in that she knows his whereabouts. She is just thinking that they will come and arrest him. But Day tries to hide his family, and to get him to "come quietly," Thomas shoots Day's mother in the head. So June is there when its going down, and she throws a huge fit at Thomas, but it doesn't stop anything.Delete
I enjoyed June's pov more in this book too, which is surprising because I find I can relate to Day's character more (he's the more emotional, she's the more rational.)ReplyDelete
I also had a hard time remembering every little event from Legend ( I didn't review it either.) Once again, that makes me appreciate when someone like Veronica Roth provides readers a detailed recap of the first book in a series before the second releases. Such a GREAT idea, if only more authors would do that (I think we've had this convo before.)
Interested to see how it all plays out in Bk #3, especially after that shocking revelation at the end of Prodigy.
Sooooo... this is totally going to be the next book I read. I didn't know this was romeo and juliet inspired, but now that you mention it, I TOTALLY see it! Legend was one of my FAVE distopians last year. It has a lot of the traditional elements, but it just... felt fresh.ReplyDelete
I got book one sitting on my shelf's that I need to get to reading. Lol 75 different type of series is a lot :D I think I'll end up in the same boat.. I keep buying book 1 to others after starting a series already.ReplyDelete
Well, when you have to wait a year between books, it just happens.Delete
That's a big list! I have no idea how many series I'm in the middle of, although I'm pretty sure that I won't carry on reading all of them.ReplyDelete
I have legend but not prodigy, I need to get round to reading them soon, although then I'll be in the middle of another series!
I *cough cough* might abandon a few of those. Triage!Delete
I don't even want to count the series I'm in the middle of. It's crazy!! Love this review by the way. I am super excited to read this one!ReplyDelete
Ha ha - I always said "a million" which was not true. But it's still a lot!Delete
Great review! Bummer that there's not much of a recap though.. I don't remember Legend that well LOL!ReplyDelete
I agree. I think a little artfully done recap is key!Delete
JEN! That is a LOT of series. I'm in the middle of a lot as well, though I've never counted. And I can't imagine my number is quite so high. WOW. Also, this is a really helpful review. I've been torn about whether to read this now or wait until book 3 is out to read them together. I'm also nervous about this triangle/rectangle thing. But it sounds like it's not likely to be a big deal? I'm still not sure I'll LOVE this one, but I do want to finish the series. And I'll probably have to start with Legend again, because I don't have any notes on these books either!ReplyDelete
You might be surprised!!Delete
I NEED to read Legend.I keep putting it off for stupid reasons.ReplyDelete
Oh gosh, it honestly makes me feel ill if I start thinking about all the series I'm in the middle of. Some I've been in the middle of for 10+ years, but has been a few years since I read the last one. -sigh-
It's weird, b/c I was sort if "meh" about Legend, but I remember almost the entire story. Maybe I liked it more than I *think* I did?ReplyDelete
I'm in the middle of way too many series, too, Jen. But nowhere near as many as you!
I'm glad you liked Prodigy.
Ha -- I should have asked you what happened.Delete
And I think you'd be surprised if you counted your series up...
Dude! The ending right! What is up with author leaving such emotional and exciting endings! I WANT MORE!!!!ReplyDelete
Sigh. Another year to wait. This time I took notes!!Delete
I just finished prodigy and UGH THAT ENDING KILLED ME. I knew something like that would happenReplyDelete
i want to warn you that there is a spoiler in your review, what Tess said along with "you've only known her for a month" part.
anyways, great review, I also preferred June's POV in this book, maybe because she does more and with the whole Elector.. I think that's where the love triangle will flourish, not with Tess
- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf
Thanks-- I added the no spoilers part later today, confusing the Day did (not) kill June's brother (which is in the blurb) with that other thing.Delete
So I fixed the warning. Only spoiler free for book two!
Yep, I much preferred June's POV this time around. I think I liked Day's better in Legend, though. I'm not sure about the romance situation...I think there's still the potential for Anden to make a play for June, especially after, um, certain things happened, but I think Tess is definitely out of the picture. I think Day always saw her as a kid sister-type figure, and even when he started to see her in a new light, his feelings for her didn't lean toward the romantic. But I especially don't think anything will happen between them now. Great review.ReplyDelete
I really didn't see this as a love rectangle either. I think some people get nervous whenever there is a mention of another person in the picture, in whatever capacity. A product of so many actual love triangle I think. I have major issues with recaps and dystopians i think. I remember nothing about the worlds for the yearly wait. Pieces come back but this is why I struggle to review them. I can't summarize b/c I am always worried I misinterpreted or missed something. I think they are more enjoyment reads for me. The pressure of remembering details to write up a review on them is sometimes too much for me. You are awesome at it, btw. And wow, I rambled. lol Great review. I'm scared to look at your list of series...ReplyDelete
That is a ton of series you're in the middle of. I haven't counted mine, but I know I have a lot too. Some of them have the final book out, but I just haven't gotten to read them yet. Loved your review! I've had this one requested from the library for a while. I really wish I was rich and could just buy all the books I want sometimes. ;) Can't wait for this one!ReplyDelete
14 months is a long time & I know what you mean about a LOT of series. I've lost count.ReplyDelete
Great review! Can't wait to read Prodigy. I'm hoping that love rectangle doesn't really come true, because I love June and Day- but wow, they're just 15! ;) And the whole assassination thing sounds really cool!ReplyDelete
I also enjoyed June's POV more. But just because she is so darn SMART. I knew Raven was bad news, and I knew separating June and Day was asking for trouble! The Patriots were not telling Day anything really--Who was going to take over President after the revolution? What were they going to do about the Senate? I just can't believe he followed them blindly!ReplyDelete
Great review! I'm excited to read this after my exams! I read Legend, like, three months ago and I didn't quite like it then. I mean, it was okay. It's just that it's super hyped today. :( I might re-read Legend before reading Prodigy. :DReplyDelete