Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: November 29th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Blurb: 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.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
Review: First of all, I need to apologize in advance for this review. I should have written this immediately upon finishing because I lost a lot of the details my brain was holding on to and that really sucks. I had a ton of things I wanted to say, but I didn’t have the time to write the review and now this is what we are left with. So…once again, I’m sorry.
Legend started off with a bang. A really big one. The opening sentence is “My mother thinks I’m dead.” Right away I was pulled into this story of Day and his quest to heal his family from the plague. For a few chapters, I was hooked. But one thing I really found with this book was how much the pacing really fluctuated. I don’t know, I’ve read a lot of reviews and they all say how suspenseful and fast-paced this book was. But there were times when I actually felt nothing was happening.
But all in all, I really enjoyed this book. But for me, it felt like everything in this book was “just enough.” There was “just enough” world-building. There was “just enough” character development. There was “just enough” imagery. See where I am going with this? I really wanted to give this book 4 stars but I couldn’t because I felt that in a lot of areas, this one was just mediocre. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: if you are publishing a dystopian now when every other book published is dystopian-like, it better be f*cking special. And this one was just decent.
But my major issue was with one of the protagonists. June. Who I guess you could say was more of an antagonist for much of the book. Which was fine and I actually like when characters go through major transformations. Thing is, I HATED June so much that by the time she did make that transformation, it was too late for her to redeem herself in my eyes. So I guess what I am saying is that I think the author went too far in her writing of June as a villain. She made her too mean and too vile to the point that I could not picture her as one of the good guys. I cannot ever like her now. There was a point when I thought, well maybe, but then she did something horrible. I put it underneath a spoiler tag in case you haven’t read it. She escaped and LEFT HER DOG BEHIND. WHAT?? After that, it was never going to happen for us. She could have arranged something with a neighbor or a friend. But she didn’t. She can suck it.
Normally, a book that was full of emotion and deaths and so much tragedy like this one would have me sobbing. But to be honest with you, I barely even teared up. And as someone who is extremely emotional and knows I should have cried during a couple of dramatic scenes, that is a big indicator to me that these characters weren’t written as well as they could have been. My emotions are like a dowsing rod. I liked Day very much. But Day’s family was not developed enough. So obviously I’m not gonna care about them if the author doesn’t make them focal points of the story. And they should have been.
The other issue I had was with some of the world-building. WHERE WAS IT? I liked the ideas, but I could not picture the settings like I wanted to. Some things weren’t explained well and the writing was kind of vague and abrupt. I liked the tone and I think the author writes well but it’s a dystopian and I need details! How did the lake come to be? Explain the different districts. Explain how the Republic and the Colonies are divided. And so on and so forth. I am very big on mental pictures. If I cannot picture a setting and create it in my brain with the information I am given, something is wrong!
Thing is, I did like this book though. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I did. I liked the plot. I LOVED Day. I liked Tess quite a bit too. But again, I wanted more of her. I hope we get that in the next book. Legend was VERY suspenseful, aside from a few pacing issues, and it kept me turning the pages. It was a very dark book. Almost as dark as Pure by Julianna Baggott. But when all was said and done, it just kind of felt generic. Not special. Like it was missing something. I am still looking for that one dystopian novel that makes me jump up and down and lose my shit. I ALMOST found it with a few of the books I’ve read this year. But we can do better still. Someday I’ll find it.
To purchase a copy of Legend from Amazon.com and help me out in the process since I am an affiliate, click here: Legend