Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: January 29 2013
After reading Marie Lu’s book, Legend, I doubted that the sequel would be able to live up to the first book’s action, adventure, mystery, and sheer awesomeness. It did not. It exceeded all expectations I had and then threw any doubts I had about the first book out the window. Where they proceeded to drop five stories and shatter into a billion pieces.
For those of you who have not read Legend, I highly recommend, with all my heart, that you do so. Immediately. Post haste. It is an amazing dystopian novel about a society located where Western America used to be called the Republic. When every child turns ten, they are required to take a series of intelligence and fitness tests called the Trial (sounds ominous, right?). If you score high on the Trial, you get to live amongst the rich, go to the finest universities, and become successful. Congratulations! If you score low, you get to live in the slums, hungry and poor. And if you fail the trial, you get taken away to “camps” where you get experimented on until you die. No pressure, right? Our two protagonists are June and Day. June is a prodigy, getting a perfect score on her Trial, all ready to lead a promising career in the military. Day failed his trial, escaping to live in the streets. He is a wanted criminal, spreading unrest amongst the poor and destroying Republic property. June and Day each live their separate lives, until Day is framed for the murder of June’s brother. June swears to get Day and destroy him for what he did. But June and Day soon learn that nothing is what it seems. The Republic has manipulated Trial scores, hurt, and killed in order to remain in control. As these new revelations come into light, June must decide weather to stick with her promising future and her life long beliefs, or to give up everything she has earned to join a wanted criminal in his dangerous quest to do right.
Prodigy begins where Legend left off. Day and June are on the run from the Republic’s soldiers. They plan to find the infamous revolutionary group known as the Patriots to help them escape to the Colonies. But, it turns out not to be that simple (of course). Day and June get sucked into a terrifying new plot to overthrow the Republic, starting with the newly “appointed” elector, Anden. However, things aren’t always what they seem. The lines between the bad guys and the good guys start to blur, and June and Day learn the truth about the Colonies, the Republic’s past, and where exactly they stand in the eyes of the rest of the world.
The nice thing about this book is that it gave the readers some more background information about the dystopian world it takes place in, as well as some historical background to fill the holes in the first book (what little there were). Some Dystopian novels tend to focus on their immediate settings and neglect to mention what happens in other parts of the world. Why doesn’t another country come and help? Is everyone dead, or did other places survive with no way to contact the outside world? Prodigy didn’t do that. Thank you Marie Lu.
I was never bored with this book. New characters were introduced, new conflicts arose, and the moral conflicts especially gnawed at my mind until the wee hours of the morning. This book is emotional, and wonderful, and clever, and exciting. That ending… my goodness…that ending was… I don’t cry at books, never have, but I sure came close. I give it an eleven out of ten.