I’ve been on a dystopian kick for a while (shocking I know) so here is what I’ve been reading lately. I don’t usually write reviews for books that have 2500 reviews already, after all what is there to say that hasn’t been said? These are just brief summaries and very few thoughts about them…
Legend by Marie Lu 4 stars
Two 15 y/o’s at the opposite end of the spectrum, one a rich, privileged kid and one a street con and famous criminal, come together to take on the powerful Republic. In a post-apocalyptic world, the classes divide life in extreme ways. Day and June are two gifted teens that just may change the world. I found this book a true delight. I sped read through it and loved the distinct voices. The action is near constant without overwhelming the story and balances with some good drama and emotion. It’s not perfect though and the world building struggles heavily, or rather the lack there of. The concepts are familiar and basic so the story definitely skimps on adding to current lore or even developing it’s own world. It’s more romance than anything and the two kids act like seasoned adults considerably more than teenagers. However I still really enjoyed this and got easily swept up in the intensity and drama.
As soon as I put down Legend, I picked up the sequel. June and Day have escaped LA and are working with the Patriots to take down the Republic. Each has their own assignment, necessitating the two to be separated for most of the book. I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the first book, but it surprisingly does despite some continuing problems. Once again the world building is problematic and sparse and I think it always will be the case in this trilogy (or more). The characters don’t really grow much or have any distinct progress but I liked them regardless. The action is omnipresent and interesting and the characters themselves are engaging. They finally showed signed of being impressionable teenagers and some romance angst, which while eye rolling I had to appreciate. I recommend both of these books for readers wanting more YA romance with a dystopian background than the other way around.
Another YA (I seem to be on a theme). This one stars Penryn as she races to save her crippled sister from the evil archangels. Angels have descended from heaven and killed most people, forcing others to scavenge and avoid gangs. Teaming up with Angel, Raffe, Penryn has a rocky road to finding her sister. This one is less romance and more about world building, such as it is, and the circumstances the two main characters find themselves. The setting is very familiar post-apocalyptic and doesn’t really stretch beyond the new twist of angels being the horrific act destroying life as we know it. The girl is 17 but acts much older. However there is some good character building and background that make this more reasonable and believable. I liked the shifting feeling of morality and desperation this story gives off without ever going too dark and depressing. The writing is engaging and the book flew by quickly. My only qualms were the ending because I wanted it to go a different way and the fact that the sequel isn’t out for another year. This first book was published in 2011 so that’s quite a lot of time between books.