Review: “Prodigy” by Marie Lu

ProdigyProdigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu

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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. 

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?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

2 1/2 stars

WARNING: This review WILL have spoilers of the first book; read my review of Legend if you’re interested!

I need to stop reading sophomore/middle/second books in trilogies. I can’t seem to find one that isn’t suffering from a sophomore slump HARD.

To put it bluntly? This was not a “breathtaking thriller”–I was so bored, I might not have finished the book if it wasn’t due back at the library and I didn’t want to have to rent it out again.

When the book begins, Day and June are hunting for the Patriots…despite the fact that Day has ardently tried to have nothing to do with them for years upon years. Right before they find the Patriots, the old Elector Primo dies and his son, Anden, ascends to the position. When they meet up with the Patriots, they realize–quite quickly and without asking the price–that it is best to take the mission the Patriots want to give them in order to get Day medical attention. Only after they agree are they told that the Patriots want them to assassinate the new Elector–and they want to pimp June out as bait.

Now, maybe this is a personal opinion, but Day and June’s relationship has always been iffy for me. I mean, they’re fifteen, even if it is hard to remember that sometimes. In Legend, I thought it could work because, hey, it’s young love and what have you. In Prodigy, it just gets ridiculous. Too much of the book is driven by their “love,” even though they spend a majority of the book apart. Also, I wasn’t kidding. The Patriots grand plan is to send June out to win the new Elector’s heart because he’s ridiculously attracted to this fifteen year old girl and wants to make her his wife so bad he conveniently forgets there’s pretty compelling evidence she’s a traitor. The entire situation makes me feel awkward, and I don’t buy a cent of it. It gets worse when even Lu seems to forget that they are actually fifteen, not older.

This isn’t the only characterization problem, though. Remember Day’s friend, Tessa? Well, when we get back to her–and it really hasn’t been that long since we’ve seen her–she’s suddenly really in love with Day and “a lot more grown up.” Though there may have been a gap between the publishing of the two books, in book time this is like her character flipped a switch real fast. Her severe hatred of all things June also makes this worse.

The way this book is written also works against it this time. It tries to go back and forth between Day and June, but this is totally Day’s book–despite the fact that June is the one constantly referred to as the “prodigy.” June has her own story line, yes, but where it really gets interesting is how it affects Day and their combined relationship.

There is also a brief jaunt into the Colonies for some reason, which paints the Colonies as some communist crazy town. Why this happens I have no idea, and it just seems to take up space at the end of the book.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending is also a complete cliche. The things that happen between Day and June were the final straw in leaving me to close to book and whallop it against my forehead.

I continued to read this book for the character of Day, and he did not disappoint me–except when he was thinking about June. I honestly hope that they end up with different people, because that seems to make them both happier. I might read the last book in this trilogy, only because I made it so far. I rated Legend 4 stars, and I do think this story can get back to that. Here’s to hoping.


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