Book Talk- Prodigy by Marie Lu (The Legend Trilogy Book #2)

Prodigy

Finished: 6/18/15

SPOILERS FOR “THE LEGEND TRILOGY” BEYOND THIS POINT

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?

So, a little while ago I posted a book talk on the first book in the “Legend Series” and now that I have finished the second book I think I can say that I liked it even more than the first. I’ve always had this weird thing where I like the second book in trilogies the most, since you don’t have to go through all the exposition and introduction stuff from the first book, or the big pile of depressing stuff that usually happens in the third, and “Prodigy” was no exception. We got a lot of time for character development and world building and these great action scenes and it was altogether really awesome and fast paced.

Also, I AM NOT EMOTIONALLY OKAY.

SPOILERS FOR “PRODIGY” AND “THE LEGEND TRILOGY” BEYOND THIS POINT

So we start out about where we left off in “Legend” and get into the stuff about June and Day looking for the Patriots, and I’m starting to get getting really into it, but then about a tenth of the way through I had this realization: “crap, I am really attached to these characters.” I did really like them in the first book, but it took a few chapters of the second to realize that I am really concerned for the mental health and well-being of these protagonists, especially in their situation of being fugitives, and with one of them having a major injury. And now I am seriously invested in what happens to these people, and I desperately need them to survive this series.

Also, I need to announce I officially ship June and Day. I mean, I know I kind of complained about the instant love but within the course of this book I have become complete Iparing trash. I just love their dynamic with each other, and how they both take care of each other at different points. And they actually kind of addressed the instant love thing! There was this scene somewhere towards the beginning where June says that they haven’t known each other long enough to be in love, and after that we get to see their relationship develop and see them being really awkward at some points and watch them learning about each other and fighting together and I don’t know exactly when it happened but I just started shipping it really hard.

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Anyway, they make it to the patriots, and I’m getting this kind of weird vibe. In the first book I kind of pictured them as this underground resistance, but they’re really like hidden within the Republic’s army and the leader is a double agent working as a Republic officer. I couldn’t really place it then, but there was something off about Razor and the patriots in general, but we did get a break in the action, and we did get to see Kaede and Tess again, which was pretty cool.

So after they find the Patriots we move on to the main plot. Earlier in the book we found out that the Elector had died, and his son is going to be taking his place. So in exchange for the Patriots helping them they want June and Day to be part of an assassination plot to kill the new Elector and start a revolution. And I’m thinking “ok, cool, we’re going to get this undercover spy/conspiracy type story and it’s going to be all epic and stuff and then there will be a revolution in the next book, I could get into this.”

And then we actually met Anden. And I didn’t know what to think anymore.

We get to this part after June lets herself get captured where she goes to dinner with Anden, the new Elector, and I was expecting him to be this awful, infuriating person, but then he started talking about ending the trials and said that he wants to release Eden and the other children from the plague experiments, and all this other stuff about reforming the Republic, and he actually seemed genuine about all of it.

And now I didn’t know who to trust. Like the patriots were pretty sketchy, but part of me was worried that Anden was secretly manipulating June to get her back on the Republics side, and was only promising to release Eden to lure out Day and that just acting like a good person. But then I’m like “No, June is smarter than that, she’d know better, she wouldn’t fall for that.” But at the same time this suspicious part of my mind is going “They had better not be using Day’s family against him again. Because I will scream at this book.”

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But then I kept reading and Anden actually seemed like a decent person, and I started realizing that he was actually sincere in wanting to end all this horrible stuff and reform the Republic. And then I started thinking that that’s actually a really interesting concept. I’ve read a lot of dystopias, but I’ve never actually seen a series is about reforming the government and society instead of taking it down. And now I’m thinking holy crap, we need to stop this assassination.

Meanwhile we also have this kind of downplayed Tess-Day-June-Anden love square forming, and to be honest, I can’t really see any of the pairing happening besides Day and June. I know I just said that I ship Iparing really hard and all, but I see Tess/Day and June/Anden as really kind of one sided. Like I could see where Tess was coming from and she had the right to be upset about everything, but I feel like Day really sees her as more of a younger sibling, and I don’t know if anyone else thought this way but the whole thing between June and Anden kind of hit me as more of a kind of mutual admiration than anything romantic. In all honesty, I’m just kind of glad the love square stuff was a pretty minor part of the story. This series really seems more focused on plot and action and the relationship between June and Day, so I kind of hope the romance issue stuff kind of stay in the background.

So back in the main plot, we get this great action scene where June and Day finally meet back up and he understood her message from earlier and they stop the assassination, but now they’re fugitives again in the Republic, but then they finally make it to the Colonies. I was really interested in the Colonies, I don’t know why, but I was kind of originally picturing them as America the way it is now, and they kept being mentioned as a place where they could escape, so I figured they were a safe place, but in reality the Colonies honestly do not seem any better than the Republic, if not worse. It was really like this weird place ruled by cooperate overlords and there’s still all this poverty and I’m pretty sure there was an ad for selling your children or something. I don’t know, it seems like a pretty crappy place to live. And June and Day were definitely not any safer there, especially since June was starting to get really sick (Does she have the plague or something, I’m really concerned about this development.)

And then Kaede shows up.

Oh my god speaking of which I need to talk about KAEDE. Kaede is one of those side characters that I desperately want to know more about, like for some reason she is really darn interesting to me. It’s like whenever June and Day need help she magically appears and does something really cool and/or important. And every time we see her we learn some other badass aspect of her life. Like the first time we meet her she’s a bartender, then she’s a street fighter, then she turns out to be a Patriot, but then not really, and then she turns out to be an insanely good fighter pilot. Again, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I want to know more on Kaede’s backstory. I would love to read like a short novella on her or something, I just have this major thing for interesting side characters.

So then, after Kaede shows up we learn that the Patriot’s leader was actually working with the senate the whole time so they could kill Anden and not have to go through any of the reforms. And a small part of my mind is going

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And another, more prevalent, part is just:

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And overall I’m just like HOLY FREAKING PLOT TWIST.

Then they need to escape back to the Republic and this amazing, epic action scene happens where they steal a Colonies jet and Kaede flies them back to the Republic at like 800 miles per hour and they’re freefalling and taking off suddenly and she’s flying vertically along the wall and through a freaking tunnel and this entire part was SO DARN COOL.

So then they crash-land in the middle of a street in the Republic and it’s insane and bullets are flying and I’m expecting Kaede to turn around and make some sort of snarky comment or something but she doesn’t do anything and then June looks over to her…

And she’s dead. She is just straight up dead.

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And the thing was, I was really upset that this really cool character had suddenly been shot and killed, but there’s no time to compress the death because the action keeps going, and it’s written so well. Day makes this amazing speech on the building that turns all the people to supporting Anden, and everything looks like it’s going to work out well, but then I realize, there’s a bunch of pages left in this book. And this is a dystopia series…There is no way that anything good can happen within those pages…

Now before I get to the part that BRUTALLY RIPPED MY HEART OUT WITH FEELS, I have to say that I am so glad that Day was reunited with Eden. Day cares so much about his family, and that scene with the boy on the train emotionally ruined me (you could just tell he was seeing his brother in the same situation and it was so freaking sad), so it was so good to see them back together. Plus it shows that Anden actually comes through on his promises.

BUT THEN, June and Day are in their separate hospital rooms, and they ask to talk to Day, and we find out that because of the experiments he went through as a child, he is dying and has only a few months to live…

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WHAT DO YOU MEAN DAY IS DYING. This character has spent a good part of his life labeled as a wanted criminal, watched most of his family die, been tortured, and has gone through a buttload of other painful things, he is finally able to be with the girl he loves and his only surviving family, and now he is DYING. THIS IS EXTREMELY PAINFUL AND NOT AT ALL OKAY.

And then, on top of he does that thing that characters do in YA books where he breaks up with June so she’ll take an opportunity to train as a Princeps instead of staying with him. It’s like, I know he’s breaking up with her so she’ll take Anden’s offer and have a secure position after he dies and all, but the whole time I’m just thinking TELL HER. I get where this scene is coming from, but he could just explain what’s going on! These are both mature characters, they could figure this out. Plus this is June we are talking about, she’s going to figure it out on her own, and then there’s going to be even more emotional pain! And the whole part where they break up just SO FREAKING SAD. It was very well done, but it murdered me with feels, and I really hope they get back together in “Champion”.

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So overall, this book ruined me emotionally, but it was awesome. Like before I already have the next book on my kindle because I need to know what happens! Even though this book repeatedly ripped my heart out!

And on the plus side we did get to see June reunited with Ollie the dog, so I am currently a happy dog-loving book nerd.

See you next time for my rant on “Champion”! Thanks for reading!

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