Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

9 November, 2012 Reviews 25 comments

Review: Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile on January 29th 2013
Pages: 371
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Swap
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

Well, well, well. Here I am yet again eating my words. A year ago, when I read Legend, I complained about the world building. Mind you, I did think it was a fast-paced, exciting read, but it felt incomplete as a dystopian novel because I couldn’t fully visualize how the society fit into the world as a whole. By the end, I was left with so many questions about how everything functioned. I felt like Marie Lu was purposefully keeping secrets from me just to string me along to book two. Well, I supposed it did work and to my immense delight, it was well worth the wait. And I loved it.

Instantly, I noticed a change from Legend to Prodigy. The biggest being the change in my opinion over the two main characters June and Day. Originally, June and I didn’t mesh well, but in Prodigy that situation was flipped. It was Day that was the new thorn in my side for the majority of the book. From the beginning, June warns Day of the Patriots and their leader, Razor, but Day, blinded by his hatred of the Republic for destroying his family, fails to heed her warning. A part of this is due to doubt of June’s loyalty being placed in his head from other Patriots and his best friend, Tess, who is not ashamed to show her dislike for June. And just when I thought I had it up to *here* with him, he wised up and took action. The “old” Day that warmed my heart in Legend was back.

June, on the other hand, I liked very much. I thought her character growth was a vast improvement from Legend because she’s clearly learned from past actions. In Prodigy, she is more aware of the corruption in the Republic and is therefore able to pinpoint wary situations. Yet, the thing she struggles with the most in this sequel are her feelings for Day and how their relationship could possibly work out given their backgrounds. Can they remain together even with the knowledge that June’s actions in Legend resulted in the murdering of his family? Are they simply too different for it to work being from opposite economic classes? And then there’s Anden, the new Elector Primo, whose interest in June was shown in Legend and apparently still holding firm. Wouldn’t it just be easier to be with someone like him? That’s the predicament June finds herself in. And while it may sound rather angsty the way I’ve described it, I never felt it was overdone to the point of instant “headdesk-ation.”

Another improvement was the world building. And with that, I’m now wondering if I’m often too hard on first books in dystopians. I’m noticing a trend with world building becoming more pronounced in the second books in series when I usually prefer some sort of set-up to the story. (Perhaps this is just my high-fantasy mind kicking into gear.) But everything came together nicely here. We found out how the country was split into two separate ones. We find out how the outside world views the Republic. We find out what’s going on in the Colonies (though, I would have loved to hear more about them). Sure, I would have loved to know a little of this during Legend, but I have to say, I’ve enjoyed the ride thus far.

Finally, there’s the ending, which I will warn other readers, does end in a rather disturbing cliffhanger. *sniff* In my Legend review, I complained about the illusion of Day and June’s invincibility. N-n-not so in Prodigy. *hiccup*


Okay, okay. I admit it. I was a teensy bit emotional. But only for, like, five seconds (plus an hour or two…maybe…). And now I’m secretly cursing myself for ever complaining in the first place. Why? WHY?! WHY?! OH, GOD. WHY, DO AUTHORS KEEP DESTROYING MY FEELINGS?! First, I was in a bit of shock. Marie Lu wouldn’t do that to me. I mean, she had built up the anticipation perfectly throughout the entire novel. I thought ALL THE THINGS were going to be okie-dokie. 

*We interrupt your regularly scheduled review for a moment of angst*


/end *moment of angst*

(Er… Sorry, that was weird.)

So then when I finished the book and was LEFT ON THE BLOODY CLIFF, I was like, “Marie… no…. you, evil genius… no…” So basically, Marie Lu has me hook, line and sinker. I’m completely enthralled in this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Big thank you to Anna from Literary Exploration for lending me her ARC! 

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

25 Responses to “Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu”

  1. Realm of Fiction

    Ahh cliffhangers… I just don’t know how I feel about them! Most of the time I get over it pretty quickly, but there are always those that haunt you until the release of the next book. 😉
    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to reading this. I enjoyed the first book a lot, though I understand what you mean about the world-building. It’s tricky to with dystopian novels, I guess, to get the balance right. There needs to be enough explanation to make sense, but no one wants everything revealed in one go. Well I’m glad to hear you were happier with that aspect at least in this book. Wonderful review, Steph!

    • Stephanie Sinclair

      @Realm of Fiction This one will haunt me till no end. That’s the thing about reading an ARC. T_T
      It is tricky with dystopians indeed. I’ll have to be more patient in the future because it was worth it in this case. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Sam!

  2. cynicalsapphire

    Oooh, I’m excited about how high you rated this. I was a little disinterested after seeing a few meh reviews for Legend. BRING IT ON.
    Also, I love your new image. 🙂

  3. LegendTrilogy

    @Cuddlebuggery  Your review makes me wish I have a copy of the ARC too! Can’t wait till Prodigy gets released! @Marie_Lu @PenguinTeen

    • Stephanie Sinclair

      @Lisa FicTalk Gotta love the ugly cry! You should totally read it! It reads like you are watching an action movie. And I’m really looking forward to the day it becomes a film because I think it will translate perfectly there.

  4. elena

    NOOO I am so afraid of the ending of this now!! It sounds like it’s even better than Legend and I’m super excited to read it. I’m curious to read more about the world!

  5. elena

    ahhh I am so afraid of this ending now! love hearing that we get to learn more about the world and it sounds even better than Legend. I’m excited to read it, although I’m going in with trepidation.

  6. Addie R

    Ohno, there’s a cliffhanger!? I’m about 3 quarters through with Prodigy and have to agree with everything you’ve pointed out in your review, but I am so dreading that cliffhanger. D;

  7. Kara_M

    Okay, now I want to read this. I felt much the same as you over Legend. It was a fairly large disappointment. I’m glad that most of my complaints are remedied in this book. I’m not thrilled about the huge cliffhanger and I still want to know what happened to the dog, but I’m going to attempt it. Great review, Steph.

  8. thenocturnall

    I had those exact same problems with Legend – although I did (moderately) enjoy it, I saw much room for improvement. I’m happy to hear there is some, especially with the worldbuilding. I tend to be very sensitive about dystopian worlds too. 
    I am not happy about the cliffhanger, though. 
    Fantastic review, Stephanie. 🙂

  9. Bookish_Belle

    Another cliffhanger? Man I hate those. Mainly because I’m super impatient. This sounds good but maybe I’ll wait for the next book before reading it.

  10. Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

    GAHHHHHHH, I WANT THIS BOOK SO BAD! I listened to the audio version of the first one, and I just NEED the Prodigy….ugh.  I hear there is a “bathtub” scene too.  I don’t know what that means, except hello nurse.

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