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Stacey O'Neale

We review fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction books in both young adult and adult. Our website also features contests, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more! http://www.fantasybookaddict.com
Legend - Marie Lu This review was completed by Michael Cummings, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide.I should start this review by saying that all in all, I am not a big reader of dystopian novels (future or otherwise). Sure, I love a good Sci-Fi epic like any other bred and raised on Star Wars geek, but all in all I'm not usually interested in near future sci-fi, calamitous or not. Which made it all the more fascinating to me that Marie Lu's debut novel and first volume in her Legend series, "Legend," was so mesmerizing. "Legend" is a near future story set in a future Los Angeles following the collapse of the United States. Told from the first person perspective of Day, a wanted criminal, and June, a rising law enforcement officer, the novel flips back and forth each chapter as we see the world through their eyes, waiting for the two world views to mesh together. June and Day have no reason to interact with each other until the day June's brother is murdered and Day is fingered as the prime suspect. As the facts are shed to reveal the truth beneath, we learn that there is more to this story than we realized, and interesting tidbits that seemed spurious take on new meaning and context. The novel wasn't perfect, though. It was never clear to me how Day, a rebellious street punk with a definite antiestablishment agenda, became the most wanted criminal in the Republic. Before being accused of murder, none of the crimes we are told about involved anything more than vandalism and disrespect for authority. Yet even before we see the paths of these two characters cross, it is plainly telegraphed that Day is the Republic's most wanted. I understand that in a tyranny, anyone that speaks out against the establishment must be silenced, but Day, who is only his late teens, seems to have earned a disproportionate amount of attention. Lu gets away with this, though, by giving us an engaging story that deftly intertwines two disparate views into a single, cohesive story that has us both rooting for resolution and disappointed when it all comes to a conclusion. I look forward to seeing where Lu takes this series in her next novel, and would recommend it as a good read to YA and up looking for a quick escape to a darker future.