Book Review – Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

Posted January 4, 2014 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA / 5 Comments

Book Review – Legend (Legend #1) by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on November 29, 2011
Pages: 305
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library


What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

June and Day lead two completely different lives. June is a Republic soldier and Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. After the death of Metias, June’s brother, their lives cross when Day becomes the prime suspect. Finding Day also leads to the exposure of government secrets that cause June to question everything.

Legend is told from the alternating POVs of June and Day. Naturally, they fall for each but unexpectedly I wasn’t too bothered by this predictable turn as Lu somehow manages to make this work. My only issue with the characterization was the lack of differentiation between their two voices. I caught on around halfway through that the sections in bold were Day’s, but based on the writing style alone it often took me several lines to understand who was who in each section.

Big boo in regards to worldbuilding since it was fairly non-existent. What we are given: based in a location known as the Republic, the enemy is another location known as The Colonies, both The Republic and The Colonies used to make up The United States, the poor/slums are dying from the plague and kids are sent to something known as the Trials in order to determine their futures in The Republic. All interesting pieces of the puzzle but lacked too many vital pieces in order to get the full picture. I have high hopes that this will be solved in subsequent books.

I didn’t find anything extremely original about Legend but it was a fairly thrilling and exciting read that I finished in a single day. The bits we do learn about this world do intrigue me and I look forward to finding out more. June is a strong and engaging character and I especially loved the parts of the story told from her POV. I will definitely be continuing this series since I’m forever a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories.



5 responses to “Book Review – Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

  1. Haha, I can’t argue with you on the worldbuilding, especially in book one. 🙂 I will say the series improves dramatically, at least in my opinion. June and Day are great characters and the stories move pretty fast, which is always a plus. I think so many dystopian books I read a few years ago would read completely differently to me now, so I love hearing your perspective on it (after you’ve presumably read many more dystopian/post-apocalyptic books and it doesn’t have the advantage of being early in the trend). A lot of my enjoyment of this series comes down to timing, I think. Wonderful honest review Bonnie! Can’t wait to hear what you think of books two and three.
    Lauren recently posted…THE KILL ORDER Blog Tour: Interview with James Dashner & GiveawayMy Profile

    • Nope, we’re well into the dystopian trend and I think that’s the reason for my indifference to so many these days. It’s one of my favorite genres though so I can’t help but keep trying. 🙂

  2. Prodigy seemed a bit better to me in terms of world building/plot, but, yeah, Legend definitely isn’t all that stand out. Most YA dystopians are pretty terrible, so this one’s still one of the better ones, what with at least not being ALL about the romance.

    But seriously, if they were 20 instead of 15, that would automatically improve this series.

    Also, I love the cheat with the font to make the POVs clear. Otherwise, I probably would have struggled. I don’t know why pubs don’t do that more, since most authors aren’t great at distinct POVs.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: The Gods of Heavenly PunishmentMy Profile

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