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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


97/100: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend - Marie Lu

[Still catching up on book reviews from last year.]


I think I would have liked this book a lot more if I hadn't read so many dystopias in the last few years. But as it was, nothing about the plot was surprising or horrifying to me; I kept hoping for a twist that I didn't see coming, but it never came.

So what is left is world-building, writing, and characterization. Although both June and Day were well characterized and easy to picture, there were moments when I couldn't buy into their love story. Sure, June was in the process of "changing," but she was also pretty much responsible for every bad thing that happened to Day in the course of the novel, but I guess sexual attraction can make up for a lot. On her own June was a very interesting character -- she was very disciplined and whip-smart and took a hard line for justice. In this, I could see the book's roots as being inspired by [book:Les Misérables|24280], as she did feel very much like a female version of Javert.

Still, I sort of wish I hadn't known about the Les Miserables connection for this book, because I was hoping for more and searching for connections that weren't really there. It was not a retelling but was more of an "inspired by" sort of deal, but really it just felt like Lu wanted to make Les Mis into slash fiction.

I think the most interesting part of this book was the world-building. I loved the way the costumes were described, and I was intrigued by the relationships between the different contingencies within a fractured United States. I wanted to know more about how this fracture had occurred and more about the past of this version of the U.S., but Lu was withholding of those details. I may read on to learn more, but it's not at the top of my list.