Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy

Prodigy
by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Publication Date: 29 January 2013
Putnam Juvenile, Hardcover, 371 pages
Source: Library

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WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

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?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

Rating: ★★★★★

‘My life has been a lie.’

‘I can’t carry on with life.’

Those were the two most common things I said when I read Prodigy. It was filled with many unexpected twists and turns in the plot (do be mentally prepared for this. When I say ‘unexpected’, I mean very unexpected), all of which left me breathless and dying to know what happens next. It’s truly one of those books where you simply can’t stop reading. Prodigy was packed with non-stop action – there wasn’t a single dull moment when I read it. Even when I was three-quarters of my way through, I didn’t feel like I had read a lot, which goes to show how fast-paced the story was.

Like in Legend, Prodigy was written from two perspectives: Day’s and June’s. I personally found this writing style extremely effective in portraying the characters and things they experience. It was also well-blended to feed my curiosities as to what they were thinking, as well as their emotions towards the various situations. What I liked a lot about Prodigy was that I could relate well with Day and June – I understood where they were coming from, and shared similar doubts, thoughts and feelings.

Now, on to the story!

From the very beginning, everything was already going downhill. I felt like Day and June were drifting apart. Somehow, they seemed rather distant, and appeared to be hiding things from each other. There was a lot of distrust between them, in my opinion, as well as suspicions and possibilities of what could happen next. As the story developed, these feelings grew stronger – there were characters that told Day what he should do and what he shouldn’t. At first, it seemed harmless, like the characters were sharing how they felt and it allows the problems on hand to be viewed from various perspectives. However, it slowly started to grow annoying. I felt like they were pressuring Day when warned him of what could happen; it’s like they want him to stop what he’s doing, or change his course of action, or stop trusting June. All these were tearing Day and June apart bit by bit (and it was tearing my heart apart bit by bit, too).

More focus was placed on Tess in Prodigy, and it allowed me to learn more about her and understand her more. Initially, I pitied her. She deserved something good after what she had gone through for her entire life, but… it’s just not meant to be. Later on in the book, I started to grow really irritated with her – I would say that I actually hate her. She’s so childish! Not to mention unreasonable at times. I really could not stand her. I think that Tess can be compared to a rose: she appears as a sweet and innocent girl, but she hides her ugly side, and you won’t see it unless the situation forces her to. Nevertheless, I guess I understand why Day still cared so much about her despite their arguments – they’ve been living on the streets together for a really long time, after all.

Next, Anden. Goodness, I couldn’t stop going on and on about how good-looking he was, and I just swooned over him so badly. Here’s an extract from Prodigy, describing Anden’s looks:

“The light from the wall lamps catches the wavy edges of his hair, making it shine; his olive skin has a warm, golden glow; his eyes are rich with the color of spring leaves. … He’s some mix of Latin blood, but the ever-so-slight slant of his large eyes and the delicateness of his brow reveal a hint of Asian heritage.” 

I really loved him for the fact that he was nothing like his father – he truly wanted the best for the people of the Republic, and was trying so hard to find ways to do so.

I never really had a liking towards Kaede, but towards the end of Prodigy, I couldn’t help but love her. She sacrificed so much, and took countless risks just to help Day and June. She’s also super bad-ass! Every crazy and impossible thing was proved possible by her. And just as my liking towards her grew, BAM – she’s dead. Gone as quick as the snap of one’s fingers. I was breaking down on the inside. How can someone so awesome just leave like that?! I was terribly upset over her death, but oddly enough, it seemed to fit in well with the story.

To round up my review on Prodigy, I must say that Ms. Lu creates wonderful suspense, and the build-up for the climax at the end was marvelous. So was the descent after the climax – it wasn’t abrupt or awkward, but a very smooth one. And as for the ending, I was sobbing so badly. I re-read the ending of Prodigy three times ’cause it just wouldn’t sink in, and all three times I was a crying mess. I think that Taylor Swift’s Sad, Beautiful, Tragic fits well as a theme song for Day and June’s relationship in Prodigy. They’re like star-crossed lovers, and it was no doubt heartbreaking at the end. Still, I was glad Ms. Lu ended the story the way she did – it gave me hope that something good would happen in the last installment of the trilogy, Champion.

Prodigy was simply mind-blowing.

And now…

I can’t carry on with life (until I read Champion).

Yours truly

Signature--JZ

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