“Prodigy” by Marie Lu is the second story of a dystopian society in the trilogy that began with “Legend.” In “Legend,” the two protagonists, Day and June, begin as enemies. They each believe the worst about each other.
Day believes that June was to blame for his mother’s death, and June believes that Day killed her beloved brother. It would be difficult to read the second book without having read the first — to understand the whole future world that Lu created and to understand what drives the characters.
The second book moves at a slightly slower pace than the first. “Legend” is filled with action and emotion. “Prodigy” is filled with less grand action scenes and more political intrigue and relationships. Readers who thrived on the action-filled pace of the first book might be a bit disappointed by the more cerebral second book, but “Prodigy” is surely setting the stage for the third book in the trilogy where the future of the Republic (their country) will be decided.
And while there is less action than in the first book, June and Day agree to assassinate the Elector Primo (head of government) in exchange for the help of the Patriots, the rebel group. That leads to a wonderfully written scene filled with excitement.
June will have to decide between two charismatic and powerful young men and (I believe) she will also come to realize how powerful she herself can be. In a way, “Prodigy” is the perfect in-between book. The first book sets the stage, creates the powerful characters (and introduces the important ones), and is action-filled. The second book gives more of the back story into the Republic and the hows and whys of its creation. And of course, the third book will bring it all together and let the readers know what decisions and actions the main characters take.
It’s a romance, but it’s also a story about deception and power. It’s about a group of politicians playing a game with people’s lives so they can remain in power. And it’s about how young, idealistic people can change the course of a country.
Marie Lu writes a well thought-out, emotional story, and it is one that young adult readers will enjoy.
Please note: This review is based on the advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, for review purposes.
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