(Wow, that writing on Thursdays thing lasted a whole month. I’m actually [sadly] kind of impressed with myself. I’ve been reading books for an award I’m judging and didn’t really want to write about them before that’s announced, but that’s not for a while yet. When I was told that my last review is going to appear on CBR’s parent page probably tomorrow, I figured I should maybe have some new content up for the presumably rabid readers who will come this blog’s way after that post. Right? Sure.)
As is evident from my previous reviews, I read a lot of YA. I’ve read and loved the Hunger Games (going to the movie tomorrow aaaaaahhhhh). Of course, at the library, you can’t get a copy of the Hunger Games for a couple of months. Waiting lists are a bitch, eh? A lot of people only want to read that particular book, but if you’ve got someone who will accept a substitute, you could do a lot worse than Legend. It’s also dystopian, this time set in a future US that’s split into two perpetually warring nations. In The Republic (located in the Western part of the current country), all children must submit themselves to The Trial on their 10th birthday, and their score will determine everything about their futures. Narration switches back and forth between two teenagers who were on opposite ends of the Trial’s results spectrum. June had the only perfect score in the history of the trial. At 15, she is poised to graduate from University and go on to a certainly stellar career in the Republic’s military. Day, on the other hand, failed his trial and has gone on to a fugitive life of crime. When Day’s little brother comes down with the Plague, Day does the only thing he can think of to try save him–break into a heavily guarded hospital/research lab to try to steal some Plague Cure. It is that ill-fated raid that makes June and Day’s paths cross. Day is injured and trying to escape when he kills June’s beloved older brother Matteas (spelling is a guess, an audiobook hazard). June’s first post-college task is to track down day and exact her revenge. Naturally, both of them learn things about the Republic and each other that soften their perspectives.
The book is a well-told version of well-trod ground. There’s some plausible futuristic technology, like omnipresent jumbotrons and guns that know who fired them. Even though there’s nothing too surprising being done by the awful Republic, June and Day are sympathetic characters and it’s a pleasure to watch them develop into more complex people. As I mentioned, I listened to the audiobook. Chapters alternate between the two main character’s perspectives and the readers do a good job with the rocketing emotions and actions of these two teenagers. Sequel expected this coming fall; I know I’ll be reading it.