Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Legend By Maria Lu

This is ANOTHER dystopian novel about a future where the United States is divvied up and there’s the “good” country and then the rest, which has devolved into chaos. In this case Los Angeles and the surrounding areas make up the “good” known as the Republic.  The city is divided up into sectors and there are wealthy areas and poor areas. Illnesses rage through the poor sectors, as well as violence, while the wealthy are insulated from almost all inconveniences of everyday life. Day, the protagonist, is a poor boy that is separated from his family because he escaped death and his family can’t know he’s alive or they will be in danger. Day spends his time wreaking havoc like a modern Robin Hood by saving people, robbing banks and distributing the money to poor people or destroying symbols of the Republic. He is careful to cause as little damage to people as possible and is known throughout the Republic as a thorn in the side of the government because he hasn’t ever been caught. Tess is a street urchin he has befriended and together they seem to accomplish anything. 

On the other side of the story is June. She is a privileged, extraordinarily bright girl who attends college even though she is young because she is so smart and shows such promise. She is raised by her brother because her parents were killed when they were younger. He’s in the army and a rising star himself. She is a bit restless at college and does manage to find herself in trouble, but because he is a captain and she has such potential, she is granted a bit more leeway. When tragedy strikes, June finds herself catapulted into serving the army and hunting down Day, the sworn enemy of her beloved Republic, until she begins asking questions about what is good and what her beloved Republic really represents. It’s an interesting tale that, although it has some violent moments, is well told and gripping. Encouraging people to not take things at face value, delve deeper, and ask questions is a great message. If dystopian novels are your thing, this is a good one to add to the list!

Ages 10-15