Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?
Description taken from Goodreads.
I started rereading the Legend trilogy, one of my favorite series, as a part of Slowathon, and I loved rereading Legend so much that I had to go on! Back when I first read this book, I made the decision not to review it because it disappointed me (much to my chagrin). At the time, I couldn’t understand why the second book didn’t give me the same glorious feeling as the first, but now, I think I’m starting to get it.
One of my favorite elements to Legend is how tight everything is. The book was edited flawlessly, with the pacing and the writing and the plot all exactly in place. Next to nothing is noticeably repetitive, and it manages to maintain the magic of the story. That’s not true for Prodigy, especially in the middle of the story. What ends up happening is I get the impression that the writer is someone trying to imitate Marie Lu. The characters are brilliant, but they’re constantly pointing out frivolously detailed information to prove how observant they are. The plot points are thought-out and realistic, but they’re paced too far apart. And where there should be action, there’s deliberation. Everything is talked about repeatedly.
As much as I hate to admit this, Prodigy suffers from Second Book Syndrome. No, it doesn’t suffer very severely, but it’s there.
For a while, I wondered whether or not Prodigy was even necessary, or if this series could’ve been a duology. I need to read Champion before I make a final judgement call. As of now, I think the second was necessary, despite the lengthy middle portion. Because, in all honesty, THIS SERIES IS BRILLIANT :D
While there are little flaws here and there, they’re almost entirely on a critique basis. It’s enough to warrant an almost in that statement, but none of this stopped me from thoroughly enjoying the book as a whole. I was sucked into the world Lu had created, and I was still in awe of her writing ability.
Great writers continue to develop as they progress through their stories. They bring in extra backstory, extra world-building. They’re constantly creating. Lu does this very well. It’s not perfect. There are info-dumps and rough bits that could’ve been polished out, but she brings much more perspective into her world as she writes.
Partially because of this, I would say Prodigy has more of a political feel than Legend did, and I would also say that the second time around, I appreciated this feel more than I did before. It provides a different look into the world of Legend, and it makes it not so much a collection of Marvel-esque cheap thrills.
However, I also think that it means the book has less universal appeal than Legend. That doesn’t mean I love it any less; it just means I probably wouldn’t recommend Prodigy just because someone enjoyed Legend.
And in defense of Prodigy, the beginning and end of the story are well put-together and reminiscent of its predecessor. Most of the truly important material comes out in the beginning and in the end, hence the thought that maybe Prodigy wasn’t necessary. The middle is great for development, for fleshing out the true thoughts of Day and June and for helping us to know the world better. Knowing what I know now about Champion, I would say Lu spent a great deal of time setting things up for the finale, much like the role of Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire, though CF was better put together.
All in all, I’m glad I reread this one. Despite its flaws, I loved Prodigy, maybe even more than I loved it the first time, and I’m dying to reread Champion now! 4.5 stars.