Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy - Marie Lu

Prodigy takes off almost immediately where Legend ended. June and Day are on the run, trying to find the only people they could turn to, the Patriots. Day still wants to find and rescue his brother Eden, whom the Republic is using for plague tests. After a slow beginning, Prodigy turns into another action-packed adventure. We see more of Tess and the new elector, Anden. We get to see Colonies!

Prodigy actually offers some improvements over Legend. We finally get more detailed world building, which was a big plus! Like I predicted in my review of the first book, the reason that there’s not much talk about Republic’s history in Legend is because our main characters didn’t know it. In Prodigy, Day sees World map for the first time in his life (which is much different than our current World map!) and we learn the whole background of the post-apocalyptic era this story takes place in. June learns the Republic’s history, of which she mostly had no idea. I must say this was one of my favorite parts of the book, because I just love to hear about what happened to the world, where it all went wrong etc., and it left me satisfied.

I was a bit scared towards the beginning that we’re in for a love-triangle, but thankfully the author didn’t lead the story in that direction, I’m really giving her credit for that. Instead, June and Day’s relationship was tested pretty hard a couple of times, which left me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see their reactions. The characters were more developed, but I didn’t like that much any of them. While I really cared for June and Day in Legend, I didn’t get that emotionally involved in Prodigy. It was a bit weird to read how these two kids are so important in the world of adults. They’re both fifteen, and even if they’re acting mature, I could hardly believe so many adult people were putting all their trust in them. It was like watching kids playing dress-ups.

I like to read dystopias with a certain (preferably high) level of probability, and while the post-apocalyptic scenario was actually very probable to happen in the future, everything else wasn’t. There was so many twist and turns working to the main characters’ advantage, it just wasn’t that believable. The ending was totally unexpected and shocking, but I thought it was just one of those cheap tricks to make the readers pine for the last book. I felt like the author didn’t know which complication she should add to the story, so she came up with something random, just for the sake of making it more dramatic.

I also didn’t particularly like the writing style, it was too simplistic. I figured the first person narrating the story in present time is the hardest for me to follow. There were a few weird words and that “yes” after every question was really getting on my nerves (“he’s your brother, yes?”). But these things were already in the first book and I don’t know why they bothered me more in Prodigy.

All in all, I can understand how a lot of readers would love this series, but I’m not a big fan. I would recommend this book to everyone who liked Legend, even if I didn’t end up liking Prodigy that much. I’d recommend it for teenagers who like intense action and unpredictable turns, but not for those who look for more complex and probable dystopian world and books with some deeper meaning and message.