Prodigy by Marie Lu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ah, this is the kind of writing I came to (masochistically) love and expect from Lu in The Young Elites series. I could see a great difference in the overall angst and pain (to the reader, as well as June and Day) between Legend and Prodigy, which greatly added to the depth and individuality of this series.
The best thing about Prodigy, without a doubt, was its world building. The best dystopian novels are those that create a world that makes sense both within itself, and as a logical extension of today's world. Both The Republic and The Colonies were described in a way that never made me question their reality, without bogging me down with extraneous details. The concept behind The Colonies was especially intriguing (rampant consumerism gone mad), and that is something I look forward to learning more about in Champion.
The political aspects of this book were intense. I have no idea who I actually want to win ultimately out of the major political groups! The incorporation of back-stabbing and double agents were very true to the often cutthroat nature of the political world (albeit in an exaggerated way). I also appreciated the descriptions of the rest of the world's politics. So many dystopian novels talk in great depth about their own society, and forget that others probably exist too. Oh, and Africa is not presented as destitute and hopeless for once - hurrah!
One of my major problems with Legend was that I felt that June and Day's relationship was rushed. Lu definitely remedied this in Prodigy. Seeing the relationship between these two develop throughout the book, their love no longer felt forced. It was one of those perfect, angsty relationships where one of them was always upset with or separated from the other for varying reasons. This made their love a lot more realistic (and therefore heartbreaking) this time around.
Be prepared for the ending of this novel to destroy your soul a hundred times more than Legend. I will say no more.
Overall, this novel had superb world building, with brilliant political aspects and a believable romance. Even if you did not love Legend, I urge you to read this novel anyway!
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