On Reading

"When you read a book, you don't just read, you journey. This is why at first, one is always regretful upon nearing the last page, thinking that it all ends there. But it is when we look into our minds after reading that we find the new world we discovered and with dawning realization see the truth of the matter:
...that the journey never ends."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

I considered myself lucky because I discovered Legend at a time when the sequel, Prodigy, would be out soon. I thought, "thank heavens I don’t have to wait that long". And I didn’t. I read and devoured every page of Prodigy so quickly that before I knew it, I was done. Guess what? I think I’m not so lucky anymore. I mean, Legend’s ending was bearable, as it was open-ended and there were so many possible plot lines going through my mind. Prodigy, however, is another case entirely. It left me unable to think around one plot line. I mean, I still have no idea where Marie Lu would be taking the story, but I now know one thing. But that’s basically it. After that, I have no idea what’s in store for all of us in Champion.

I liked Legend a lot and so much, that I didn’t think it would be possible for me to go beyond that with this series. But cookies and bananas, I did. I loved Prodigy. It kept up with the hype in Legend and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the story line and the developments in the book. Early on in the book we’re given new stuff and details on our plates, so you’re really thrown back into the action as early as the first chapters. This, I loved. Along with the blue font color for Day. Oh, blue, blue. I’m starting to think publishers know of my blue fetish and have started going for it now. It was one of the many things I loved, but it’s not really something to linger on. The font color could’ve been purple or peach or whatever other color and I still would’ve loved the story and the book. At first, when the plan with the Patriots was revealed, I was a bit skeptical as to how the whole book would revolve around it, because it seemed so simple when Razor laid it out. Reading on, however, I realized that so much could happen, so much could go wrong, so much could twist and go another way, in such a short time. A thing, I guess, that Marie Lu manages to do so well in these books. Legend and Prodigy literally give the word—okay, maybe it’s not a word, not really—unputdownable another meaning altogether. It was a bit past noon when I started reading and I just immediately knew I couldn’t—and wouldn’t—sleep until I finished Prodigy. And so I did. I was as awake as ever in the wee hours of the morning, on the edge of my seat, waiting to know what happens next. 

And, like in Legend, what I loved most about this book were the characters. Old and new alike. Old characters were developed and given more depth and new characters gave the plot new and unexpected twists. One thing was different for me though. If Tess was okay for me in the first book, I didn’t particularly like her here in the second. It may have been the time spent away from Day, it could’ve been the influence of the Patriots, but her jealous streak and the way she just blamed June for everything, (granted, she may be blamed IN PART) killed her gentle side. Gentle, nice Tess I could handle, but jealous, bitter, obvious third point of the love triangle Tess was on my wrong side. We’re given Anden too, the new Elector, whom I loved because of his beliefs and because of his determination to change things for the better. He knows it won’t be easy, he knows there’re a lot of people against him, but the fact that he’s trying and trusts June counts for a lot in my book. It was totally believable too, how, despite his attraction to June, his wanting to believe her, there’s this lingering wariness, which of course he couldn’t help. Baxter, Pascao, Kaede. Kaede was just so awesome in this book, flying that jet, landing it and fighting for the good of the Republic. Villains return, new villains arise, and I was surprised yet again by how things turned out. 

Turning to the main characters, June and Day, Day and June. *dramatic sigh* It’s just how I am whenever I think about these two. They’re simply awesome characters who grow and develop so well in Prodigy and take note, Marie Lu manages to keep it going even when they’re apart! They’re apart for the most part of the book, and I didn’t mind because that time apart just further established their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses as individuals, and of course, it just makes the reunion all the more better. (Of course, you’d think that the reunion after a long time should be sweet and teary, but no.) And can we talk about the trust that these two have for each other for a second? The weight and gravity of how they trust each other is just inspiring. You’d think, how could these two 15-year olds, given what they’ve experienced in life, still manage to find someone to trust?

What’s amazing about Prodigy is that it doesn’t only match the standards of Legend, it manages to get better and surpasses it. I mean, hands down, no doubt, I loved Prodigy more than I loved Legend, but a huge part of why I loved it was because of so many factors perfected in Legend. I think the overarching lesson that this book managed to relay, deeper than nothing is what it seems, is that decisions and choices in life aren’t always so stiff. There are other ways, other paths to take, and how we must be open to that, as Day and June were, if we have any hope of surviving in this constantly changing world.

And now that that’s done, excuse me while I crawl into a hole. I’ll come out when Champion gets released. Or maybe in March, with Clockwork Princess. Or April, with The Elite. Or maybe really just February, when school starts again. Who knows?

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