Friday, April 15, 2016

Prodigy by Marie Lu

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?

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Holy shit.

This book was pretty damn good!

After finishing the fast-paced yet unoriginal, Legend, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to keep reading the series. I would like to finish it yes, but not because the last book left me wanting to know more, in fact the first book ended on a “meh” note for me since I couldn’t care less about what happened to Day’s brother (Ok I know I sound like an asshole, and I am one, but the author spent more time developing the insta-love romance between Day and June than focusing on the characters other relationships.)

However, I was pleasantly surprised by Prodigy. It still had its clichés, and the story tried to push the Hunger Games vibes a little too hard sometimes, but in the end it stood as a book unique in its concept; instead of trying to take down the evil government, why not try to fix it?

In dystopias, all we ever see are teenagers trying to take down the oppressing government that doesn’t let them do stuff like love or shit like that (why is it always love??), but they never really consider what it means to take down a government. What about the people who will die in that war? What kind of new government do you implement, how do you even know what to do (hey they are teenagers after all)? How can you be sure that you are doing something good by destroying the existing regimen? How do you know you are not making it worse? But in Young Adult, that’s hardly ever considered. The authors just think “guns!” “kisses!” “boom! Boom! Boom!” and that’s about it.

In Prodigy we get to see two sides from June and Day’s perspectives and for once I was grateful for the dual POV. Day belongs to the working class, he’s been oppressed, used and abused; he wants to end the government because of how much him and his people have suffered. But June, she was a prodigy! She had a good life, a great education, and she was a pride to her nation: she wants for the Republic to survive, but she also wants to make it better for everybody.

Both sides presented great arguments for wanting the things that they did, but I again found myself inclining towards June’s point of view; the republic needs to change, not to be destroyed. I think Day was just so caught up with his hate toward what they had done to his family that he was forgetting how many people would die and suffer if the Republic actually did go down. June knew this, and she wanted to make sure everybody was safe, she wanted to change the republic so that everybody would have equal opportunities, AND EVEN THOUGH the Republic had killed her ENTIRE FAMILY (unlike Day who still had his brother and Tess), she still wasn’t after revenge, but after a better country for everybody.

However, there were still some issues with the book, like how much it wanted to resemble the Hunger Games. First when the rebels wanted to make Day the symbol of their rebellion, I had to roll my eyes a little, especially with his whole “I never wanted this or cared to change things, I’m just doing it for my little brother.” Are you shitting me?? The Trials, although it didn’t feature kids killing each other, it was still a copycat of the Arena and the games, how it was used to keep the population under control and all.

Now, there’s a twist at the end that I did not expect, but that it makes me want to read the final book and see how it goes!

I recommend this for people who are fans of dystopias and don’t mind a few hints to THG here and there, but also to the people who tried the first book and weren’t sure whether they’d like the series or not!

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