Review: Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu

Author:  Marie Lu
Publisher/Year:  Roaring Book Press 10/1/19
Length:  332 Pages
Series:  Legend #4


Respect the Legend. Idolize the Prodigy. Celebrate the Champion. But never underestimate the Rebel.

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend for a truly grand finale.

Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe—even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.

As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .

My Thoughts

OH.MY.GOODNESS. Thank goodness we got to re-enter the story here with Day and June because they had major unfinished business in the epilogue of book 3 and there was no way that fans were going to be ok with that ending. Knowing that our amazing author Ms Lu was busy writing another story (which was also amazing), I was patient and that patience paid off.

We enter this story about ten years in the future. Day (Daniel) and his brother Eden are living in Ross City in Antarctica. The most advanced new country in the world – a society based on Virtual Reality, a Level system to keep you in classes, and as a result, a society that’s both thriving and failing at the same time. If we learned anything from the Republic, we know that there will be unrest and that will result in the wrong people coming into power and that will result in a catastrophe.

That wrong person is our main villian here – Dominic Hann – the man who rules the Undercity – the portion of Ross City that’s made up of people who don’t have levels high enough to survive. They can’t get medication, they can’t get food and shelter and they can’t aspire to be anything more.

The story we have here is one told in alternating chapters between Daniel and Eden. They are brothers who at the core love each other, but who have such different views on life because of their experiences in the past. Daniel wants nothing more than to protect Eden, and Eden wants to live his life. It’s that ‘living’ that gets them into trouble. Eden is noticed by Dominic while in the Under City and that means that he’s on a radar for skills. Skills that we were seeing in the previous books – his innate knowledge of tech and computers and his ability to make things that others can’t. That’s something that he thrives in here in Antarctica and he’s actually scored an internship back in the Republic because of what he can do. The challenge though is that his interaction with Dominic means that nothing will come to pass as it should.

Daniel on the other hand is now part of AIS which is a government agency. Like the FBI or CIA. he’s there to keep order, to hunt criminals and to protect the president. That’s one thing that he has in common with June as she’s in the Republic to protect Anden still. He is hunting Hann and when his brother gets mixed up in that gang, things get dicey.

Now back to June. The last we saw of her and Daniel was back in the epilogue of the last story. Daniel’s memory had been wiped because of illness and intervention and he didn’t have any sense of what June was to him anymore. Devastating!!! June knew that was a likely occurrence when she agreed to help him get treated, meaning that sh was going to sacrifice her love and future, which inevitably they both did. The great thing about their love story though is that even without the clear memories, Daniel still knew that June was special and this fourth installment lets us see how that plays out.

So you can imagine the excitement that we have in this story. We have the Utopia society come crumbling down because of interactions with the under city and Dominic Hann. (thank you Eden for being such a genius) and we have the potential to see romance rekindled. Add to that breaking laws, fleeing to the Republic and being back as square one where it all began. Watching governments struggle and society crumble. Far too many people die in this story and far too many truths are found to be lies.

But on the flip side, we see new relationships form, new alliances taking shape, we see the future for what it can be and that’s something that’s amazing. This is the closure and finale that this story truly needed and i’m THRILLED that Ms Lu finally got to finish it. Enjoy!

Review: Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu

Title: Wildcard
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 9/18/18
Length:   290 Page
Series:  Warcross #2



Wildcard (Warcross Series #2) by Marie Lu

An Instant New York Times Bestseller!

Return to the immersive, action-packed world of Warcross in this thrilling sequel from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Marie Lu

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

My Thoughts

OH MY GOODNESS.  that’s literally all i can say after reading this finale to the story.  I’ve always loved how Ms Lu has this ability to twist a story in so many unexpected directions, and this 2nd book of the Warcross saga does not disappoint.  It’s intense, it’s heated, you learn so many things that are completely unexpected and you want to hope for a happy ending.  yet you knwo that there’s no way that it can happen.

As you will recall, we were left at the point in the story when Em’s life was completely turned upside down just as everyone else in the worlds was too – once the new lenses that were shipped around the world for the NeuroLink synced everyone to Hideo’s system.  He used Em’s desire to make the world better and to be a good bounty hunter against her, and she played right into his hands.

Much of the world is now under the control of the link.  they are forced to be honest, forced out of crime, forced out of anything negative all because Hideo needs to find out what happened to his brother all those years ago.

She’s so good at what she does though that she gets sucked into the world and life that Zero had created, partially because of curiosity sure, but partially because she was forced.  He sent protection after her and that then turned into Em being forced into an organization known as the Blackcoats.  The group that it seems Zero is leading.  It’s also when Em makes the connection that Zero and Sasuke (Hideo’s brother) are one and the same, and then the story gets even more complicated.

All of this kick starts a roller coaster of a story.  Zero and the Blackcoats are not at all what they seem, and the girl who’s been protecting EM, a girl named Jax must have more of a conscience than the others because she reveals the back story, the history and the future goals of the organization, probably because she knows more than anyone what this life can do to someone.  She also reveals some secrets that completely blow our minds.

Whatever you thought was real, it’s not.  Whatever you hoped was going to be the outcome – it’s not.  Those that you wanted to see together?  impossible.  so from that point on, mind blown.

What’s so nice about the way that our author writes the story though is that the same folks who were pivotal to the first book are absolutely part of this story.  There’s no way that we would have made any progress, shaped the future without the Phoenix Riders, and they are as much a part of Ems life as they are ours.  we get to see parts of their stories as well which not only makes us love them more, but makes us get them and understand the bond that they share together.

The other challenge here is that all you want as a reader is a way to humanize the bad guys in a story.  Zero, Hideo to name a few but also the Blackcoats, Henka..the list goes on.  Ms Lu somehow manages it, and gives us such unique paths for each, in such a creatively drawn, illustrative and colorful world.  I”m in awe of what i’ve read.

We’re given closure here in this 2nd book – we see how outcomes took shape along with the implications of the world around them with these changes.  it’s powerful and emotional and enjoyable all the same.  You really do have to check out this story, and read book 1 first if you haven’t because i can say for sure that this is one of my favorite books read to date and you all know that i’ve read a LOT.  ENJOY!

Review: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group 9/12/17
Length:   305 Pages
Series:  Warcross #1


For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

My Thoughts

I don’t know how our author does it – yet another amazingly different series – with a basis in something htat doesn’t even resemble the other series.  It’s such a great next step.

The world that we’re in now is one in the future where virtual reality is a way to escape life and it’s a necessary thing for Emi who’s now 18, alone in the world (her father died and her mother left years ago) and she’s in so much debt that she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next.  As a bounty hunter, that’s her way to make some money since she can’t quite get a job after a hacking situation that got her arrested years ago.  That same hacking is what’s about to save her life.

Warcross is the biggest thing in the world – a game that you can go pro playing and there’s a world championship each year where you can see the best of the best play in a team situation.  Emi hacks into the game just to get a high value power-up that she can sell on the black market and ends up hacking into the game itself – causing all sorts of problems.  In doing that, her life changes forever.

Her identity which she had worked so hard to keep secret is revealed to the whole world, she’s not in the press, and she gets a call from Hideo Tanaka – the creator of the game  – which she fears means her life is over.  Quite the opposite.

Hideo is an interesting character – 18, has demons and ghosts of his own, but the most successful man in the world through the development of his neurlink glasses which allow players to play the game and even see the entire world in VR.  Its intense to think about actually.  He brings Emi to Tokoyo becuase he needs her help and her ability to hack into the game shows that maybe she’s the one who can do it.

There’s someone called ‘Zero’ who’s been hacking into the game and collecting data, and Hideo needs to stop him since he doesn’t know what the end game is.  He hires Emi as a hacking bounty hunter of sorts (along with some others) who he will put into the tournament in the hopes that they can figure out who Zero is.

Through the tournament, we get to meet a lot of characters that make the story so much better.  Emi is put on the Pheonix’s – a team made up of 3 experienced players and 2 wild cards – herself and DJ Ren.  (a well known DJ).  We start to see how close the friendships are with the players and how that really keeps things going.  especially with the competitive nature of all the other teams.

Where this story goes is an interesting journey.  We don’t know who to trust – and we don’t know who’s on what side.  The friendships that grow are great and the secrets that live within Emi tear them apart.  We see an interesting romance begin and it’s something that you really root for since it humanizes a few people, but of course there’s a lot at stake for that relationship to continue.

When we learn the identity of Zero (through a glitch) (mind you i kind of figured this one out earlier on).  we see that what we thought we knew of the hack is something completely different.  The world at the end of the book is nothing like it was when we started and it’s now up to a few to change the course of actions already set in motion in the hopes of saving everyone on the world.

I’m so bummed that book 2 isn’t out already because this was really amazing to read – especially from Marie Lu – but i’ll be patient.  Enjoy!

Review: The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu


Title: The Midnight Star
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 10/11/16
Length:   336 Pages
Series:  The Young Elites


The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all she’s gained.

When a new danger appears, Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds, putting not only herself at risk, but every Elite. In order to preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

My Thoughts

When we left all of these characters at the end of book 2, we saw that there was a huge divide, not only because Adelina’s powers have overcome not only herself but others, but there were deaths of beloved friends that followed.  Her powers have taken on such a dark twist that even her sister can’t be with her, and she’s fled along with others who were once not just best friends but necessary to survival.

In this final installment, we see a lot of things happening.  Adelina is on a mission to right what was wronged for so long, to rid the world of the word Malfetto and to make sure that all that are marked finally get the joy of life that they deserve with those who mock them being punished or killed.  She rules with a heavy hand for most of her time in order to make sure that people believe that she’s powerful, and it’s only through the help of Magiano, the guidance that he has been able to give because of emotions at play that we see that she’s able to turn the tides a bit and perhaps win people over with another side.

If that were only enough right?  If you remember, towards the end of the last book, we learned that it was the elite’s powers themselves that would cause them to become weak and die and we have seen that with Lucent and some of the others getting sick and weakening.  We see that Teren’s powers of healing are slowing and we knew that Adelina’s illusions were likely because of her own powers turning on her.  So in this finale we see them come to terms with the fact that in order to survive they need to give up their powers, but it’s not that easy.  We know that there are 12 gods that they consider to be important and they need representation of all of those gods to give the powers back.  That means that they have to bond together, elites that hate each other and are repulsed in the hopes that they can survive.

This is how Violetta and Adelina come back together.  Lucent and Queen Maeve along with the others.  it’s a sweet culmination to the story – to know that those who hate each other have to fight together to really survive.

What’s nice about this story is that we don’t get the happy ending that you were all hoping for.  Too many of our friends are killed on the quest for salvation, and that means that ironically there are quite a few broken hearts.  When we were able to raise them from the dead in the past, that’s something that Queen Maeve is no longer able to do because her powers are weak, and she now knows better.  So we see that there are consequences for her yes, but for Tristan and Enzo who were raised from the dead along with others that we wished could be revived.

I feel like we got an interesting finale to the series – it’s a bit different than the other installments as this one was based more in mythology than the others.  what i mean here is that we knew that the marked got their powers from the blood fever which is as a result of the descent-ion of a god, but we never spent that much time on it before.  In this final book though, we spend a lot of time getting to the root of things since that’s the only way that they determine that they can be saved, and while i like the thought here, i dont know that i’m necessarily a huge fan anymore of all of that stuff.  I spent a while reading angel type books (if you go back a year or 2 in my blog you’ll see that). it’s nice to see where things are derived, but i feel like it veered a bit off from the first 2 books.

Regardless, like i said, a bittersweet ending to this trilogy, but we get closure for most of the characters that we’ve spent a lot of time with.  I hope you enjoyed it and have a good weekend!

Review: The Rose Society (Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu


Title:  Rose Society
Author: MArie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Young Readers Group 10/13/15
Length:  291 pages
Series:  Young Elites #2


Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

My Thoughts

I love that this series is so different from Legend – and it’s dark.  I feel like while others by Ms Lu were optimistic, this one is just dark and foreboding.  Like the summary above says, we’re rejoined with Adelina after she’s been cast out of the Daggers, and her world is upside down.  Teren has killed Enzo, the prince of Kenettra and not only was he a royal, he and Adelina had something developing – a great bond that was torn.  It’s because of illusions and poor judgement calls and betrayal that led to his death and murder, and well now Adelina is left to figure out how she can gain a following and power to overthrow her once friends and avenge everything that’s ever been done.

Where we go on this 2nd installment is on a path of power and fear.  As the summary also says, Adelina’s powers are getting stronger – she knows what she’s capable of and the voices that are dark and fearsome in her head are really bringing her into her own.  Is it a good thing?  well i don’t know – i feel like there are moments throughout this story where you want to believe that she’s really after giving malfettos a better life – that she wants everyone who’s suffered to be able to be free, ye i think that as the story progresses, we see that she’s power hungry and she’s really after something for herself.

The way that this story is told is that each chapter is from a character’s point of view.  some get several in a row, but really what we have are Adelina, Raffaele, Maeve and a few others – showing what they are going through at a given time.

As everyone knows, there are more folks out there with powers as a result of the Blood Fever and Adelina is looking to gather some of her own to create her own army to overthrow the royals.  She’s found several that have amazing powers, some that have been cast out by The Daggers, and in turn she creates The Rose Society.  Along side her, her sister Violetta stands – with her own power that’s gradually getting stronger.  It’s a twist at the end – something that Violetta discovers that really turns things badly, and i think that it’s safe to say that where we usually end up on a cliff at the end of an installment wondering what’s next, it’s safe to say that Adelina and Violetta are in a bad place – and i wonder who’s going to end up alive, and on which side.

We see a new romance develop in a sense between Adelina and Magiano, another Elite, however it’s the raising of Enzo from the underworld that complicates things again.  While he was brought back from the dead and there’s a bond between him and Adelina since he’s tied to her to stay alive, there’s a darkness there that makes things that much worse.  He learns what happened when he was killed and that puts him against Adelina. There are several others that die, and several others that are changing alliances.

Personally, i can’t wait to see what happens.  We know that Adelina is power hungry and gets what she wants, but what’s the sacrifice especially when everyone turns their back on her.  I wonder if there’s hope for any romance for anyone here, and i wonder if the little bit of information that Violetta found will come true.  It would be a shame but it’s valid.

So on that note, enjoy this sci fy esque series – and have a great weekend!

Review: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu


Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group 10/7/14
Length: 266
Series: The Young Elites #1


I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

My Thoughts

I’m so happy that this new series from such a great author is so different than what we had before.  There’s really no sense of time from this one so it’s not classified as dystopian in my mind – which is nice as well.  Based on the overview, you can see that you’re going to get a story that centers around 2 different sides – 3 different people so to speak.  And while that’s a system that’s worked in the past for Ms. Lu – i’m glad that we got it again.

In this story, we are introduced to Adelina when she’s 16 yrs old, and a mulfatto –  a survivor of a disease that scares everyone with it’s after effects.  She’s got outward scars and marks from it, while her younger sister had the same disease and yet doesn’t have any marks.  There’s a thought that some survivors have special powers – and those with powers are known as Young Elites.  Adelina’s father feels that her own redeeming quality would be if she had a power, yet she doesn’t.  It’s not until one night when she’s forced to run away from home that she discovers that she actually does have powers – which results in the murder of her father, and her imprisonment.

That’s where our story crosses the path of the 2 other characters noted above.  Telen is the inquisitor who’s to execute Adelina, and Enzo is the one to swoop in and save her, since he’s actually a Young Elite.  From there on, the story goes down a path of trying to rein in Adelina’s powers and find a way for the other mulfatto’s to be free and survive.

The underlying story here is really nice – we get the coming of age stuff that we usually get in the genre, yet we also get to see how there’s more to life than power.  Adelina develops friendships with some of the Daggers – the members of the Young Elite group that she’s taken in by – and that in itself is a nice story.  While we see that there’s a constant power play with trust among everyone, we see that it’s a dynamic that Adelina craves – almost as much as what her power stems from.

The other nice dynamic is the romance / non romance with Enzo and Rafaelle.  Enzo is the potential interest that has a draw that’s more than just friendship  but we never know what’s going to come of it.  Rafaelle however has a draw that’s from something that’s not tangible, and he’s the constant that Adelina needs.

It’s only when Telen comes into the fold and tries to use Adelina that things go awry.  So where we go for the rest of the story is a nice mix of fantasy, anxiety, angst (romance of course) and curiosity of who’s going to continue on.  True to form, some of the mains that we love throughout the book don’t make it to the end, and i have to say that i’m bummed about one in particular.  It makes me question where the rest of the series will go, but given the sneak peak epilogue, i think that there’s going to be a twist introduced that will keep me excited.  so…what does that mean for me?  i have to wait for book 2 to come out and i don’t know when that will be just yet.  I hope you guys try this one out – its true to form of the great writing that we’ve come to expect and experience from Marie Lu.

Review: Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu


Title:  Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year:  Penguin 11/5/13
Length:  384 pages
Series: Legend #3


The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

My Thoughts 

Where do i begin – WOW – there was a lot that i definitely didn’t see coming even though a majority was quite expected.  We are picking right up where we left off, June is the Princeps Elect (or one of 3) that’s to shadow Anden who is the new elector of the Republic.  The princeps will become the leader of the senate so it’s a BIG DEAL.  Day is still the people’s favorite given that he’s what they want – a rebel that will fight for them….and Anden will do what he can to make Day stay on his side.

Where this story opens up though is several months after we last left these guys, and the colonies and the Republic are at it again.  The colonies are planning to attack again, and the only way that Anden thinks that he can keep them at bay (especially now since the colonies have an ally in Africa who apparently is a super power) – is to turn over Eden, Day’s brother in the search for a cure of the plague since it’s spread into the colonies.  Anden decides that he has to use June to get Day to respond to requests and she reaches out to him to come back to Denver the capital in the hopes of convincing him (which she knows is a lost cause).

While everyone’s together though, the colonies decide that they are going to strike anyway – without waiting for a deal to be made.  This means that chaos ensues.  people are at risk, we know that the colonies want to capture Day and Eden, and they want to kill Anden, June and the other princeps elect.  Day has to work with the patriots to keep everyone safe, while evacuating the city.

We get to see Thomas and Commander Jameson stand trial and get their sentence doled out, but while we’ve always held out hope that Thomas isn’t as bad as his actions, we know that commander Jameson truly is, and she doesn’t disappoint.  we learn that she’s working for the other side and that causes issues of it’s own.

Throughout the story, we see the constant battle of trying to get to Eden to use his blood for a cure, we see the constant fight that Day has with his health since we know that his brain is infected – we see the relationship develop at times between June and Day but it’s never fully taken to where it needs to go overtly at least.

Anyway, what i loved about this story is

1) they bring into play Antarctica – i don’t know about you guys but i NEVER would have expected that bit of things.  what they’ve done there and the power that they’ve become – i mean WOW!

2) at this point you don’t even know what’s going to happen to the republic or Colonies or anyone – and that’s kind of nice.

so, while i think that i may have expected a different ending, i’m pleased with it.  I liked that it wasn’t clean and cut and dry – but i was a little sad which i know was the intention.  I’ll continue to compare to Requiem and Allegiant at this point.  Requiem left us high and dry – and Allegiant definitely didn’t give me what i was hoping for.

In this story though, I did get what i was hoping for, just not in the same path and form that I expected.  All in all though, great closure and a great resolution to the story.

Review: Life Before Legend: Stories of the Criminal and the Prodigy (Legend #.5) by Marie Lu



Title:  Life Before Legend:  Stories of the Criminal and the Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group (USA) 1/15/13
Length:  48 pages
Series: Legend #.5


Find out more about June and Day in this never-before-seen glimpse into their daily lives before they met in Marie Lu’sNew York Times bestselling LEGEND series. As twelve-year-olds struggling to survive in two very different worlds within the Republic’s stronghold, June was starting her first day of school at Drake University as the youngest cadet ever admitted, and Day was fighting for food on the streets of the Lake sector. LIFE BEFORE LEGEND contains two original stories written by Marie Lu that give readers a sneak peek into the lives of their favorite characters in a thrilling new context.

My Thoughts

I really wanted to like this novella – i’m a HUGE fan of novellas since they give you a glimpse into characters and their lives that you dont get in the bigger book.  what happened here though, wasn’t that at all.  we get just a short chapter for each of them, and it’s just a snippet into a day or 2 for each as well so you don’t even really get into anything of any substance.  We get a preview into how Day’s mind ticks in terms of being a loner, but we don’t get the story on how his knee gets better since we know that it does to an extent since he scales walls and all that

We also only get the beginnings of the story of June – and hear about everyone’s perceptions on how she’s managed to excel and all that – which was nice, but still not quite enough.

so sadly, as much as i wanted to feel happy about this one, i’m really on the edge of 2-3 stars.  sorry Marie Lu, i really do LOVE the series itself, this was just a #novellafail in my eyes.  If any of my readers though think otherwise, i’d love to hear your take on the novella.

Review: Prodigy (Legends #2) by Marie Lu


Title:  Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Young Readers Group 1/29/13
Length:  384 pages
Series: Legend Series #2


June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

My Thoughts

At long last, and you all can’t possibly imagine my level of anticipation on this one, the second installment of the Legend series has finally arrived.  What’s even worse is that life got in the way over the past week so it took me several days to read vs. the 1-2 that it would usually take for a book that i’m this excited about.

All that being said, Marie Lu hasn’t disappointed and the story was amazingly well written and really held my interest.

We are brought up to speed while on a train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas where June and Day have stolen on board so they can escape LA where they’ve managed to avoid Day’s execution with the help of June’s brilliance and the Patriots.  The Patriots are based in Vegas and this seems to be the last hope for Day and June if they want to get Eden (Day’s brother) back and some how hide and get to the Colonies

As can be expected – nothing is ever cut and dry.  Upon arrival to Vegas, they find that the Elector Primo has died and his son Anden is taking over.  Day and June manage to cross paths with Kaede who they learned was part of the Patriots in book 1 and she helps them get medical care for Day who was injured in the escape as well as help develop their path and future roles.

Kaede takes them to meet Razor who is the ‘leader’ of the Patriots who has a plan to assassinate the Elector and feels that June is the best person to lure him into position since she has met Anden, is the Prodigy of the Republic and well, Anden has a thing for her.  Day it’s decided will be the one to actually kill the Elector, and June and Day agree to this deal only because they have no other choice in freeing / finding Eden and getting themselves to the Colonies.  So this is where the story goes, twists/turns and develops.

One of the things that i LOVE about the writing is that throughout the story, June’s perspective remains on of extreme awareness – she’s always taking in the details of her surroundings like she’s preparing for Plan B.  she’s always therefore aware of when people are telling her the truth and when something just doesn’t seem right.  This is where she’s really useful since she learns things about the Republic/Anden and The Patriots/Razor that really impact her decisions.

Day on the other hand has his mind set on things, knows what he has to do to get to his brother, but realizes that he has real feelings – feelings of love for June that somewhat complicate things for him.

Tess…not she comes back in a way that i hoped would happen yet i wasn’t sure if would . See, from the weeks that she was separated from Day, she seems to have come into her own, grown up a little, and of course decided that she’s got this crush on Day.  when they reunite, the thing between Day and June complicates things further for her.

so…this story is full of excitement while we’re watching what unfolds for June in her role w/ Anden, Day as we see what he has to do for both his own sake and for Junes….as well as deciding who we should really believe and trust.

What’s killing me right now is that apparently we’ll have to wait until 2014 for Book 3…which is WAY too long to get my questions answered

1) who is to be trusted

2) will Anden survive and what will he do if he does?

3) What is June going to decide- what side is she on?

4) What’s Day’s role in everything and what is he going to do with his personal relationships?

5) what’s the deal with Razor – will he get what’s coming to him?

soo many more questions yet i don’t want to put spoilers here so that’ll be all.  if you haven’t read it yet – PICK IT UP.  i’m usually not a fan of bridge books in a trilogy but this one was AMAZING

Re-Review: Legend by Marie Lu

With the sequel coming out really soon, i decided that i needed a refresher and reminder of what happened in the first installment of the Legend series.  Boy was i glad that i took another read because i thought i really enjoyed the book before and now i love it.  i think that it was one of the first dystopian genre types that i read, and it was a good lead into one of my favorite types of books.

In any event, we are introduced to June in a post revolution society where there’s no such thing as The United States of America – that’s a thing of the past that no one quite believes in but instead a war between the Republic (which June is a part of), and the Colonies.  there’s a 3rd group in the mix as well – the Patriots who are an underground group that kind of works to over throw the republic (most likely the colonies as well)

So….back to June – she’s 15 maybe, and she’s supposedly the only person in the Republic to have ever scored a perfect 1500 on her Trials.  The trials are a series of tests that each 10 yr old has to take that determines their path.  There’s a test, physical evaluation and interview.  June scored perfect and was put on an accelerated path into and out of school and up the ranks.  her brother Matias is also some what of a genius and he’s a captain in the military for the Republic.  He also serves as a guardian and parent to June since their parents ‘died in a car accident’ years earlier.

Then in a parallel story we meet Day who is from one of the poor sectors and who ‘failed’ his trails.  As a result he was sent to the labor camps and escaped his fate there, turning to a life on the streets, and somewhat of a life of ‘crime’.  He’s made a name for himself with his ability to ellude the military and the republic, to commit crimes against the Republic and evade capture and even identification for the last 5 years.  It’s rather impressive if you think about it – for someone that ‘failed their trials’ don’t you think?

June’s and Day’s paths cross when one night while on patrol at the hospital, Matias is killed and it’s thought to be from Day’s doing.  June goes on the hunt for both Matias’ killer and Day who are supposed to be one and the same.  She manages to locate Day, get somewhat close to him, help the military capture him and that’s when things all go pear-shaped.

One of the best things about this story is that even though you really are expecting everything that happens for the first 2/3 of the story – the last few chapters are kind of on a path of their own.  you hope that you’re right about a few things, and know that you are about others yet you don’t quite know where the sequel is going to take you.  this makes me so anxious for Prodigy – book 2 in the series since i want to know what happens to all the key players and what becomes of their stories.

1) What happens with June?

2) what has happened with Day?

3) What’s happening to society and what direction will it take?

4) do you like Thomas? (just one that i’m throwing in there) – i don’t

5) what’s the story behind Chian and Commander Jameson?

6) does Anden play a role in the 2nd book?  i feel like he should but he was only mentioned in like 1-2 pages in Legend