My Thoughts On: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Posted January 14, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 16 Comments

Prodigy by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: January 29, 2013 
384 pages
Source:  ARC Tour

Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

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? -(summary excerpt from Goodreads)

Prodigy by Marie Lu 

My Thoughts:  It’s been over one year since I read and LOVED Legend by Marie Lu. I was satisfied with the ending – meaning, I didn’t feel it cliffhanger-y, but I still was just having a fit to know where the story was going to go. You can imagine my “Asheley-ness” when I finally was able to get a copy of Prodigy in my hands to see where the next part of the story went. You guys, I was not disappointed. At all. No sir, no way.

**You may not want to read any further if you have not yet read Legend –
VERY MINOR SPOILERS may exist here!
Stop now! You’ve been 

The first thing you need to know is this:
I thought this government was BAD TO THE BONE. 
Oh man, the government Marie Lu created in Legend gave me the creeps. If you’ve read it, you understand why. They just did stuff that was bad bad bad. In Prodigy, our heroes June and Day are on the run together, away from the horrible, awful government for reasons. Right away we can see that Day is sick after an injury, and their flight is hampered by Day’s pretty advanced infection. Day needs help. With few-to-no options, June and Day resort to joining the Patriots, a group of rebels that are against the Elector and the very same government they are fleeing. It seems like a great idea to join them at the time since the Patriots can offer Day the medical treatment he so obviously needs as well as some of the other things that they are looking for. The Patriots only ask for a simple task in return – they want June and day to assassinate the new Elector. What? I know. It sounds crazy. 

But June and Day are perfect for the job. Day is the face of the all-too-oppressed people. He’s their Robin Hood, the one that has spent years robbing from the rich government to feed the poor and give them medicines they need. June is the nation’s boasted military genius – a greater asset to the government than anyone else. She is their prodigy. With their faces doing the dirty work, the citizens will likely get behind any plans the Patriots have. 

But something smells fishy to June and Day – something doesn’t quite sit right with the Patriots and their leader, Razor. Something doesn’t quite sit right with anything he is saying. Can he be trusted? Will he do the things he promised when they pledged their loyalty to his group? And something doesn’t quite feel right in the government either. Day and June are in a very odd, very dangerous position; they have to completely trust one another to get themselves and the people they love out of it and to safety – because this government has turned on them both before and it absolutely, without a doubt cannot be trusted…or can it?

The second thing you need to know is this:
Where there is a whisper of a maybe-romance in Legend,
there is for sure a romance in Prodigy… 

By the end of Legend, we have determined that Day and June like each other. They have kissed and there are FEELS. By the time we get to Prodigy, we can tell that they don’t ‘kind of’ like each other, they ‘really like’ each other. It’s so obvious. It’s actually kind of sweet…but that makes this more of a romance than the previous book. 

I don’t mind a romance in a dystopian book. I really don’t. BUT…this story is so good and I want it to stay that way. It is a really good dystopian story with a really bad government with awful villains and it gives me the creeps. Oh, this is how I like them! What we have here is a guy and a girl that like (maybe love?) each other, but there is another guy and another girl and it could be potentially read as awkward. Sound confusing? It is. It’s not quite a love triangle – it’s more like a love square? Does that even exist? I don’t really know.

In all seriousness, Day and June really only have eyes for each other, but there are a couple of others that spring up and try to stare a little too hard or spring a kiss here and there. Sigh sigh sigh. That’s okay, I suppose – but part of what I like so much about this series is that I can recommend to my GUY READING FRIENDS and be able to answer truthfully when they want to know about how romance-y it gets. 

In the next book, I’m sure the romance between Day and June will still be a part of the story. I actually hope it will because by this time, I’m invested. But I want it to be well-written and not a love-triangle or include other people. This series is TOO GOOD to blow it on romance. (Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE a good romance plot line in a story. And I love Day. And I like June. But I want them together, not fumbling around trying to figure out that they are good together.) That’s about all I have to say about that. 

The third thing you need to know is this:

WHOA, that ending. Whoa there, Marie Lu!

Um, hold your horses, lady! What are you trying to do to us? 

Okay, there is a little twist that comes up at the end of the book. NOW, friends, some will call it a cliffhanger. I may even call it a bit of a cliffhanger. (read: possibly a horrid cliffhanger) BUT…I’m going to instead choose to TRUST Marie Lu with the story and not stress out over it or tell you what kinds of emotions I had at this particular point. I WILL say that I did throw up my hands and say WHOA THERE. 

I’m sure that this little kink in the story (KINK, I tell you!) will work itself out. This story is too good to be all twistified by too much craziness. I’m just going to trust this author and not stress myself out. Yes, I realize I’m repeating myself. It’s just a little kink. Nothing to be alarmed about. *deep breath*


Prodigy by Marie Lu is solid. It’s a solid second-part in the series that pretty much everyone seems to love, and I completely stand behind the reasons for this. It’s well-written with great characters, an evil and corrupt government with bad villains, and the world-building is pretty darn great. I love Marie Lu’s story, I love the direction she has taken, and I love that I have no idea where she’s headed. This is a great series and I’m in awe of the author’s imagination. 

I’m not sure that everyone will be as enthusiastic about it as I am, however. Where Legend was pretty stellar, Prodigy does have a few things that seem slightly less-than-stellar. For example, the romance gets in the way of the progression of the story a few times. In this particular series, I want all of the action! I want heroes saving the people and overthrowing the government! I don’t particularly care as much if June is jealous because Day is talking to one particular girl for a little longer than necessary. That seems a little petty and takes away from the high bar that Legend set…but not too much, because there is plenty of action to be had in Prodigy, trust me. 

There are new characters to love, and new ones to hate. There are some of the same characters from Legend – some of them make it thru the story, and some don’t. Prodigy is a story that will bring forth emotions from the very beginning, and that is why it took me a little while to read it. I could not read it quickly like many readers can – I had to digest it in pieces because when certain things happened, I had to practice my deep breathing skills and pace the floors a little bit. (That is not a joke.)

The scope of the world is larger, as the story takes place over a larger area. I love the differences Marie Lu creates in regions – they are so vivid in my mind, like a movie. The world is bleak and dark, and perfect for this story, and I enjoyed this so much because the characters she created are so enjoyable. The legend and the prodigy: Day and June; so fantastic and developed and heroic. I love them. 

Even with the WHAT?! ending Marie Lu threw at us, I closed the book and wanted to hug it and take it out dancing. You guys, I just love this series to pieces. I have all respect for a gal who can write a evil government so well, who can write mean villains, and do it better than a lot of men. She makes me cringe at people that betray the people, that make the world a WORSE place, and then smile and lie to the faces of their citizens. She makes me happy when she creates a pair of complete opposites that band together to become a set of heroes for the very same people. THIS SERIES, y’all: I can’t get enough. I know this book has its teensy flaws, but it is still SO GOOD that I barely notice them. This series is one that will drive me crazy until I can get the last book because WHY WHY WHY that tiny kink, Marie Lu? Why? Oh! the emotions. I love them!

Fans of the previous book, Legend, will most likely love this one. Possibly not as much, but I don’t see anyone dropping the series. I also recommend this book for fans of YA dystopians with evil villains and governments, great heroes, great world-building, and action-driven plots. 

*Again, there are alternating POV’s with different colored prints. This time, instead of black and gold, it was black and blue. You guys know how I go crazy over that sort of thing. Also, how awesome is this cover? YEP. It is.


Prodigy will appeal to fans of:

YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Romance: Pre-existing, odd triangle of sorts. Kind of.

Alternating POV’s

Fantastic characterization – GREAT heroes.

Great world-building

Action-driven plot

Prodigy by Marie Lu
will be available for purchase on January 29, 2013.

*I borrowed this book as part of Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tours in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I received no compensation for my review. 


Is PRODIGY on your to-read list?

Have you read LEGEND?
What did you think?

Y’all, I love heroes.


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


16 responses to “My Thoughts On: Prodigy by Marie Lu

  1. I have this one and I'm super-excited to read it. Thanks for the mini-recap, because I remember little beyond that awesome alternating type.

    And yeah, I agree with you on the romance-y moments in dystopian fiction. They often seem out of place to me. Don't they have more important stuff to worry about?

    • Right? I think that in some instances they work – like in the books that are specifically romance-y books. But when they're just thrown in there haphazardly, they kind of mess thing up a bit. I don't mind if Day and June have a little chemistry – in fact, I think that would be realistic. But I don't want it to ruin the good thing that is going with this series because I really think this is one of the really, really good ones out there. Don't get me wrong, I still liked it A TON, but I think it got a little bit close with the romance stuff.

      Still, no second book syndrome in my opinion. Just good stuff here. I loved it. Can't wait to re-read both of these books next year for the big finish.

  2. Asheley, I've been on the fence about starting Legend since FOREVER, but you've convinced me! Now, I simply HAVE to get my hands on it and start soon, especially with the release of this nearing closer! Thanks for such a convincing – and beautifully written – review!(:

    • You know, Keertana, I'm a HUGE fan of dystopians and I'll read them in a heartbeat, but I can recognize when they are better than others and THESE are, I think. The heroes are better, the villains are better, the government is believably scary. Legend is just an amazing book and it earned its place on the NYT list a few weeks ago. While I roll my eyes a teensy tiny bit at the heroes and their small moments of romance in this one, I still think this series is just incredible. This is a set of books that I find myself recommending over and over again, and that includes my male reading friends. If you decide to read them, I really hope you love them because I think they're really well-written.

  3. Gahhh! I can't wait to read this! I totally nabbed Legend when you graciously posted that it was wayyy discounted and gobbled that sucker up!

    I'm a bit scared about your eye-rolls at romance mushiness because – I know I can be a bit sensitive about that sort of thing (aka my gag reflex can kick into high gear). But all the same I'm super stoked to read Prodigy – especially after what you said about the ending…eeek!

    Thanks for the great review!!

    • Oh yay! I hope you like Legend – it's one of my favorites. The romance isn't THAT bad. It's certainly not any worse than it is in any other romances in this genre. It's just that what made this series stand out from others is that the romance was so far on the back burner that it wasn't really a romance, it was more like a flicker of a crush – here it is definitely a romance, and it could potentially be seen as a triangle if it gets out of hand, so I'm hoping Marie Lu keeps it under control as the story progresses. It STILL is a fantastic story and is worth the eye-rolling, trust me. This government is scary and believable, I think, and that's why I like is so much.

  4. Amy

    First of all, I love that you want to take this book dancing. LOVE IT. That's so perfect. In fact, I need someone to take ME dancing after reading that ending. It kind of left me gasping and worried and SAD. I need some of your "it's just a KINK, I'm trusting the author" vibes to rub off on me!
    I thought that the balance between action and romance was pretty good in Prodigy, but I kind of expected the romance to be a little more in this book anyway because I just assumed it was going to get more important as things moved on anyway. But I liked the way the relationship affected the way Day and June dealt with the action, and the way they tried to muddle through it all without losing their faith in each other, even though it was tested.
    Basically, LOVED it. I loved it as much as I loved Legend. Now, let's go dancing and soothe our frayed nerves!! xoxo

    • (SOBS) It's just a KINK, Amy. It's just a kink.
      And I really wouldn't have minded the romance more if it was just the two of them. I felt like it took my attention away from the other stuff going on when they added that other guy and that other girl, only to NOT MAKE IT part of anything. But BAH, no big deal. The book was still stellar and this series is solid. I want to dance with it, seriously. And those covers, come on. I love it. So glad I got a chance to read it and HURRY UP Marie Lu and give us the next book, PUHLEEZ. I need to know. *exhales*

  5. I've definitely read some mixed reviews of this one, and I agree that it seems clear that Day and June will be together – I mean it's a dual narrative for crying out loud. BUT I have gotten so wary of love triangles, and I wasn't BLOWN AWAY by Legend that I think I'm going to hold off reading this until the final book is released. Or at least much closer to that time. Also, how would you rate this book content wise? Legend was pretty suitable for all ages, but sometimes when first books are, that doesn't mean that the rest of the series will remain that way. I ask that b/c a young cousin – whose a boy!! – really loved the first one, but I want to warn of anything that might not be as PG.

    • Lauren, I think you would be in a pretty good position if you waited to read this when the last book is released. I can get behind that decision for you.

      I'm trying to think of anything that might not be appropriate for a young person. I think it is probably okay for a young person. I'll address this specifically in an email.

      But yeah, wait.

  6. Ok, I liked Prodigy but didn't LOVE it. I sort of felt the same way about Legend. Though I think I actually liked Legend more. I totally agree that the dystopian parts of the story are solid. I loved that we got to see the inner workings of the Patriots (Hellloo, Pascao! I am really liking you for some reason…) and that we also go "behind enemy lines" and learn more about that world (which was really pretty fascinating, imo.)

    BUT. I was super annoyed with the romance in this book. Not because it wasn't romance centered per se, I get what you are saying about that, but just all the mis-communication between Day and June. I know I'm supposed to feel frustrated but it went beyond that. I just didn't "feel it" with them like I did in Legend. This contradicts everything you just said in your review, but it's just the way it made me feel. I can't really explain it, it just didn't resonate with me this time.

    But all that being said, I am definitely in it for the duration. I'll be picking up the final book FOR SURE because that KINK you spoke of? Yeah. Got to see how that plays out.

    *I also like your "love square" analogy. I said something similar in my review, I think I called it a four-way love triangle–which of course makes ZERO sense by definition. Your's is much better:)

    • Heather, I LOVE the way your mind goes to the secondaries sometimes. It's such a Heather thing and I love it to pieces. Pascao, Kenji, some of those guys. The secondaries can really make a story awesome. And YES to the crossing of enemy lines and broadening of the scope as far as setting goes. LOVED that. I had a great time visualizing that in my head.

      Yes to the romance, and this surprised me because I don't often find myself annoyed with stuff like this. I think this is because I just found Legend so solidly GOOD in terms of a book that my guy friends would enjoy because it was such a non-issue before, now not only has the slight romance become a big part, but it is a triangle-y thing too? Pfst! And I didn't really see the communication thing until I read what you are saying, but I see it now. Yes, there is a breakdown a bit. Hoping they'll get it together and trust a bit more in the last book because, well, they have to. Communicate. A lot.

      Also there are still some questions from Legend that I have left over that aren't answered yet so I'm really excited about that. Still, I have to say that I really loved this one. They even got the covers right – no pretty dresses or anything like that. It LOOKS like a dystopian cover.

    • Oh, that would make another great discussion post: My eternal love for secondary characters! I can think of like 20 more off the top of my head that I also adore! I can call it "You're No Second Fiddle!" or something equally cheesy:) Thanks, Ash:))

      And YES to your cover comment! PERFECT for a dystopian book! And I think this one is much more interesting visually than Legend:)

    • This is a really great series. The ending of this one is kind of tough. But I love these two books so much.

      What's so great about this series is that the government is so scary and it seems a little more real and possible than a lot of the books in this genre. Of course, I'll be re-reading these again next year when the third books comes out if you decide you are going to read them and want to wait 🙂

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