Prodigy is the second book in the Legend Trilogy. This was definitely as heart wrenching as the first, but in a different way. There were less deaths, but more emotions and heartbreaking moments between the characters that just left me in pain (the good kind…I think) as I read.
This leaves off almost immediately where the first book ends, with Day and June on the run after betraying the Republic. They end up with the Patriots, where they are recruited to assassinate the young new Elector, Anden. June heads undercover to the capital, where she flirts her way into Anden’s trust. But as June gets closer to Anden, she starts to question whether he really is as bad as the Patriots say. Meanwhile, Day is carrying out the mission with the Patriots, and gets to see Tess again. But their dynamic has changed, and it’s leaving Day confused and conflicted. As it all comes to a head at the assassination, Day and June must choose who they trust more, and where their loyalties lay.
“We have risked our lives for our country—not the country we live in now, but the country we hope to have. You are all, every single one of you, a hero.”
June is still just as badass as before, although we see less of her fighting skills this time and more of her internal control. She has to play a part, and we see how careful each movement is, how deliberate every word she says is, and how observant and clever she is. But along with this is some great character growth, as June starts to become more vulnerable. She allows her feelings to dictate some of her decisions, and doesn’t follow authorities actions blindly like a soldier would. We also see her sort out her internal conflict, as she fights against her deep rooted loyalty to the Republic that has been instilled in her since birth, and fights against complete revolt against the Republic. She forges her own path, and does what she thinks is right.
Day also has some great character development in this book. He became a people’s hero in Legend, and during this novel learns how to embrace this new persona and use his powers for good. Besides that, we also see his deep rooted loyalty emerge again, although it’s extended now to June. And finally, just like June, we see Day struggling with internal conflict as well regarding the Republic. All his life he’s hated the rich and wealthy, and he’s hated how the Republic treats its citizens. But he’s starting to differentiate between the Republic’s laws, Congress, the Elector, and the Republic itself.
“I want to run. To do what I always do, have always done, for the last five years of my life. Escape, flee into the shadows. But this time, I stand my ground. I’m tired of running.”
Prodigy extends the relationship formed between June and Day in Legend, but with a lot more angst than what previously existed. Both Day and June have sacrificed a lot for each other, and sometimes these sacrifices are questioned by each other. They both grew up in such different environments, so they have different views on the Republic, and in a situation like this, these views can turn them against each other. I especially found it annoying when Day kept questioning June’s loyalties. Like yes, she was the Republic’s darling. But she literally sacrificed her entire life, and everything she’d ever known, for him. If that isn’t true devotion I don’t know what is.
“Everything I am familiar with is gone.”
In addition, some other potential love interests start to form, with the reintroduction of Tess and Anden. Both Day and June question what they have with each other when they feel the natural, flowing relationship they have with their respective potential love interests. But when push comes to shove, despite their differences, the two will still do anything for the other and have complete faith in the other.
“Day, the boy from the streets with nothing except the clothes on his back and the earnestness in his eyes, owns my heart. He is beauty, inside and out.
He is the silver lining in a world of darkness.
He is my light.”
We also get a glimpse of both the Patriots and the Colonies in this book, as well as a glance at the rest of the world. It’s interesting that in the first book, the Republic is portrayed as strong and totalitarian, the epitome of power, but in the second book, we see that from the outside world’s POV, the Republic and the Colonies are weak for having engaged in this interregional war for so long, and the Republic is backwards technology wise and isolated from the rest of the world. We also get to learn about the downfall of the United States, and how the two competing nations came to be. The Colonies, on the other hand, probably resemble the current United States more, with their advanced technology, market economy, and huge cities. Still, they had some weird dystopian elements to it. As Kaede put it to Day, nothing is the utopia he imagined. The Patriots at first glance seemed like the best of both worlds; free, equal, advanced, rich. But they, just like everyone else, have their own problems, and aren’t quite right for June and Day either.
Just a couple quick happy side notes: Day and Eden reuniting was probably the saddest/cutest/happiest thing I’ve ever read. But imagine how hard and sad it must be for Eden? Getting sick one day and waking up in the end with everything different. Also, June gets Ollie again! I don’t know about you, but when June left her dog behind and went on the run, I was so sad. It seemed like such an unnecessary casualty to leave her dog.
The ending is the beginning of what seems like a heartbreaking and angry journey for me as I finish the series. It’s one of those endings where you understand why the character is doing what they are doing, but still don’t like it. It makes me want to ask Marie Lu,”Why? Why do you have to do this to my beloved characters?” It did seem a little selfish of Day in my opinion, considering he really was all that June had left, but I can understand why he did it. It was his way of coping. But still, doesn’t mean I’m happy.
“My heart is ripped open, shredded, leaking blood. I can’t let him leave like this. We’ve been through to much to turn into strangers.”
A great second installment in the series that I read in literally two days! Oops! I couldn’t put it down because each chapter was so engrossing. Also, I’m still loving the dual POVs, especially in this book where they are on completely different sides of the same situation. Started the third (and last 😦 ) book right after and I’m excited and scared to finish it.
What did you think of Prodigy? How about Day and June? What about that ending?