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Book review: 'Prodigy' a gripping new novel in Legend trilogy

By Melissa DeMoux

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 9 2013 1:00 p.m. MST

"PRODIGY," by Marie Lu, Putnam, $17.99, 371 pages (f)(12 and up)

New York Times best-selling author Marie Lu has released the second dystopian installment of her critically acclaimed Legend series. “Prodigy” is an addictive novel which propels its characters through the turbulent, futuristic streets of North America.

Following colossal floods which swallowed America’s Eastern states, the nation was thrown into war. As refugees poured toward the safety of the Western lands, the polluted leadership of the Republic closed its borders to outsiders, leaving Easterners to fend for themselves and trapping its own citizens in a choice between cruel compliance and painful poverty.

Having barely survived a harrowing encounter with Republic officials, Day and June continue their militant attempts to overthrow the tainted government. Battered and bruised, they limp into the military city of Vegas hoping to find help from the Patriots, a radical group of rebels.

Suddenly ensconced in a dangerous plan to assassinate the Elector Primo, Day and June are forced to make arduous decisions about whom to trust and whom to defy. June cannot shake the feeling that the Patriots are not entirely what they profess to be. But when the choice pits Day against his dearest friends, the turmoil winds its way from the outside world into his own heart.

This novel is exhilarating and defiantly beautiful. Day is an unquenchable hero whose deep ties to those he cares for propel him to risk everything for their safety. June is brilliant and calculating. Her personality stretches in this novel, leaving her blatantly displayed to readers in a vulnerable yet somehow powerful way.

Lu’s prose is superb. Her descriptions are authoritative and commanding and her story is clean and crisp. This book will leave readers gasping for the final piece of this project, which is scheduled to be released this fall.

"Prodigy" is clean and appropriate for even young teens. The inner workings of the government might be a bit cloudy for young readers to understand. There is some mild violence but nothing graphic. Also, while some characters share romantic moments, they are not sexually charged. The main character occasionally uses a made-up swear word.

Fans also have the chance to meet Lu in person. Lu stops at the Orem Barnes and Noble on Saturday, Feb. 16, as part of the Breathless Reads book tour. For more information about the tour visit her page.

If you go ...

What: Breathless Reads group tour stop, book signing and panel discussions with Ally Condie, author of the Matched triology; Marie Lu, "Prodigy"; Brenna Yovanoff, "Paper Valentine"; Andrea Cremer, "Rise"; and Jessica Khoury, "Origin"

When: Saturday, Feb. 16, 4 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, 330 E. 1300 South, Orem

Web: barnesandnoble.com, breathlessreads.tumblr.com

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is mddemoux@gmail.com and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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