As I write the first part of this review, I am sitting alone on my bed at 1:30 a.m attempting to understand how the world is going on. After the tortorous ride that was Prodigy, I simply can't lay my mind to rest and go to sleep. Doesn't anybody know what just happened!? How is your life continuing after the tragic ending of this book? I just can't…
I honestly don't know what to say or where to begin. Marie Lu has snatched my heart from my chest and stomped all over it, and then run it over for good measure. I don't even know how to write this review without spoilers, but I promise I will do my best (view spoiler).
When I first started Prodigy, I thought it was as good as its predecessor, but it didn't draw me in as much. I was still intrigued, as we were almost immediately thrown into the mix of the Colonies, the Republic, and the Patriots. It wasn't until the lines between right and wrong, good and bad, became blurred that things really started to get interesting. And because the second half of the book was so devastatingly fantastic, I had to give 5 stars.
One of the reasons this book is so addicting is the characters. Marie Lu has a way of making you really care about her characters, and I don't just mean Day and June, but also characters like Kaede and Anden. I confess, I had a little fit of hatred at Thomas's brief appearance, and then marvelled at the way that Marie Lu made me hate him. (view spoiler). Ahem. The character I had the most issues with in Prodigy was Tess. It's like she suddenly turned bipolar; one minute she's the sweet girl from Legend, the next (view spoiler). However, I think my biggest surprise was Kaede. I can't say much without spoiling a large part of the story, but her actions (while I did see them coming after a bit) made me like her character even better. And I also really enjoyed getting to meet Anden in his new job as Elector Primo (don't consider this a spoiler, as it's mentioned in the blurb above). Let's hope he can follow through on his promises.
Another reason I liked this one better than Legend is the information we get about how the United States split into the Republic and the Colonies. A lot of people complained about the lack of knowledge and world building in the first book, but it was because of a lack of knowledge on the characters' parts, not poor writing. Day and June have been fed propaganda from such a young age, that they believe the Republic has always been the way it is. However, once Anden and the Colonies enlighten June and Day, we get a much better picture of the world. For those of you who are curious, check out this spoiler (view spoiler) If you read the spoiler, you might find some of it unbelievable, but that's where Marie Lu really demonstrates her ability to persuade the reader that these results were entirely possible. Or maybe I just liked the story so much that I didn't care!
Now, I know love triangles/squares/diamonds frustrate people to no end. For the majority of the books I read, I have to agree. But I didn't find that the 'love diamond' in this book overtook the plot. Obviously it made June and Day question one another, and resulted in more obstacles to their relationship. But I didn't find that the plot was sacrificed to the characters' whining about each other. And anyway, Day and June's romance will last forever (this is a real spoiler! -->) (view spoiler). How could you not stay with someone who makes you feel like this:
“Day makes me feel like I’ve never been kissed before. Like the world has melted away into something unimportant.”
I know Day is among my favourite male YA characters now. He treats Tess and June with respect, and has very real feelings and flaws. No perfect love interest here!
Like Legend, the plot was pretty fast-paced. I did find the middle a little slow when Day and June were away from one another, but it picked up about halfway through and I couldn't put it down. Between attempted assassinations, a plane chase, and the politics between the different players, there was little to complain about. We even got a little romance and a (view spoiler) bathtub scene!
Last but not least, that killer ending. I did NOT see that coming! How dare Marie Lu do that to us? Now I have to wait until November to find out what happens! REAL SPOILER (view spoiler).
This is me:
Excuse me while I go recover.