BOOK REVIEW: Rebel: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu

"You rarely regret the things you do, but always the things you don’t."

I bought Marie Lu's Rebel: A Legend Novel back in February of 2022, but didn't pick it up until April 2023 because there was something about it that made me uneasy. You see, I felt a sense of closure when the final page of Champion was turned. Though I was excited at the prospect of a book told from Eden's POV; Day and June were done for me. Been there, done that. I wanted nothing more to do with them and their tawdry back and forth. Yes, at one point in time I shipped them like mad; but eventually they grew to bore me, and I felt that their relationship was satisfactorily put to rest. Sadly, I feel that the two of them managed to steal Eden's thunder in this installment - not too difficult tbh, because he was quite boring himself once given the power to carry his own tale; but still unfair to Eden in its own right.

For as long as he can remember, Eden has lived in the shadow of his hero brother, Daniel 'Day' Wing. And for good reason. It was Day, street rat Day, who singlehandedly led a revolution that ultimately saved the Republic of America. Clearly no small feat, amiright? Though Eden has a laundry list of accomplishments all his own {incredible inventor at the top of his class, anyone?}, it likely will never top Day's achievements - a sentiment that is never far from Eden's mind. Day, on the other hand, is done. Years of living on the edge, and risking his life, have placed him in a mindset of keeping Eden safe. Period. He's not interested in fame, nor fortune; and while he would love to play a leading role in June's love life, that too is part of the past.

Neither Day or Eden can really claim true happiness. While they live comfortably in Ross City, Antarctica; they merely go through the day to day motions as expected of them. But things aren't as...cozy as they seem - for the brothers, a chasm growing between the two that once did not exist; and for the uppity Ross City itself. Because you see, Ross City, for all of its posh airs and pretentiousness, hides a dark underbelly, one where illegal drone races run rampant; residents turn to all manner of crime to survive or make ends meet; and a truly bizarre level system holds some down and boosts others far higher than they deserve. When Eden becomes deeply involved in Drone Racing, and, in turn, Dominic Hann, Day resolves to save the brother he has slowly been moving away from; but sometimes people have to save themselves.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Marie Lu is a very hit and miss author. Her talent is exponential, but sometimes it's simply not executed well, and you wind up disliking it, or growing bored; and maybe that's exactly where I started with Rebel. The June/Day storyline has run its course; and, unfortunately, IMO, Eden could not carry a book on his own {despite once being one of my favorite characters}. The fact that he had such trite secondary characters surrounding him {Dominic Hann, Pressa...} didn't make it easier on him. The secondary characters used to carry this series when June and Day became tiring. Gone are the Tess', and Pascao's, and Kaede's...characters who you rooted for alongside our MCs. Rebel lacked that, and it was stifling to the story as a whole.

This is me hoping that this is the end of the Legend series. And, if for some reason it isn't, I don't plan on returning to the world of Day, or Eden, or June. For those of you who have not yet gone beyond Champion, I encourage you to stop here and give Warcross a try instead. Another Marie Lu book, yes; but one that actually tops the Legend series hype. You're welcome.

Star Rating: **1/2



ellie said...

Thanks so much for your insights on this author. Many love her at our library. A tried and true author of her genre and many YA readers can't hardly wait for her next one. Awesome to get your POV. Thanks so much! All the best to your 2024 reading list. Some books are harder to get through than others.


R's Rue said...

Thank you for sharing. Love you friend.

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