Prodigy: Legend, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Prodigy: Legend, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Action-packed dystopian sci-fi sequel keeps suspense high.
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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 18 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Hard-nosed realism isn't Prodigy's strong suit, but the novel does encourage readers to think about how governments present themselves, and how the line between freedom and tyranny is not always clear.

Positive Messages

In Prodigy, the two main characters, Day and June, work with the Rebels to bring about the downfall of the tyrannical Republic. They discover that things are not as black-and-white as they first appear. Corruption is possible in any kind of political setup, but a few committed individuals can make a significant difference.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although haunted by past tragedies, Day and June are extremely brave and capable young rebels, often risking their lives for the cause they believe in. They are also devoted to each other, but their mutual insecurity sometimes borders on the neurotic.

Violence

The action in  Prodigy centers on an assassination attempt, and there are shootings, fistfights, explosions and a plane crash that ends in fatalities. Most of the violence, however, is at a remove and not described gratuitously. Children are used as vectors for bioweapons, but the consequences of that nefarious plot are not described in detail.

Sex

Day and June are extremely attracted to each other, but their level of intimacy doesn't progress beyond longing looks and passionate kisses. Both characters are confused by romantic feelings for other, supporting characters.

Language

Characters in Prodigy use the made-up word "goddy" as a mild profanity. Otherwise, the level of swearing does not rise much above the occasional use of "damn," "hell," and "piss," with a single instance of "a--hole."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In a couple of scenes, background characters smoke and drink alcohol, but Day and June do not.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Prodigy is an engaging follow-up to the dystopian science fiction adventure Legend. The action centers on an assassination attempt, and there are shootings, fistfights, explosions and a plane crash that ends in fatalities. Most of the violence, however, is at a remove and not described gratuitously. The language is generally mild, with a few uses of "damn," "hell," and "piss" and a single instance of "a--hole." The main characters share a strong mutual attraction, while being confused by romantic feelings for other, supporting characters. The level of physical intimacy, however, does not progress beyond passionate kissing.

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old March 15, 2013

Fully detailed Review on violence, positivity, and romance content

I am a mature 12 year-old that fell in love with Prodigy's predecessor Legend within a matter of minutes of when I picked it up. Marie Lu certainly does no... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySr1 August 14, 2013

Great book for a mature twelve or thirteen year old

Prodigy is a great story excellently written by Marie Lu. While I usually find common sense media to exaggerate the reviews they have missed some things you may... Continue reading

What's the story?

PRODIGY picks up exactly where Legend left off, with the street criminal Day and former political insider June having fled future Los Angeles and the tyrannical Republic that rules it. When they meet up with the Rebels working to overthrow the government, they are recruited for an assassination attempt on the newly designated Elector. Having different roles to play, Day and June are separated, only to discover that their assignments are far more complex and dangerous than they've been led to believe.

Is it any good?

Prodigy avoids the sophomore slump, maintaining the narrative energy of Legend, the first volume in this sci-fi series. Author Marie Lu excels in choreographing the action scenes, keeps the level of suspense high, and pulls off a couple of neat plot twists. Some readers may lose patience with Day's and June's fits of jealousy, expecting seasoned freedom fighters to be a little less neurotic and insecure. Others will find the romantic subplots sufficiently compelling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why dystopian novels are so popular. How do you think the Legend series compares with other dystopian series?

  • What methods do governments and corporations share in coercing people to adopt certain behaviors?

  •  Do you think assassination is ever justified as a method of effecting political change?

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