December 12, 2011

Fear and suspicion in Los Angeles

By Laura Baker
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Day is wanted for assault, arson, theft, destruction of military property and hindering the war effort against the Colonies. The real problem is that no one in the dystopian Republic of America even knows what the 15-year-old looks like. According to military records, he died five years ago in a labor camp after failing the Trial and losing a secure spot in society. As Day now holes up in an abandoned and crumbling Los Angeles building, the annual plague has hit hard again, this time striking what’s left of his family.

On the other side of the city, wealthy June, the Republic’s favorite prodigy and the only participant to receive a perfect score on the Trial, has just been fast-tracked to become a detective in training. Her first tracking mission: Day. Going undercover, she blends in with the gritty life on the streets until she meets a boy who just may be her suspect. June and Day’s mutual suspicions turn into an adventurous cat-and-mouse game that will keep readers guessing.

As both teens discover more secrets about their corrupt, militaristic government, including the real cause of the plague, they suddenly find themselves on the same side—against the Republic. It’s life or death to the very end as Day and June work to save themselves, each other and civilians from a brutal fate.

Even though dystopias have become common fare in young adult literature, an intriguing premise, strong characterizations and fully realized world-building make the action-packed Legend a standout. Unanswered questions and final scenes set the stage for more excitement in a sequel.

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By Laura Baker
St. Martin's
ISBN 9780312966621

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