Category Archives: Science Fiction
Book: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marisssa Meyer, Macmillan Audio, Feb. 2013
Audiobook Info: YA Fantasy, library audiobook, Audio length: 11 hours 10 minutes, read by Rebecca Soler.
About the Book:
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the best-selling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison – even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life.
When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
I read Cinder over two years ago, so I’m a little behind at reading this sequel. I kind of like waiting until I have a stockpile of sequel books to read so the cliffhangers don’t get to me too bad. And now I get to read Scarlet and Cress back to back! Fairytale retellings are not usually my thing but maybe the SciFi element of this series makes it more appealing to me. Strong characters, fast paced action, romance, and a creative setting make this a standout series.
I was worried that this installment features a whole new cast, since I liked Cinder so much in the first book. But, there is still a lot of Cinder in this book, and the new characters fit right in. Scarlet features a cool twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story, with a tortured love interest in Wolf, and the mystery of the missing grandmother.
Though it’s been a while since I read the first book, it was easy to catch up. The book picks up where Cinder left off, with Cinder locked up. She meets a cocky spaceship “captain” Han Solo-type named Thorne in jail and they become partners in crime.
Scarlet is a fearless new character. She is self-reliant and kick-ass and just wants to save her beloved grandmother. She doesn’t know if she can trust Wolf, and the reader is understandably wary of him too, considering the source material. But at the same time this bad boy romance works, even though this bad boy is a member of a wolf pack.
The action alternates between Cinder’s and Scarlet’s stories, so we learn a lot more about the political developments and backstories through each character’s eyes. Other fan favorite characters from Cinder also feature in the book, including Prince Kai and Cinder’s android pal Iko.
I loved Rebecca Soler’s performance in the Cinder audiobook, so I’m sticking with that format for the series. Soler gets to play more with accents in this installment since Scarlet’s story is set in France. Her accents are subtle yet effective and help make the character’s voices distinct. Soler’s Scarlet voice lines up with the character’s headstrong and impulsive personality. Soler continues to do a solid job with her performance, and makes the story more intense and exciting. I have the Cress audiobook in hand happily and can’t wait to dive in.
Overall this series is a lot of fun. We are halfway through the four-book series and I can’t wait to see where it’s all going. I liked Scarlet a little less than Cinder, maybe because I missed the Kai/Cinder dynamic in this book, and there are so many balls in the air. We learn more pieces of the puzzle in this book, but I still feel a little in the dark. The new characters bring a freshness to the series though, and I look forward to seeing how the relationships develop. If you’ve been putting off reading the Lunar Chronicles, it’s a good time to catch up on this inventive series! Cress is out now, and the final book Winter is due out in 2015.
Listen to the first chapter of Scarlet, performed by Rebecca Soler:
Book: Champion (Legend, book three) by Marie Lu, Penguin Audio, November 5, 2013
Audiobook Info: YA Dystopia, Borrowed audiobook from the library, and HC purchase. Audio length: 10 hours 3 minutes, read by Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
I faced my fears and finally finished the Legend trilogy! I’ve had end-of-series phobia lately, and Allegiant didn’t calm my fears. I know it doesn’t make sense for dystopian series’ to wrap everything up neatly with a HEA. But as long as the conclusion makes sense with the rest of the series I’m okay. The ending of Champion was just perfect though, a little open ended, bittersweet, and satisfying. If you’ve been wondering whether to read this series or not I’d say proceed with confidence.
Marie Lu does a great job getting the reader up to speed with this installment and easing back into the story. The last book, Prodigy, ended with a game changer, and in Champion we see the after effects. Will the peace treaty hold, and can a plague threat be stopped? Day and June have new roles in Champion, and are not sure where they fit in each other’s lives now. Day in particular worries about sick little brother Eden, and his own poor health. Meanwhile, June is working for Anden as his Princeps-Elect and missing her time on the field.
This series has great world building, action, and suspense, as well as a dystopian super couple. I love Day and June together, and the paperclip rings and respect they have for each other. It’s always been them against the world, but this time they face their biggest trials yet. I was on pins and needles at the end there. Both characters show a lot of growth throughout the series.
I listened to the audiobook of Champion, after liking Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern’s narration so much in Prodigy. This book has alternating Day and June chapters and happily dual narrators as well. Steven Kaplan in particular is a wonderful Day and conveys his cockiness, rebellious nature, loyalty, and uncertainty. Mariel Stern is a good fit for June, and shows her fighter nature, struggles, and analytical side. Both narrators make the listener feel the emotion of the story, and their pace and tone build with the action of the book. The physical books are lovely with the different color text for the alternating Day/June chapters, but the audio is quite powerful too.
Though I’m content with the way the series ended, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to see what happens next. But Marie Lu has something new up her sleeve- coming up next is The Young Elites, due out this fall.
Book: Enders (Starters, book two) by Lissa Price, January 7, 2014
Audiobook Info: YA Dystopia, audiobook purchase. Audio length: 7 hours 57 minutes, read by Rebecca Lowman, from Listening Library. Also available in HC, 288 pages from Delacorte Press.
Publisher’s Summary via Audible:
The riveting conclusion to the sci-fi thriller Starters.
Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael – teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations – Starters who can be controlled and manipulated. With the body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save her life – but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena’s memories, too…and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?
No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man. Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth. Even if it kills her.
Enders is the second and final book in the Starters duology. In this series, teens are implanted with a microchip that allows their bodies to be controlled by the older members of society. Creepy, huh?
I read Starters almost two years ago, and I remember the sci-fi body rental concept made an impression. The idea is that there are only the very old and the very young left in the world after a biological attack left the unvaccinated “Middles” vulnerable. The wealthy seniors (“Enders”) rent out the bodies of the young “Starters” for fun, though some of the Enders abuse the rental agreement. And the “Old Man” in charge has his own ideas about how to use renter’s bodies. Can Callie help herself and other Starters regain control of their bodies?
One thing I like about a two-book series is that there is no filler- it’s non-stop action! Callie dodges trouble left and right in Enders and can’t shake the Old Man loose. He’s back and has some new tricks up his sleeve that makes him even more of a threat to Callie and the other chip-implanted “Metals.”
Callie’s brother and her friend Michael are back, along with some new characters, notably Hyden. Hyden teams up with Callie to try to stop the Old Man – he is technically savvy and seems to be on the same page as Callie too. He’s a good addition to the series.
The final act of the book is where Enders really shines and kept my ear glued to the audiobook. Like in Starters, Enders pushes boundaries and is an uncomfortable and disturbing read at times. And the ending gives the satisfying payoff I was hoping for.
I listened to the audiobook of Enders, performed by Rebecca Lowman. I’m familiar with Lowman from Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, so it was a new experience hearing her perform something of a sci-fi nature. Lowman speaks clearly and carefully and her tone fits the story. Sometimes she would have to speak with a robotic tone of voice as the story dictated and she pulled that off well. Lowman’s Callie sounds age appropriate and strong and her male voices are subtle and believable. The pace at times was a little slower than I prefer, even though stylistically I’m sure it was the right choice. Overall I think the story is probably equally enjoyable in print or audio format.
Enders didn’t wow me as much as Starters overall, maybe because the sense of urgency wasn’t there since it had been awhile since I read the first book. The story is entertaining though and there are some fun twists that I didn’t see coming. I’m content with the series conclusion as is and feel like all my questions were answered. I’m looking forward to seeing what Lissa Price cooks up next.
I’m sure many of you read and loved Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds last year. I was late to the party and I’m finally reading it now, and it’s SO GOOD. And the sequel, Never Fade, hits shelves this week! Read on to find out how you can win a copy of Never Fade, and a cool book t-shirt as well.
About Never Fade:
The gripping and highly anticipated second installment in a dark YA trilogy about teens with dangerous powers on the run from the government.
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children-and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts-has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future-and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam-and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart-she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?
The series kicks off with The Darkest Minds, and the kindle edition is currently on sale for $0.99 so grab it now!
Get up to speed by checking out the official book site: http://www.thedarkestminds.com/
Check out the book trailer for the series:
Congrats to Michelle who won a copy of NEVER FADE and a book t-shirt!
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event brought to you by Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming books we can’t wait to read.
I’m excited that the cover of Ernest Cline’s latest book, Armada, was unveiled this week! Armada doesn’t come out until Summer of next year, but when I saw the cover I couldn’t help but feature it.
Armada by Ernest Cline
Publication Date: July 2014 from Crown
Publisher’s summary :
Zack Lightman is daydreaming through another dull math class when the high-tech dropship lands in his school’s courtyard-and when the men in the dark suits and sunglasses leap out of the ship and start calling his name, he’s sure he’s still dreaming.
But the dream is all too real; the people of Earth need him. As Zack soon discovers, the videogame he’s been playing obsessively for years isn’t just a game; it’s part of a massive, top-secret government training program, designed to teach gamers the skills they’ll need to defend Earth from a possible alien invasion. And now…that invasion is coming.
As he and his companions prepare to enter their ships and do battle, Zack learns that the father he thought was dead is actually a key player in this secret war. And together with his father, he’ll uncover the truth about the alien threat, race to prevent a genocide, and discover a mysterious third player in the interplanetary chess game he’s been thrown into.
In Armada, a gamer has to use his skills to prevent an alien invasion, and reunites with his father along the way. Sounds cool, right? I’m a big fan of Cline’s Ready Player One, and while Armada isn’t a sequel it definitely sounds like it will appeal to the same audience. And there’s going to be a movie too. I expect we’ll hear a lot more about this book next year! The cover has a retro videogame Galaga thing going on that seems fitting to the story – what do you think of it?
What book(s) are you eagerly anticipating this week?
Book: The Wells Bequest (Companion to The Grimm Legacy) by Polly Shulman, Penguin Audio, on sale now. Also available in hardcover from Nancy Paulsen.
Audiobook Info: Middle Grade, Received for review, Audio length: 6 hours 46 minutes, read by Johnny Heller.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars
I listened to The Grimm Legacy audiobook last year (review) and thought it was so fun and enchanting, and now a companion book is out. There are some familiar characters from The Grimm Legacy as well as new adventures in the creative world of The Wells Bequest. I wish there really was a cool magical library like the New-York Circulating Material Repository! I would love to visit.
In this middle grade series, the kids always save the day. The Repository’s teen pages are super smart and creative problem solvers. One of the newest employees is Leo, a bright student who finds the Repository when he’s doing research for a science project. He’s also investigating time machines, since he saw a miniaturized version of himself and a girl appear to him. There’s no better place than this library to solve that mystery!
I was happy to read more about the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a library where patrons can check out cool magical objects. There are special collection rooms devoted to different types of items. For example, in the Grimm Collection, you can check out famous artifacts from Grimm’s fairy tales like the Queen’s mirror from Snow White. In this book, the focus is science fiction with The Wells Bequest room that has H.G. Wells-type toys like time machines and shrink rays. Anything is possible in this magical library. Looking forward to discovering the other special collections in future books.
The head page Jaya is a girl who also had a part in The Grimm Legacy, as the younger sister of one of the teen pages, Anjali. Now Jaya is the focus and she’s quite the heroine herself. Leo has a big crush on Jaya, motivated by seeing his future self and her together. They work well at the library- Leo is more cautious and Jaya is bold and brave so they balance each other out.
Since the items available for loan are so special and rare, you can’t check them out with only a library card. You have to offer up something unique to you like your sense of direction, patience, or sense of humor. And if you lose the item, you won’t get your “deposit” back. It would really make me think before I borrowed an object!
I think readers that love adventure and the feeling that anything can happen will eat up this series. The time travel is fascinating stuff and the characters discuss the ramifications and ethics of altering the past. Some of that hurt my brain to think about but it helped if I just went along for the ride. There are some familiar names that pop up in the past that also serves as a fun and educational history lesson.
I listened to the audiobook read by Johnny Heller. Heller is a veteran narrator but I think this is my first experience listening to any of his books. Heller is a great storyteller and makes the story come alive. There are many different characters in the book and Heller gives them all different voices and personalities. He especially gets Leo’s inquisitive voice right. This is a fun audiobook to listen with the family, and the nature of the story lends itself well to audio.
It’s not necessary to read The Grimm Legacy to understand The Wells Bequest; they are standalone books, though some characters do overlap. I read that the author is working on the next Repository book called The Hawthorne Annex, which is the ghostly collection. Looking forward to it!
- Have Time Machine – Will Travel (goodreadswithronna.com)
- ” The Wells Bequest: A Companion To The Grimm Legacy “, Has Been A Must Own Book (kidbooksreview.wordpress.com)
Book: Proxy by Alex London, Penguin Audio, June 4, 2013
Book Info: YA SciFi Dystopia, Audiobook received for review from Penguin Audio. Running time: 8 hrs, 41 mins. Read by: Andrew Sweeney. Also available in hardcover from Philomel.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Whoa, this was an intense ride! I wasn’t expecting Proxy to pack such an emotional punch, but it got to me. Proxy is part SciFi adventure and social commentary on the haves and have-nots. It’s also loosely based on the 1986 children’s book The Whipping Boy. I wasn’t familiar with the title, but similar to Proxy, it’s the tale of a rich, spoiled kid who is provided with an orphan to take his punishments for him. Proxy is the futuristic update of the story, and the wealthy teens are called Patrons, and the orphan debtors are called Proxies.
Proxy is the story of one patron/proxy pair. Patron Knox is spoiled and selfish, and frequently misbehaves, so his poor Proxy Sydney is always paying the price. When Knox gets in particularly bad trouble, Sydney faces a brutal punishment. Ironically the only one that can save him is his patron, Knox, and this pair that was never supposed to meet, have to work together to change the world.
The orphan proxies are in their predicament due to a debt they owe society. They own nothing, not even their own names. Their names are assigned from forgotten, out-of-context works of classic literature. Syd’s name, Sydney Carton, is taken from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. And he crushes on a boy named Atticus Finch. It’s refreshing that the main character in this dystopia just happens to be gay, and it brings an interesting dynamic to the story.
Syd and Knox are both flawed characters in their way, and Knox especially is pretty unlikable for a lot of the story. But it’s gratifying to see their characters develop over the course of the book, and Knox really won me over. The chapters alternate with Syd and Knox’s perspectives so we can see where both of them are coming from. Along for the ride with the pair is a female friend, and she has a smaller yet important role in the characters’ journey.
Proxy is action packed and exciting like my favorite type of dystopias such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. And like those books, Proxy gets the reader comparing the troubled world of the future with the problems in the world today. The third act meandered for me a bit, but was more than made up for with the powerful ending.
I listened to the audiobook of Proxy, read by Andrew Sweeney, and it’s my first experience with his narration. He makes Knox sound like the charming sort of jerk that he is, and Syd sound appropriately more humble and sincere. He does well with the accents and female voices as well; they are not overdone and distracting. Sweeney’s pacing is appropriate to the tension and action of the story and made the book come alive.
I think Proxy has wide appeal for SciFi, action and contemporary fans. The characters, unique setting and social commentary got me thinking. I could easily imagine this one as a movie. The ending is strong on its own, but I’m glad that there will be even more closure with the final book in the duet, Guardian, due out next year.
The Movie Date is a weekly feature where we discuss movies that may appeal to YA readers. Andrew is The Reading Date’s resident movie critic and this week he has a book and movie twofer review of World War Z.
“The monsters that rose from the dead, they are nothing compared to the ones we carry in our hearts.”
- Admiral Xu Zhicai, World War Z, Max Brooks
Undead zombies tend to bring out the worst in us, the still-living. In the first modern zombie film, 1968′s Night of the Living Dead, nearly all the conflict was between the trapped humans themselves, not against their shuffling, rotting foes. Since then, the best zombie stories have focused on the often-selfish struggle of humans to survive the attack. Because let’s face it: Warm Bodies aside, zombies aren’t very interesting: they can’t talk and they don’t think. They’re not exactly cunning adversaries.
Max Brooks’ novel World War Z wisely focuses on the man-on-man battles during a horrific global zombie apocalypse. It’s fiction written as nonfiction; it announces itself as an “oral history” of the pandemic, written several years after mankind somehow survives the catastrophe. True to form it’s a series of interviews, with no central protagonist. We hear from military leaders and soldiers, politicians, medical experts, and dozens of other observers as they recount the challenge in understanding the plague and surviving the attacking hordes of undead. Many of the speakers have secrets to hide or are defensive about their choices; it’s clear that our enemies are not just the zombies but human selfishness, pride, and confusion. It’s a gripping, well-researched, and frankly brilliant portrait of a world teetering on the brink of the abyss.
The film World War Z takes place in the same universe as the novel but takes no events or characters from it. We follow suburban dad Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) as he drives his wife (Mireille Enos, The Killing) and kids into downtown Philadelphia. Suddenly a zombie outbreak erupts, instantly converting thousands of citizens (via zombie bites) into walking dead. Because Lane is a former United Nations task force member, he and his family are extracted to a sanctuary aboard an aircraft carrier. But to earn his family’s right to stay, Lane must set off for North Korea and the Middle East to uncover the zombie plague’s origin. Gerry Lane’s thrilling storyline doesn’t appear within the pages of Max Brooks’ novel, but it easily could have. Again, there’s plenty of human conflict as each person Lane visits is suspicious of his motives and reluctant to put himself at risk helping him.
Just to be clear, this is not a horror film, a la the many Living Dead films and most zombie movies. Rather it uses the backdrop of the zombie plague to tell a engaging sci-fi adventure story; the feel is similar to Independence Day. There’s no shortage of action, but most violence takes place offscreen and there’s a minimum of gore (it is a PG-13 pic, after all). And there’s more going on here than massive zombie battles. Some of the best sequences take place quietly in enclosed spaces (a stairwell, a plane, a research lab), with characters moving quietly to avoid alerting the zombies and starting a swarm. (Director Marc Forster isn’t just an action director; he brought us Stranger than Fiction, Finding Neverland, and Monster’s Ball, and this film displays his sensitive spirit.)
I’m not a big fan of the zombie genre (too often it’s used as a way of offering guilt-free violence and gore) but I really enjoyed both the book and the film. And happily enjoying one won’t spoil the other for you, since the stories in each are so different. Both are zombie entertainments with braaaaains (sorry).
Book: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Penguin Audio, May 7, 2013
Book Info: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Audiobook received for review from Penguin Audio. Running time: 12 hrs, 41 mins. Read by: Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza. Also available in HC, 457 pages (I bought it) from G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
The 5th Wave is impossible to ignore right now, and arguably the hottest YA book of the summer. I don’t read a lot of science fiction so I was wary about an alien invasion book described as The Passage meets Ender’s Game. But, all the rave reviews and Hunger Games comparisons got to me and soon I had the 5th Wave fever. The 5th Wave is thrilling like a rollercoaster and fun like a summer popcorn movie. And I think it’s accessible enough for the casual sci-fi fan and very much a human story. It’s one I picked up in hardcover because I know it’s going to be a book I can loan out to a wide variety of readers.
In Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave, civilization as we know it has been wiped out by alien invaders in four devastating waves. The aliens want to get rid of the humans but leave the earth in good shape for themselves. These aliens are smart and have done their homework on how to exterminate the human race. Cassie is a teen who miraculously survived the first four waves with most of her family intact. She gets separated from her younger brother Sammy though, and the goal to get him back is what’s keeping her alive. Meanwhile she’s dodging aliens (nicknamed “the Others”) and hoping there won’t be a fifth wave.
In addition to Cassie and her brother Sam, we meet a character referred to as “Zombie”, and the mysterious Evan Walker who gives shelter to Cassie when she’s on the run. The story kicks off with Cassie’s POV but changes setting and characters with Zombie’s perspective. I clicked more with Cassie’s story and preferred being in her head, but the dual POV does give the reader a wider view of all the happenings. One drawback for me is that with the change in perspective I felt a little detached from the characters. Ideally, I would prefer the book was only from Cassie’s POV even though I get it from a storytelling perspective.
The chapters are short and action packed. The story drew me in quickly and I could feel the hopelessness and desperation the characters faced. It’s a scary story; partly because it seemed so realistic I could buy into the terror of it all.
I mentioned there are two guys in the story, right? So, yes there is some romance and it’s not without its complications. I liked that the romance doesn’t take over the book but it is there to break up some of the tension of the alien attack. I wouldn’t call this an alien romance exactly in the vein of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series, but it is there and I’m curious to see where it goes.
I listened to the audiobook read by Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza, both new-to-me narrators. I’m happy that I listened to the audiobook because it was easier to keep track of the different perspectives with different male and female narrators. Phoebe Strole’s voice reminds me of narrator Emma Galvin (Divergent) combined with Sarah Drew (Delirium). She sounds age appropriate for sixteen-year-old Cassie and conveys her toughness & sarcasm as well as her vulnerability. I liked her quite a lot. Brandon Espinoza also does a fine job with the male voices, and he in particular has to voice a variety of ages and personalities. Both read with a pace to my liking and increased the intensity as the story dictated. I’d recommend listening to the audiobook of this one to really let you escape into the story. I’m going to read it in print to get that experience as well.
I do think this book is a natural sell to Divergent and Hunger Games fans and has crossover appeal for any type of reader. The ending really makes me eager for the next book in the series, though we have a long wait on our hands. Bring on the movie!
Book: Prodigy (Legend, book two) by Marie Lu, Penguin Audio, January 8, 2012 (Hardcover on sale Jan. 29)
Audiobook Info: YA Dystopia, Own audiobook via Audible credit. Audio length: 10 hours 10 minutes, read by Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
I held off on reading this book for as long as I could. I’ve had a copy for a long time, but I didn’t want to read it too early when there will be another long wait for the next book. But- when I saw Prodigy pop up on Audible I couldn’t resist it any longer. The sequel to Legend is so exciting- I couldn’t stop listening. It has lots of heart pounding action and veers off in unexpected directions. The audio experience was also a treat and brought the excitement to life. I think this series is right up there with Divergent, and even though I don’t read a ton of dystopia anymore I’ll always have room for this series.
When Prodigy starts out, Day and June are on the run in Las Vegas. Day is injured and they meet up with Patriot rebels who agree to help them. In exchange, they have to prove their loyalty by agreeing to assassinate the new Republic Elector. Seems like an easy decision, right? The Republic has hurt Day and June in a lot of devastating ways, and maybe it’s the right time to make a change. But things are not all black and white, and Day and June have to decide the best course of action on their own.
Day and June alternate POV again in Prodigy. I have to hand it to Lu that she kept me involved even with the introduction of new characters and through character separations. Day and June have both been through so much, and have each other’s backs, but still have a lot to learn about each other at the same time. Doubts and insecurities plague our duo this time around.
There is more information filled in about the Republic, Colonies, and Patriots and it’s eye opening to learn more about them. Even though Day and June travel to several cities, we still keep tabs on Los Angeles as well. The characters are a big part of why I love this series, though the setting certainly plays a role as well and takes on a character of it’s own in a way. And speaking of characters, Anden, Kaede and Tess play wonderful supporting roles in the story. And I especially look forward to seeing how Anden’s part develops in the next book.
I always know when I have a good audiobook on my hands because I get a cleaner house because I want to keep listening, such as the case with Prodigy. Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern read the audiobook, and both narrators are new to me. Since I read the book Legend I already had an idea in my head of how the characters should sound. Stern lines up pretty well to how I envisioned June – she sounds like a young girl of privilege from Los Angeles. And Kaplan is outstanding as Day and nails the tone of his character. Both narrators convey emotion in their readings and make the action scenes that much more tense and thrilling. About three quarters into the book I’d barely notice the narration at all because I was so drawn in the story. I’d absolutely continue to listen to this series.
Ultimately I’m glad that I waited to read this book because that ending is brutal, and I don’t want to wait any longer than I need to for the sequel. Can’t wait to find out what happens next! Prodigy comes out in hardcover and e-book January 29th and the audiobook is available now.