The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)

Prodigy by Marie Lu
Pub­lisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: Hardcover, 374 pages
Series: Legend
Pub­li­ca­tion date: January 29th 2013

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?


Prodigy was one of my most anticipated sequels of 2013. Unfortunately, it might be one of the most disappointing reads of the year as well, for the following reasons:

1. The beginning bored me to death. The recap was lacking and I felt lost reading the story for a very long time. Also, the first half was unbearably slow. I kept skimming through large chunks of the narration in hopes that the pace would eventually pick up but it took over 50% for the action to really get going.

2. The dialogue felt unnaturally stiff and the lack of communication between June and Day made me inwardly cringe more times than I can count. Their understanding does get better towards the end, but they had way too many awkward moments during the book for me to devotedly cheer them on. With these two, I'm just not sure if they're better off with or without each other.

3. Day's POV did not feel realistic at all. Truthfully, I haven't read that many young adults with male POVs, but his doesn't sound at like a teenage boy's, even one that's been through as much as he has. He was overly dramatic at times and drastically moody at others.

4. I never thought I'd say this about a Legend novel, but there's more angst in this book than action. And more surprising still, it's Day who was the angsty one. June had her moments too, but they were greatly outnumbered by Day's melodrama.

5. The love square is the most disappointing and irritating part of the book. I was so happy that Legend didn't have one that this almost feels like a betrayal. I'd become deeply invested in Day and June and their romance by the end of Legend, and now I'll be surprised if we can get a half-way decent sequel to Prodigy. I admit that Anden was unexpectedly likable, but the love square is still terrible.

That said, I predicted June would come to like Anden, but there were definitely a lot of unpredictable plot twists in here as well. Not as many as in Legend, but good enough that I didn't go through with the 1-star rating I was initially leaning towards.

The ending was certainly shocking and perhaps even heartbreaking for some, but not for me. If I'd actually cared for the characters, I would've felt a lot more anxious and a lot less detached about everything. Sadly, I was just about ready for the book to be over at that point.

Am I interested in finding out how this latest crisis resolves itself? Absolutely. Will I be anticipating the sequel half as eagerly as I anticipated Prodigy? Not even close. It was interesting while it lasted, but overall, a very disappointing sequel. Too much teenage angst and not enough action, which was pretty much the one thing that made Legend stand out amongst all the other formulaic YAs released last year.

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