Review of “Prodigy”

Prodigy_Marie_Lu_Book

While I enjoyed Legend, despite its various flaws, I did not enjoy Prodigy. This makes the second book that I have ever set aside without finishing (the first was Ally Condie’s Crossed), and both were for some of the same reasons.

There is no doubt that Marie Lu has an amazing imagination, but I have found her writing style to be severely lacking, with Prodigy decreasing in quality, rather than improving upon Legend. 

Lu certainly writes in language that eleven to fourteen year olds would understand,  but the primary reason I quit the book was the amount of offensive language in the book. I only read a couple of chapters, but I felt like I was being bombarded by characters who casually used the Lord’s Name. I understand that many authors use foul language in their books, including some of my favorites, like The Book Thief. But while The Book Thief has a darker, more serious feel (it’s told from the perspective of death!), Prodigy has a younger, more childish, borderline bubblegum-adventure feel.

I also think that while Markus Zusak understood his audience, readers fourteen and up, I do not think Marie Lu understood her audience of ten to fifteen, or either she intended her series for an older, but immature audience, which is possible due to her previous career in the video game industry.

The second reason why I did not finish Prodigy, is that while she continues to alternate chapters between her two protagonists, Day and June, she still does not seem to have captured their unique “voices”. Even though the chapter title would suggest I was reading different characters’ perspectives, I felt like I was reading the same “voice”, which made even the slightest change in perspectives annoying.

Overall, the little bit of Prodigy that I read was boring, dry, and disappointing. I would not recommend it, and would have to give the book a “F”.

Have you read Prodigy? If so, what are your thoughts?

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