1. Two great characters! I mean really great. So great, they are each their own reason. First – Day.
Day is a fifteen year old on the run. The Republic is desperate to catch him, but they don’t know exactly what he looks like. He is like a ghost with a Robin Hood complex. It just goes to show how much trouble a teenager can cause a government that relies mostly on blind adherence to policies and procedures.
We start the story with Day outside his parents’ house and the words “My mother thinks I’m dead.”He watches from a safe distance as soldiers mark his house with the sign of the plague. Except that it isn’t the familiar X. There is a third line sprayed on the door that cuts the X in half. This is the first time Day has seen that marking.
2. Then we meet June. June is sitting int the Dean’s office because she was scaling the side of a nineteen-story building with a gun. June considers it necessary training if the Republic is ever going to catch their most-wanted criminal, Day. She would be in a lot more trouble if she wasn’t the Republic’s prodigy and first to score a perfect score on the exam they use to decide their youth’s future.
The two lives intersect when June’s brother is killed and she goes looking for the most likely suspect – Day.
3. The chapters alternate points-of-view. I don’t mind this, but sometimes it is a hard sell for students who miss or forget to look for the cues offered at the front of the chapter. That is not a problem with this book. The chapters state the name at the top in bold letters. The font and the color changes as well. Marie Lu reports on her website that in the second book, Prodigy, Day’s chapters will be in dark blue. Even better.
4. Speaking of Prodigy, it comes out January 29, 2013.
5. I think many of my YA readers will appreciate Marie Lu’s video game background. It shows up in the action and the descriptions that seem to give just the right amount of detail woven through the action and dialogue. Lu has a gift for moving characters smoothly from place to place. I also love the drawings of the characters and other fun information at http://marielu.org/writing.html.
I want to pass this book on to…
Fans of Maze Runner and Hunger Games.
Some of my boys who love video games but haven’t found a book they love.
Anyone who wants a fast-paced, action-filled book. But, make no mistake, the characters are well-developed enough that not only does a lot happen, but it all has meaning.
Fans of the Demon King series – even thought it is a very different time, place, and style, the characters seem similar to me. The high society girl and the street-smart boy. It might pull readers from one genre into another.