Top critical review
Solid, and entertaining, but spends too much time explaining
on June 8, 2013
"Prodigy," the second book in Marie Lu's entertaining dystopian saga, is still a lot of fun. But (and there is so often a "but" in the second book of a trilogy) Lu seems rushed to explain herself, and spends far too much time on the "why" of what happened years before and not enough time developing the characters. Anden, the young new Elector, is exhibit 1. Supposedly he's a charismatic figure with an outsized impact on June, the female protagonist. But Lu speeds through his interactions with her, and never gives him the depth of the male protagonist, Day. If she wants to create a love triangle a la "The Hunger Games" she needs to make it a more difficult choice. She also has an unfortunate habit of introducing "Red Shirt" characters who are so obviously doomed that it adds nothing to the story when they die. But this is all quibbling - and hopefully just the jitters of a sophomore effort. After all, the story itself is entertaining, the plot twists appropriately soap-opera-esqe, and (cleverly)the overwrought love match is narrated from the point of view of the boy as well, giving it some added zing. Definitely looking forward to her next book, but hoping that she'll be a bit more patient with the narrative next time.