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Radiant Shadows


Legend - Action? Check. Strong characters? Check. Suspense? Check. Solid world-building and completely innovative plot twists? ... Not-so-check.I'm quickly learning that I LOVE dual PoV and Legend is no exception. I loved reading from both June and Day's PoVs, as I felt like it really helped me connect with both of their characters. June is a strong, independent heroine - fearless and capable in almost any situation. Trained for military excellence for most of her life, she has a sharp mind, quick reflexes and a keen eye. Patriotic and proud to serve her country, it never crossed her mind to question the Republic or it's motives - especially when she was told Day had murdered her brother.In my mind, I make a silent promise to my brother's killer.I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.It was fascinating to watch her reactions to uncovering some of their darker secrets, and refreshing to see her take action and devise a plan of attack, instead of relying on someone else to do the work for her.Day had similar strengths to June, but his skills were the result of a life which forced him to be agile and cunning in order to survive. His ability to show compassion for others, even after being experimented on and then left for dead at the age of ten, is remarkable. Most people would become cynical or jaded after living a life on the streets, scrounging for food and shelter, but Day not only survived - he thrived by making the best out of a horrible situation.While I can't truly relate to either character, as I am neither a child prodigy (surprising, I know) or stronger for having to deal with being homeless, the deep emotions that both characters experience are things I can understand. I can understand the overwhelming grief that must come when faced with losing someone close to you, and how that grief would lead you to make rash decisions. I can understand how it feels to question something you have believed in for your whole life, and not like the answers you uncover. And I can understand how it feels to question yourself, and what you're capable of or what you believe in, and be scared of what you find. These are emotional hurdles that both June and Day struggled to overcome, and I felt like they both handled their different situations with such realism that I couldn't doubt their sincerity.The plot moved quite quickly, and I found myself surprised with how quickly I finished the book. There wasn't a moment where I felt I could put the book down, because there didn't seem to be a moment without some heightened level of suspense or intense action occurring. I did find that I had many questions about the Republic and their war with the Colonies and the Patriots, which unfortunately weren't answered. The lack of world-building would have to be one of my only real issues with Legend, as the history regarding the formation of the Republic was never fully explained, nor was it explained what was happening with the rest of the world (or even with the rest of what used to be the United States). I also found it a little unbelievable that a fifteen-year-old could sneak into a heavily armed hospital, using only some dirt and dark clothes as a disguise, or that a different fifteen-year-old would be tasked with hunting down the country's most notorious criminal. I guess in the future teenagers are much more capable then they are today?The only other (minor) issue I had with Legend was the trickle of insta-love that tried to impose itself on June and Day's romance. Having only known each other for a couple days, both are already harbouring fantasies of what it might be like to kiss the other and Day's strong emotions for June were never really developed. Lu's saving grace was that she didn't have either character express their deep feelings for the other - most of their interactions were purely physical. I was able to forgive the hinting of insta-love because neither character allowed the romance to overwhelm the plot. It also didn't hurt that Day had several tragically beautiful things to say about June.Her sadness makes her impossibly beautiful, like snow blanketing a barren landscape.June has never looked more beautiful than she does now, unadorned and honest, vulnerable and yet invincible. He was just full of great one-liners!Compelling characters and an intriguing (if predictable) plot full of secrets and government conspiracies had me unable to put Legend down until I had finished it!Find this review, and more, on my blog: Radiant Shadows