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Ironic Contradictions

I'm a long time reader - since way back when I was seven. That makes it over three quarters of my life that I will be a reader for. But it is worth it. When I'm not reading or wasting my time online on here or Goodreads I'll be off playing video games, studying teaching and messing around with friends and pop culture. Or reading some more.
Prodigy  - Marie Lu
Prodigy, is, frankly, better than Legend, but in many regards less compelling reading. This is because while Prodigy may flow together in a way that is less disjointed and adolescent than its predecessor it also oddly lacks the same energetic vibrancy and pace of that first novel. It was as if the author, having ridden the high of a debut novel, decided to slow everything down to write a novel of greater quality but that could not interact as potently with the audience.

What I did like about this novel was how it attempted to analyse that perhaps the issues noted in the first novel were all related to the character perspectives. That perhaps as the characters are inside a propaganda dominated nation they cannot understand that they alone in the world live in such a civil war situation and that perhaps the Colony dominated areas may be just as badly governed as the Republic areas. This was better controlled and written than many similar novels. *cough* Divergent, Hunger Games *cough* Because while other nations may not exist in other similar books, at least Prodigy attempts to point out that America is not the only nation left in the world.

What I didn't like about this novel was the slide into typical YA novel story and emotion repetition. By which I mean the cycle of the love interests griping about who is it they really love over and over again. And again, why is it that when it comes to the female point of view that the female love interest always describes how good the guy smells? Is that really how the females around here think? It's not just the taut muscles but the masculine smell? I'm just curious whether the manly musk I keep reading about is a literary fantasy construct or not. Plaudits must go to the author for managing to not follow convention on the whole with the ending as regards the issue of romance in a YA setting. The ending felt emotionally powerful and natural in the story in this regard.

Is it a great novel? Not really, but is it better than other similar competing YA novels? I would argue that in many regards it is. It may pander to the stereotypes - as sadly most marketable books tend to utilise linguistic stereotypes and assumptions in order to create a set of characters that teenagers and young adults will snap up viably - but at the same it attempts to break from them and stand as its own material.