Review: Rebel | Marie Lu

REBEL | Marie Lu


Series: Legend (Book 4)

Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Publication Date: October 1, 2019


“Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.

As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .”

I was actually very satisfied with how the original Legend trilogy ended. For me, it was enough that June and Day reunited by the end and reintroduced themselves to the other. To me, that was an offering of hope that Day would eventually regain his memories and they would rebuild their relationship anew. However, I certainly don’t mind that Rebel concludes June and Day’s epic love story for good.

Though Day and June are featured in the narrative, the story belongs to Eden. I’m glad that Eden was given an opportunity to exercise his genius in a perilous attempt to both improve living conditions in Ross City and to combat a syndicate kingpin who parades as a savior to the oppressed. He is aided by Day and June who work alongside one another despite restrictions from their respective governments.

The strongest aspect of the book lies in the dynamic between Daniel and Eden. Their relationship is put to the test as Eden wishes to step outside his brother’s shadow and to showcase his brilliance while Daniel continues to view Eden as his dependent baby brother. Daniel’s tendency to protect his brother frequently conflicts with Eden’s desire to be independent and to freely explore his curiosities in invention and societal constructs. By the end, the two boys must learn to communicate and to challenge themselves to overcome their differences so that they can further accept the changes that have transpired between them.

While I’m ecstatic that Eden was given a voice, I will admit that I found him insufferable most of the time. He is a very sympathetic character, but I still found him very childish and frustrating. Pressa could have been a more interesting character if given the time to develop, but since this book was so short, there was not much time to do so. And so, the romantic angle she and Eden had was fairly unnecessary and contrived.

And it was a bit disappointing that June was not given a POV. She seemed more an object of affection rather than an actual character in this one. My main interest in this book is June and Day’s relationship, and so it was saddening to see June so reduced in presence. This, however, still did not take away the impact of the closing scene, wish was all that I could have hoped for.

This book was a wonderful return to the world of Legend. It was fast-paced, exciting, and detailed; however, I think it would have felt more reasonable as a novella. Even so, I’m very glad to have been given a definite conclusion to Day and June’s journey and I’m also glad that Eden has been promised a bright, if not tumultuous, future.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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