G. Bianco, 2019
When Marie Lu concluded her Legend Trilogy back in 2013, fans were pretty satisfied with the way it ended. The epilogue showed the readers a glimpse into the future, ten years to be exact, where protagonists June Iparis and Day Wing reunite after Day’s memory loss caused him to forget who June was. It was a hopeful ending to a series about rebellion, poverty, and loss in a dystopian society. Now that it’s 2019, Lu has decided to return to the series and give the fans a more conclusive ending to her bestselling series. Her newest novel, Rebel, picks up about a month after the events of the epilogue and gives the readers a deeper and comprehensive look at life after a revolution.
Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s one of Ross City’s top students and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother. Ten years ago, Daniel was known as day: the boy from the streets who led a revolution to save the Republic of America. Now he’d rather leave his past behind and just focus on his new life and keeping Eden safe, even if it means giving up June, the love of his life. As the two brothers struggle to accept their past and how it has changed them, a new threat arises that draws Eden to the dark side of Ross City. The brothers must work together and learnt to trust one another in order to save their new home and take back their own lives.
This novel was a fabulous way to bring the reader back into the word of Legend and the Republic! The brotherhood, the action, the romance, and the drama all unfold beautifully throughout the story and was engaging and action-packed. The alternating points-of-view are as effective as always in Lu’s writing and really displays how two brothers can react so similarly and differently to the circumstances around them.
It was quite interesting to hear from Eden’s POV alternating with Daniel’s POV because the reader was able to see just how much the characters have grown since the end of Champion. The fact that the reader doesn’t get June’s POV really solidifies that this is a different book that is set in a different time and place. Even though we see a few of the same characters again, they aren’t quite the same characters they were in the first three books. The reader sees the way the rebellion in the Republic has affected everyone, not just Eden and Daniel, and how not everything ends with happily ever after at the end of a series/war.
Lu utilizes the setting of this novel to contrast the setting of the original trilogy, as well as connect certain themes that run throughout all four books. The main setting of the novel is Ross City, Antarctica, a technology-driven and futuristic city. Society is run on a level-system where your level determines where you live, what you have access to, and where you can go. This society is seemingly flawless, but as the novel goes on, the reader and characters see that it’s not as perfect as it seems. Lu creates a social commentary of sorts through Eden and Day comparing life in Ross City and life in the Republic. It soon becomes clear that there’s no such thing as a utopia and even the glitziest of places have underlying problems.
With the wit, humor, drama, and romance from the first series carrying over to this novel, fans of the original trilogy will fall back in love with Marie Lu’s world and won’t want this book to end. If you thought the end of Champion was well done, you won’t be disappointed by Rebel.
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