Book Review: Rebel

March 30, 2020


I have no idea why I didn’t immediately pick up Rebel when it was released last year (especially when I went out of my way to refresh my memory by picking up the Legend series in graphic novel form). But I finally read it! And I fully recommend avoiding my mistake and putting this series ender on your immediate TBR (especially if you’re a fan of the original Legend trilogy) because it was, by far, my favorite novel of this dystopian series from Marie Lu.

Rebel takes place ten years after the events in Champion, following Daniel “Day” Altan Wing and his little brother Eden who have carved out new lives together in Ross City, Antarctica, far away from their former home that took more than its fair share of their blood, sweat and tears during the revolution. Eden has grown up into a smart, capable young man tired of living in his brother’s shadow, while Daniel is running from his difficult past by focusing on protecting his little brother and trying to reconcile his feelings for June Iparis. The brothers struggle to reconnect as grown men and to understand their own beliefs and desires… all while facing down the danger lurking beneath the placid surface of their new hometown.

Rebel works well as an addition to the Legend trilogy (and I personally think the emotional impact will be stronger if you start by reading the series), but it can also stand on its own. Lu deftly combines all the elements of a good story: strong and compelling plot, snappy pacing, great setting (with a solid sense of place and culture) and, best of all, complex characters. Lu’s brilliant character work made each individual (and their relationships) feel so real (which is especially true of Eden and Daniel, who I love even more than I did before). As a result, I was instantly invested in the characters, and that meant I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know what would happen next.

Honestly, I don’t really have much more to tell you other than the fact that I loved Rebel. It perfectly fits my story sweet spot in all ways, and I’m so glad I finally read it! (An additional note – I actually listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed it! The narrators did a great job bringing the brothers to life.)

Rebel (Legend #4) was released on October 1, 2019 by Roaring Brook Press.
The previous trilogy includes Legend, Prodigy and Champion (see my series review).

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