Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Prodigy Audio

Prodigy Audio

Marie Lu
For ages 13 and up
Unabridged audiobook (Digital)
Performed/read by: Steven Kaplan
Listening Library, 2013 

Nine days ago June and members of the rebel Patriots group helped Day escape from imprisonment. He went from being the most wanted criminal in the Republic to being a fugitive on the run. Day and June have made it to Vegas, but now they need help. Day needs to have his leg tended to by a proper doctor, he wants to find his friend Tess (who joined the Patriots) and he is desperate to find out what has happened to his remaining brother, who was taken into custody by Republic soldiers. June no longer has wads of Notes to give the Patriots to buy their help, but it is decided that they will seek out the Patriots anyway. Day is hopeful that they will help, but June is less sure.

She is therefore very surprised when the Patriots in Vegas actually come and get them. They could have chosen to leave Day and June out in the open, where they would eventually have attracted the attention of one or more of the many soldiers stationed in Vegas. But they don’t. Instead, the revolutionaries come and get the two young people and take them to safety. Day tells the Patriot leader, Razor, what he needs and wants. In the past Day has refused to join the Patriots, so Razor is justifiably a little wary of the young man, but it turns out that Razor has an agenda too, and Day and June are what he needs to put his plan into place.

Day and June learn that the Elector of the Republic has just died and his son has taken his place. Without any fanfare Anden has become the new Elector and the Republic is now very “vulnerable.” This is the perfect time for the Patriots to strike so that they can bring the Republic down, and so that the two halves of what was once the United States can once again be united. Day’s fame as a man of the people will be invaluable because he can rally the people of the Republic to rise up against their oppressors. June once met the young man who is now the Elector and apparently she made quite an impression on him. Razor wants her to get close to Anden so that the Patriots can assassinate him.

Day and June as not really in a place where they can refuse Razor’s offer, and they agree to do what Razor asks. Though June’s parents and big brother were killed by Republic officials, she still feels a little uncomfortable with the idea of being responsible for Anden’s death. At the same time, she knows that Day, whom she has come to love, will not survive without surgery and he needs help if he is going to find his little brother.

Day’s surgery is a success and soon he is joining a Patriot cell and June is allowing herself to be ‘captured’ by the Republic military. She tells her captors that she has a message for Anden, and her former high ranking position in the government is enough to get her the audience she seeks with the new Elector.

At first all goes according to plan. June is able to convince Anden to believe what she tells him, thus laying him open to Razor’s assassination plan. She passes the lie detector test with flying colors, further convincing her captors that they can allow her to rejoin the Republic government. What she does not expect to discover is that Anden is not like his father. He does not want the Republic to continue its cruel and oppressive practices. He wants to transform the government radically and bring about meaningful change. Suddenly June is confronted with the idea that Anden might be good for the country, that he should be supported instead of killed. Perhaps the Patriot’s plans for the future will not be the solution that she and Day have hoped for.

Picking up where Legend let off, this extraordinary story explores the way in which power and fear corrupts. We see how, in the wake of a disaster, a country’s leadership creates a form of government that, over time, becomes monstrous in its policies. Change needs to take place but the people in power are afraid of what that would mean, and they fight to prevent it.

What makes this gripping story even more compelling is the fact that June and Day are deeply attracted to one another. They come from different worlds and technically should not be together because of their differences, and yet they care so much for one another that they struggle to hold onto the connection that they have.