As soon as I finished this book, I wanted to kick myself for not reading it sooner. Prodigy is brilliant. It managed to exceed my expectations and I absolutely loved how Marie Lu solved the mysteries and questions arising through both Legend and Prodigy, in a way that makes perfect sense.
One of the reasons I couldn't put down this book is because of the characters. Day and June are separated from each other for quite some time in this novel and they both start doubting each other, which is totally normal considering how hard it was for June to up and leave her whole life behind her in Legend. Both Day and June are flawed and this is what makes them so real. This turmoil that they're both going through is so tangible that it's easy to sympathise with their inner struggles. The way they trust each other, even in times of uncertainties, is astounding. I loved how calculating June was, always trusting her instincts (and her genius brain for that matter), her mind never wavering from her responsibilities.
I also started seeing Kaede differently that I did in Legend. She is determined, full of spunk and not afraid of taking risks. Anden was equally interesting. Charming, polite, smart, and so hot. I really look forward to getting to know him more in Champion. But I don't want him and June to be a couple (SPOILER:even though I'm sure this will happen in Champion until Day is, obviously, cured). I'm wholly invested in Day and June together because they're just so:
As for the flashbacks involving Metias, they were so touching and sad and I just wanted to curl up in a ball because he didn't deserve to die that way. (SPOILER:And the fact that he was in love with Thomas? So unexpected. I hadn't thought of things that way before.)
In terms of world building, this book outrules its predecessor. We learn more about how the Republic was formed, how the Trials came to be, what happened to other continents (Antartica's story was fascinating! Can you imaging speaking Antartican?) and what happens outside the Republic.
Now, let's talk about the love square. Marie didn't develop it and turn it onto a drama-filled, complicated love square (thankfully) but there were a bunch of hints now and then, which annoyed me quite a lot mainly because of Tess' attitude.
She changed so much in the space between the two books and is now a lovesick, jealous teenager with a crush on a guy who obviously doesn't feel the same way. I get that she'd be a bit jealous of June because Tess was the one who grew up with him and all, and then June came into the picture and BOOM. BUT, that's not an excuse to behave childishly and selfishly manipulate Day into thinking of June negatively. The arguments between Day and June could have been avoided had Tess not planted that seed in Day's head.
The ending. Oh God, that freaking ending. Mari Lu, how could you do this to me? I was in denial at first and was all like, "That did so not just happen. So freaking not." But then 'reality' came crashing down on me and I wanted to hit something hard because WHAT. WAS. THAT. ENDING.
So, if you haven't read this masterpiece yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? This captivating, action-packed, well-written sequel will leave you breathless. Fortunately, I read Prodigy late enough to have only two months to wait for Champion. Only two months. But two agonizing months nevertheless.