Rating: <3 <3 <3
Format: Physical book
Release date: 10.1.2019
Ah, time to review my most anticipated release of 2019, and the fourth book in my favorite YA dystopian/sci-fi series of all time. I vividly remember the day I found out Marie Lu was releasing a new addition to the series–almost seven years after it had “ended” (or so I thought). I was working in a library with a friend over the summer, and I somehow came across the news online. I was frozen in shock for about 30 seconds, and then started completely freaking out. The book was pre-ordered in the next five minutes, after I sent a frantic slew of text messages to my YA book besties of course. I wasn’t sure how to feel about the news of a fourth book because I had come to terms with the series’ ending almost seven years ago. On the one hand, the ending had been frustratingly mysterious (if you’ve read Champion, you know what I’m talking about). On the other, that aspect had made it heartbreaking-ly beautiful and hopeful; full of potential and possibilities, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be disappointed if the characters didn’t get the ending I imagined.
Rebel, the fourth and final book in the Legend series, is set about a decade after the ending of Champion and follows Day and his younger brother Eden in their lives in Ross City, Antarctica.
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 . . . “Rebel by Marie Lu
What I liked:
- Learning more about Eden! I absolutely loved Eden’s character in the original trilogy and it was really great to get to know him better in this book, especially as half of it was told through his viewpoint. I think Lu did a great job of capturing his emotions and struggles, especially how it would feel like to be in his position as the younger brother of a national hero. He stayed true to the younger Eden we knew and loved, but there was so much depth to his character–like the way he was drawn towards Dominac Hann– that made him so interesting to learn more about.
If you have to sell your soul in your quest to make things better,” I say through gritted teeth, “then you’ll never succeed.”Rebel by Marie Lu
- The sibling relationship between Day and Eden. Eden was one of Day’s primary motivations in Champion, and throughout the entire original trilogy. It was great to see how their relationship had developed from both of their perspectives when we’ve previously only been used to one. Moreover, Lu actually delved into the complexities of their relationship and I thought Day and Eden’s struggles in particular were a great reminder of how blinded we can become when we get so caught up in our own feelings and perspectives.
What I didn’t like:
- The absence of June’s POV. I loved having both Day and Eden’s point of views, but something felt missing without June’s. It just didn’t feel like the Legend series without her viewpoint, and it was strange reading about her developing relationship with Day only from his perspective. I understand that most of her character arc had wrapped up by the end of Champion while Day’s was left ambiguous, but everyone changes over time, and I felt like I didn’t really know the June in this book. As a result, I wasn’t really able to get the closure this book was intended to give, and I feel more discontent after having finished it than I was after Champion.
“I’ve looked over my shoulder for a decade,’ I whisper, ‘wondering what it was that was missing in my life. Turns out, all this time, it was you.”Rebel by Marie Lu
I’m not sure how I feel about…
- The plot. Lu introduced a whole new world with new problems, and a single book wasn’t really enough to let us get to know it enough to feel truly connected to it. I loved all of the ideas, and I think that Ross City and its problems had the potential to have its own complex arc, but beginning and ending the struggle to solve those problems in a single book made it seem less important and almost trivial. Everything in the second half of the book felt very rushed to me, and it felt like the heroes didn’t have to struggle all that much to defeat the big bad. At the same time though, I think with the time that she was given, Marie Lu still wrote a captivating story with enough nuance and creativity to make it truly unique.
- The cover. I’m really conflicted about this one. On the one hand, it’s beautiful. On the other, it partakes in one of my least favorite schemes – when one book in the series doesn’t follow the same theme as the others.
Overall, Rebel was a pretty good book, but I don’t really know if it added anything to the Legend series other than letting us get to know Eden a bit better. It did provide us some closure as to where Day and June end up, but I don’t know that I needed that after the aforementioned beautiful ending of Champion. It was almost more fun to imagine where that closing moment would have taken them than to be given a definite ending. I did, however, enjoy many aspects of this book, such as some of the new characters that were introduced (Pressa!!) and the exploration of the Ross City points system, even if that was partially explored in Lu’s other series Warcross.
Have you read Rebel? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts/opinions/feelings down below!*
*Make sure to leave a warning if your comment contains spoilers!
Thanks so much for reading, and have an AMAZING rest of your day 🙂