Rebel by Marie Lu
Published by Roaring Book Press on October 1, 2019
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Because, sometimes, being patriotic means calling out the problems rotting away your country.
A long-anticipated finale to the Legend series that I only ever dreamed of coming true. Yet somehow incredibly puissant read while watching all that is happening in the world today.
When I read the Legend series, the ending was bittersweet. It gave me everything I yearned for while equally keeping it just out of reach. Then Warcross came along and I was utterly entranced by the world. Rebel is the perfect combination of the two. If you read Legend and not Warcross you don’t need both to read Rebel but I definitely feel that it gave me a good handle on Antartica’s society.
In Legend, Eden was a child and we weren’t in his head nor knew as much about him as we do in this book. At least, not that I remember. I’ve slept a few times since I’ve read the original trilogy. All grownup-ish, he’s a brilliant young man, still a little awkward, but determined to create. Something about those Wing boys where they are getting themselves in the middle of some sort of rebellion or revolution.
Mostly what I was looking forward to was seeing how Day (er, Daniel) and June’s story continued. The teaser at the end of Champion, the short story from Marie Lu herself, and all the many, many daydreams I’ve had of what they would’ve been doing with no book itself to guide me. It was good to see them cross paths again and watch how they handled it. I won’t spoil anything, but many emotions were had.
What I appreciated most about reading Rebel is how it parallels the world we live in today. Warcross was unsettling knowing that as rapid as technology is evolving, it’s a concept that could be a decade or two from manifesting. Less given how quick big tech is forced to evolve as our world moves more and more dependent on reaching the outside world from the comfort of our own homes. The technology in Rebel isn’t what parallels our world, though. Rather the unfairness of the Level system, oppressed citizens getting tired of being under a government’s foot, and the question of what exactly does patriotism define.
Maybe you’re like me and you believe in reading books at the right time. Rebel is a book that I’ve tried reading before and just never could, but I don’t think I would appreciate the underlying themes of the book as much without living through the social unrest and civil rights movement we are currently living through. The quote at the beginning of this review hit the hardest in the book. I had to take a moment and just stare as I processed the paragraph that followed and how precisely it reflects what current day America is going through. Also watching how a fictional future America 100+ years in the future has crumbled a few times over and they looked back at all the country went through. I want to elaborate more on all of my feelings about this, but I don’t want to spoil the events of the book.
If you loved Legend, you’ll love Rebel. It was so worth the six year wait.