In 2041, the choice is yours.
San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs–thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.
Legacy is a YA dystopian set in the rather near future for a change, only a few decades. Drugs that enhance or inhibit specific emotions have been developed and were for a time available for public use. Now, due to potential side effects, they are illegal, but that doesn’t stop people from getting them on the black market. And, it doesn’t stop the government from using Evomere to toughen up the Guardian Force soldiers. The story opens with Lex-the daughter of the scientist whose breakthrough made these drugs a reality-sneaking into the evacuated and off-limits San Fransisco.
So, first off, my favorite part of the book is the first half. There’s just something about rebels hiding right under the nose of their enemy that pulls me in. That’s not even mentioning Lex’s discovery of her love interest. As a YA story, this discovery is sweet and filled with the confusion and that us-against-the-world mentality that makes this genre so fun to read. Another thing I like is the cast of characters, both good and evil. The author does a good job of revealing each person’s past and tying it in with their present, and this is done all while revealing the greater threat that underlies the obvious one.
As for things I didn’t like, well, I thought it a bit odd that the government would evacuate a huge city to isolate the rebels known to base there. Odd because they didn’t also cut the utilities. Why would you do that? The rebels have all the power and water they want. I’m pretty sure that those could have been cut off, making it a bit harder for the rebels to do what rebels do.
On a similar note, I didn’t buy how the men in black gave up monitoring the hideout after just one visit, and the lack of caution from those staying there really bugged me. If you don’t want to be observed in your hideout, don’t sit out on the front porch or go for jogs around the neighborhood for anyone to see. Honestly, I’d be indoors or in the back yard, particularly since the first walk around the block was reported by neighbors, a fact revealed by the men in black when they showed up at the front door.
Overall, I really liked this book, particularly the beginning, although I kind of lost the drive to read on when I hit the second half. Still, I’d recommend this to folks who like a YA dystopian and particularly to those who like to imagine themselves in such a world.
The review copy of Legacy was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.