Wow. What a book.
Marie Lu has outdone herself. This book has it all - political intrigue, nonstop action, romance, angst. The action scenes alone make the book worth reading.
The characters develop nicely from the last book, [b:Legend|9275658|Legend (Legend, #1)|Marie Lu|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333909141s/9275658.jpg|14157512]. June grows a lot in this story; we begin to see her as a sort of child prodigy who almost has a hint of Asperger's. She's obsessive about time and control. She is so reined in, and yet as she grows with Day, she begins to have to deal with her emotions.
Day, on the other hand, has to become more responsible and less impulsive. He begins to do things with purpose. It's obvious that June has a huge influence on him.
Tess has also grown up in this book. Anden is a likable addition as the new head of state. The other secondary characters are also good, developed just enough.
The world building in this story that began in Legend continues, but we get a much broader view of it. Where Legend gave us a police state as a Republic, Prodigy gives us the reasons behind it. We get some history that complicates the politics, and that gives depth to what we already knew.
Lu is a wonderful writer. I love the honesty she gives to her characters. They may not be candid with each other, but they are honest with themselves as they wrestle with their feelings and issues. And good grief, the plot twists! Several things in this story came out of nowhere, and it was not predictable at all. It is a wild ride.
I especially liked the ending. Some authors betray their readers by leading them up to a point and then turning the whole thing on its head. Lu didn't do that here; she gave us difficult issues that need working through, and an open but gratifying conclusion that sets up the final book.
Regarding the audio - Stephen Kaplan does a good job with Day, but it does take awhile for him to get going. There are some long pauses, but as things went along I did get a good sense of Day's character. [ didn't like Mariel Stern at all, as she seemed as if she was just reading. But then I realised that June is kind of a robotic sort of person, and Stern's characterization of her was spot on.
This is a fantastic series. I can't wait for the final installment.