Legend: The Graphic Novel

adapted by Leigh Dragoon. illus. by Kaari. 160p. (A Legend Novel). Putnam. 2015. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780399171895.
Gr 8 Up—Lu's Legend (Putnam, 2011) has been adapted as a full-color graphic novel and is just as riveting and action-packed as the original. In a futuristic Los Angeles split into factions between the Republic and the Patriots, two 15-year-olds from different worlds—June, a prodigy from the upper society and Day, a criminal from the slums—have nothing in common. But, when June's brother Metias is murdered, Day becomes the prime suspect, and June vows revenge. As she relentlessly pursues him and they finally meet, they discover the Republic's deadly secrets and join forces to fight injustice. Dragoon's dialogue is faithful to the original text and each character is distinctly identifiable and clearly drawn. By repeatedly incorporating the Republic logo throughout the work's pages, Kaari effectively illustrates the regime's extreme oppression. The use of monochrome colors in the poorer areas compared to the more vibrant colors in the richer sectors also reinforces that theme. The artist accurately visualizes and portrays the descriptive scenes from the novel, using a minimum of panels without significantly sacrificing the original book's story line. Kaari's rich colors and bold, expressive style not only retains but enhances the title's irresistible kinetic energy.
VERDICT Fans of the series or those new to the first volume in Lu's popular trilogy will love this fast-paced, beautifully illustrated version.

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