Thursday, 17 February 2011

Book Review: The Legacy by Gemma Malley

Goodreads summary

When a Pincent Pharma lorry is ambushed by the Underground, its contents come as a huge surprise - not drugs, but corpses in a horrible state. It appears Longevity isn't working and the drugs promising eternal youth are failing to live up to their promises. A virus is sweeping the country, killing in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it. When Richard Pincent of Pincent Pharma suggest that the Underground has released the virus, something has to be done to put the story straight and once and for all alert everyone to the truth.

My thoughts and review

Background to the series: It is set in a futuristic world where drugs have been developed where no one dies, gets ill, meaning that they can live forever. Ideal and perfect, right? The only catch is, for those who agree to take the drug and sign the Declaration, they can't ever have children because the world would be over-populated. The first two books focus on what happens to the children who are born illegally.

I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, The Declaration and The Resistance so I was very excited to see this come in at my school library and I reserved it straight away. The first series was the first dystopian I read and I really enjoyed it and the concept of a world where everyone can live forever. I hoped that I wouldn't be disappointed with the last installment about the world that I've come to know in the previous books so I was glad to find it wasn't a complete let down.

The Legacy is filled with bucket loads of action, suspense and lots of twists that really kept me on my toes. There was a major twist at the end and I really was shocked by it as I wasn't expecting it at all and usually I'm quite good at guessing what's going to happen next. Most of the plot is focused on what happens when nature starts to take over and the future of Longevity- the very drug that people depend on to keep alive- is thrown into confusion. People everywhere have to decide their judgements on circulating rumours and start questioning their existence and the world that they live in. All these philosophical questions that are raised got me thinking and one of the reasons why this series seems so realistic is because Malley's world seems almost plausible if medical technology keeps improving at its current rate. Although I certainly hope this won't happen by the time we reach 2140 after reading this series!

Despite the fast pace that often compromises the character development in some books, the main characters Peter, Anna and Sheila stay true to themselves as they were in previous books and rise to the challenges and anxieties that are placed before them with courage and bravery even though they are not at the forefront of the action or included as much. I liked how they were loyal to the cause they were fighting for whatever the costs and consequences that it might lead to for them and the ones they love. In The Legacy, secondary characters that were given more of a back-seat in the other books became more of the focus for example, Peter's half-brother Jude became one of the main narrators of the book and I got to know him much more of a person.

The story was told through multiple narrations, one chapter is narrated by one of the main characters and the next you find yourself in the head of a normal person who is being affected by the events for a few pages. Whilst I liked how this gave me a wider perception on the world and what is happening outside of the Underground, it sometimes felt a bit jumpy and disjointed so I was left feeling a little confused at times and found it harder to really get into the story, especially when reading it for short intervals.

One aspect that I would have liked to see more of is Peter and Anna's relationship because it almost felt as though they (especially Anna) were sidelined from the main action and didn't get very much page time when they were the original main characters.

Verdict: The combination of a brilliant plot and well rounded and developed characters is what makes this series finale so dramatic as well as thought provoking. I was left satisfied with the ending too but I did have some issues with parts of the book that affected my enjoyment slightly. Despite this I think that fans of the series should not be afraid to pick The Legacy up in case of disappointment and for I really recommend this series for anyone who likes dystopian novels but has yet to discover this trilogy!


  1. I've never even heard of this book, which is quite sad. The premise is great, and I love how well-rounded it sounds. Fabulous review, Stephanie! I'm for sure adding this to my list :)

  2. I haven't read the previous two books, but I appreciate that you were able to write a thorough review of this book without giving any spoilers. Thank you!


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