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The biggest surprise of all reading this book- The main character and my sister have the same name!! Though spelled differently, it was really cool to hear it on audio when its such an uncommon name. That did not influence my rating at all but I'm mentioning it anyways bc ITS COOL!

Now that I got that out,
This was my first time reading a book by Marie Lu, and I've been impressed! I think this had a strong first chapter and got me hooked immediately. The concept of the Ghosts were incredibly spooky and sad and I enjoyed all the scenes where the Strikers were out and facing them. The characters were wonderful, each had clear personalities and their own struggles they faced. Supporting characters had dimension and motives. I also really appreciated the concept of Talin being unable to speak and rather than have her struggle to communicate the entire novel, Marie Lu found a way to make sure nearly all characters read sign language and were able to communicate with her. It is refreshing to read about characters signing effortlessly and have it not be one of the struggles of the book, but rather often an important benefit!

My only issue with the characters is that it was often easy to forget how young they are. Obviously this is a YA book, and its common that the entire main cast are teenagers. But this book falls into the category of "the teens are in charge".. head of the military, important scientists, etc. Not to say that teens care not incredibly capable of being the best given the right circumstances.. but when a book starts off with teenagers in head(or nearly head) positions, it leaves them few ways to progress. While entirely possible for a teenager to be better than many, it is very unlikely that they would no longer show progress or have reached their full potential. I would have rather have seen the characters evolve during the book than just be tip-top from the start and best all their enemies easily. It also is a very convenient way to solve problems when characters are in charge and just do what they want. Where is the risk?
That being said, I know this is more of a personal complaint in YA and not necessarily something most will care about. I highly recommend you give this book a shot, I truly enjoyed it! And now, Legend has been bumped up my TBR list for SURE!