Friday, 1 October 2010
Review: The Legacy by Gemma Malley
Released: September 6th, 2010
Grade rating: A+
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.
This dystopian series has now become one of my all-time favourites. The Legacy ends what started in The Declaration and The Resistance, and wraps it up in such a brilliant way. Everyone should take note, because *this* is how you end a series -- with action, suspense and characters staying true to themselves.
I was a bit hesitant to read The Legacy, because I don't seem to have a good track record with final books in a series. They usually always disappoint me, though I should have known that Gemma Malley wouldn't let me down. She storms her way through a blinder of a conclusion, throwing plot twists out into the world like they're confetti. As per usual, I didn't unravel the mysteries for myself, and this time I'm really glad about that. I got to find out at the same time as the characters, so I was in just as much shock as they were. And trust me, the ending is a shocker!
The Legacy shows what happens when nature catches up with technology and medical advances. It's all well and good being able to live forever with the help of the Longevity drug, but what happens when everything you know could be a lie? What happens when everything you believed in starts to fall apart? Some people accept it, others fight it, and it truly becomes a test of humanity. Malley has a knack for questioning everything: ethics, power, right, wrong. She puts thoughts and ideas into your head that you otherwise wouldn't have addressed, like could Longevity or something similar one day become a reality for us? Is that where science is heading? I, for one, sincerely hope not.
How each of Malley's protagonists deals with the virus contaminating the population is fantastic and expected. Anna, Peter, Jude and Sheila never once waver from their true selves, and instead each steps up to the task at hand. Their loyalties are tested but, as always, they fight for what they believe to be right and they do it at any expense, even if that expense is their own existence. The Legacy is much more of a team effort when it comes to the characters, which is why it's such an exceptional finale. Instead of the focus mainly being on Anna and Peter, now the Underground gets their time to shine, along with old characters returning and new players emerging.
The Legacy comes together to make a fitting end to one of the most thought-provoking trilogies I've ever had the pleasure to read. Every question is answered, every loose end is tied up, and what we're left with is a look at a possible future and the problems that would arise. People can't meddle with life and death; if they do, they meddle with nature itself. Nature is a powerful entity and nothing, not even man, can outsmart it.
Gemma Malley has proved she's at the forefront of British YA, and I am absolutely dying to know what she's got up her sleeve for the future. If it's even half as good as The Declaration, The Resistance and The Legacy, I'll be more than happy. Aside from The Hunger Games, this is my favourite dystopian fiction, and I urge you all to give it a try. After finishing it, you'll be glad for the world we live in, where choice still exists and the cycle of life and death is still going strong.