Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mini Reviews: Life Before Legend and Darla's Story!

Today I'm here with a pair of mini reviews for two novellas that are part of two series. Both novellas are also part of my Dystopian Reading Challenge 2014.

Life Before Legend (Legend, #0.5)Life Before Legend by Marie Lu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Life Before Legend are two short stories about Day and June, when they were both 12 years-old. These stories provide a bit of background story on both of them, even if the insight that they offer is not as game changing as other novellas I've read for other series.

We see June's first day in college as a 12 year old, and we see more of her insecurities, because she wonders if she'll fit in at college any better than she did in her previous schools. This is a June that is as brilliant as the one we know but that is still trying to fit in, even when she fears it'll be more of the same. We see more of her relationship with Metias which I really like, and we see her assert herself and resign to be a loner once again.

Day's story also provides a different kind of insight. He's already on the run and already fighting the Republic in his own way, but he isn't the famous Day yet. This is the story of his first kiss, but also the story of one of his first big hits on Republic officials. We see how Day wants to make things right and why he thinks the Republic is wrong and not just by what happened to his family.

We learn more about June and Day and how they became who they are in Legend, but it's not a must-read novella to help us understand them better. A 3 star read.

Darla's Story (Ashfall, #0.5)Darla's Story by Mike Mullin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had started Ashfall when I read this novella, but I had read only a pair of chapters when I saw that this one was sort of a prequel, and I decided that I had to read it first. And I'm very glad I did, cause it helped me understand Darla so much better when we meet her in Ashfall!

Darla lost her dad a while back and since then, she's had to juggle school and work in the family farm to keep going, since her mom retreated inside religion.

They're both at the farm when the eruption happens, and they deal with all the horrible effects as best as they can. Once the initial shock is past Darla's very practical side and her mechanical abilities prove a blessing for them both and they start thinking of long term planning. Then one day a visitor arrives at the farm and despite Darla's misgivings, her mother wants to help. I was so very much with Darla in this one, cause the old lady was either delusional, in denial or gone cuckoo, and all the kindness that Darla's mum was showing her wasn't doing her any good. And the lady proves Darla right by running away with their stuff.

It's no surprise that by the time that Alex ends up in the farm's door, Darla feels very hostile against new people landing there in need of help.

A very relevant novella to the character development, that show us where Darla is coming from and how she became the Darla we meet in Ashfall. 4 stars for this one.

View all my reviews


  1. Awesome, I had no idea there was a Legend novella, shows how much I keep up to date with novellas! Your reviews just illustrated how hit and miss they usually are.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. Yeah, these two stories were nice but didn't add all that much to the overall story or the characters in the end...

  2. Oooo I didn't know there was a novella featuring Darla! She was a highlight for me in Ashfall so I definitely want to read this and find out more about her. Thanks so much for putting it on my radar Pili! I love when authors write novellas like this that help give insight on certain characters:)

    1. This was a fantastic novella and if you liked Darla, you really need to check this one out, Jenny!

  3. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't fully love Life Before Legend. I found it to be kind of adorable, hih (A) Have yet to read Darla, but soonish :D Great reviews sweetie. <3

  4. I only learned about Darla's book recently and I sooo have to read it! Glad to see it's worth a read and not just fluff! I also have to finish the legend series I never read the 3rd. I'll get this novella at the same time!

    1. Giselle, the Darla novella is very much worth it, and I loved it!


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