Book Review: The Legacy by Melissa Delport

Posted July 21, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Book Review: The Legacy by Melissa DelportThe Legacy by Melissa Delport
Genres: Dystopian, Fiction, YA
Published by Tracey McDonald Publishers on 2013
Pages: 429
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher


One man obsessed with power. 
One woman prepared to sacrifice everything to stop him.
One war that changed the world.

“Eric Dane has segregated the wealth and resources that remain, giving a select few the highest chance of survival and leaving the rest to starve!”
World War 3 lasted twelve days and almost eradicated the human species. Growing up in post nuclear America, Rebecca Davis remained blissfully ignorant of the despotic leadership that had seized what was previously the most powerful nation in the world. When the truth is revealed and Rebecca discovers that everything she has been taught is a lie, she is determined to fight for the life that she has not been allowed to live.

In order to do this, Rebecca has to cross the boundary fences and venture out of the safety of the New United States, into the barren wastelands. It is there that she finds allies she never dreamed existed. 

In Rebecca, the Resistance has finally found the ultimate weapon.

“You were given this life Rebecca, because you alone are strong enough to live it.”

An action-packed, adrenalin inducing thrill ride that will have you riveted until long after you have turned the last page.

First in the Legacy Trilogy speculative fiction for adults and 16+ readers and revolving around First Lady Rebecca Davis/Dane who was born months after the war began in 2016.

My thanks to Melissa Delport and Tracey McDonald at Tracey McDonald Publishers for providing this ARC for my enjoyment.

My Take
Well, I say enjoyment…what I mean is I spent hours with my heart racing with the tension and drama Delport creates. It’s a very credible scenario Delport paints for what led up to the war, how it fell out, the aftereffects of the bombs on our atmosphere and climate, how it affected crops and animals, people — and how we struggle to recover from it. There are good reasons Dane has chosen these states.

It’s a story of survival, and for Rebecca it is in some ways an idyllic childhood. At least until she turns fifteen. But she still has the love of her life and most of her family. Until she abandons it all for what she sees as a higher calling. One that is fraught with danger even though the benefits for her cause are incredible.

I like that we finally get some background on good guy Reed, the man with that romantic bent. Damn you, Delport, you’ve got me seesawing between these men. They’re both so supportive. Although I am curious as to why the heads of the Resistance are turning to Reed, especially after we learn what Reed’s background is. Must be something Delport hasn’t told us yet. Then there’s his little Casablanca speech. I think Reed is channeling Bogart there.

I do differ from Delport’s classification as to genre and target audience. I’d label it more dystopian with its primary readership a Young Adult audience that adults could also enjoy. But hey, it’s not my book…*grin*…

Hmmm, there are a lot of laws Dane passes that I agree with, but not all. I wonder if Delport meant for Dane Rule to be a take-off on Danelaw?

I have some niggles. I don’t understand how Rebecca has managed three years of evading Eric’s guards as she races off onto the streets to report her news between her husband’s meetings and phone calls, leaving bodies behind, and hunting down potential Gifted soldiers. Rebecca forgave her father too quickly. As paranoid as Eric is, does she never consider he may have bugged their house to keep track of what she’s doing and saying? God knows he’s doing it everywhere else. Delport’s been skirting the stupid tropes (the ones I hate *grin*), but she just had to throw this one in. Damn. Why couldn’t he just wait! Of course, it’s quickly followed by the next stupid trope — Bex’s revealing call. I keep expecting Bex to be smart, and she keeps having these little blips.

I do like the fairness in this. Where Jonathan could have condemned Jeffrey, where her father could have condemned Jonathan’s stance, they both accept the reality of each man’s situations.

What’s so different in our world now?

“In my world people in power established laws and we followed them. It had never occurred to me to disagree; until now.”

What is Aidan thinking at that dinner party???

It’s a good story with some twists to this dystopian, post-apocalyptic world with an interesting blend of show and tell. The tell is not that visible for Delport does ratchet up the tension — I couldn’t read fast enough once I got past the first 20-percent of the eARC I was reading. And lord knows I cried at all the scenes Delport wanted those tears to flow…god, I cried. And Delport has put even more twists in this to keep the tension level up.

She also uses the first person point-of-view, which is not my favorite perspective, and I’m not sure if it’s this voice that makes me feel the writing is immature. Don’t get me wrong. Delport uses the first person very well, and I don’t feel as though I’m reading a screenplay! But still…

I do love that Rebecca is such a strong character. She doesn’t sit around waiting for someone to rescue her. No siree, she jumps right in to protect herself or to save others! And Delport has me flopping back and forth on Bex’s decisions. I hate that I can see both sides and want both sides…and can’t have both sides! Of course, Rebecca’s immaturity crops up now and then, and it makes me nuts. How can she not figure out how Eric will react?? Especially in that final scene in their house…I cried so hard in that one.

Hmm, Reed’s rant about bodyguards versus soldiers is rather suggestive. Makes me wonder how it might tie in to Dane’s plea. Another set-up for The Legion, 2, is that romantic angle, and yeah, Delport has me flopping on that one too. Argh…

The way The Legacy ends, you’ll probably want to have The Legion available when you finish. ‘Cause I am so conflicted over that ending. It was the right thing to do, but I’m such a softie!! If he believes he could have changed, why didn’t he? And what is the deal with Eric in those last few pages? What’s his angle? This hope?

The Story
World War III lasted twelve days. And destroyed civilization. It took one charismatic, strong leader to bring some order back. At the cost of free will, freedom, choice, laughter, joy.

It takes Rebecca meeting her dead father for the first time when she’s nineteen for her to discover her mission in life. She will ensure a few certain essentials for her own future.

And then she will form her own army, and it shall be The Legion, 2.

The Characters
First Lady Rebecca “Bex” Davis/Dane chose to sacrifice herself, to marry Eric Dane, and save her people by spying on the enemy. Aunt Jessie was a Vegas showgirl and Cara’s sister. Cara was Rebecca’s mother who created a refuge in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jonathan Moore and his two-year-old son Aidan are the refugees who found them. Jenna Larsen is a fellow student when they were children. Alex is the son Rebecca has with Aidan; he’s a very special little boy. Ms. Cathy and Mr. Norman are the relatives in Georgia.

The Resistance
Jeffrey Davis is, was, the Undersecretary to the Secretary of Defense in the fields of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. He’s also Rebecca’s father. And he’s undercover on Dane’s research team. They know President James Vincent is dead. His son, Adam Vincent, is also believed dead. Evan Wright is a contact within the New United States. Reed McCoy is a young boy Jeffrey rescued at the start of the war; now he’s a silent bodyguard who has fallen in love.

The Rebeldom is what the New U.S. citizens call the barren lands, and they are led to believe it is a sere land where nothing grows but monsters. In truth, it’s where the rebels live and flourish. The Resistance has headquarters and bases in Las Vegas and Dodge City, Kansas. The leaders include Bex’s father, the misogynistic General Harrison Ross, and Vice-President Ken Williams.

Gabby is one of the women back at Camp Seven while Amber is at Unit Three Camp.

President Eric Dane is one man who brought civilization back, but at a terrible cost to the small world he saved and to himself. Quinn and Darius are his shadows. Joseph is the house butler. Ricky is part of Dane’s security.

Kwan Lee is Rebecca’s Korean taekwando instructor. He had a wife, Nina, who volunteered for the Gifted trials. She didn’t survive it.

The New United States comprises ten states — Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, North and South Dakota, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska — all surrounded by a wall and guards to keep those on the other side out. Dane Corp Plaza is Eric’s official headquarters. The Cook County Jail is no longer as useful as it once was.

Transhumanism is the use of genetic modification and engineering to create superhumans who may be superfast, super-strong, or able to heal. “Gifted” is the term the scientists use.

There’s a list out, and it’s a race between Eric and the Resistance to see who can contact those on that list. Michael and Morgan Kelly are teenage siblings with a greedy father, Simon. Officers Cole Thomas and Jared Jones and Jane Sharp are also potential recruits. Already in the camp are Peter Smith, Frank Wakeford, Sergeant Swanson, Bradley, Robert Rellis, and David. Veronica and Elizabeth will do what they can.

Rados are people who were affected by the radiation, monsters. Barbarians who were affected by the new requirements to live, to survive.

The Cover
The cover features a radiant silhouette of a city skyline, Chicago perhaps?, and Rebecca hidden under a black hood, a metaphor for her hidden status. It’s a beautiful use of black on white with the title in a golden yellow.

The title may refer to a gift, a birthright, an inheritance — The Legacy that the survivors have received to return freedom and free will to their world.

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