Review: “Champion” by Marie Lu

Okay, so I have come to the conclusion that I cannot wait too many days to write a review because then I forget everything but my EMOTIONS when reading this book. Logical thought? Gone. Deductive reasoning? Gone. So now I’m going to attempt to write something fairly cohesive about the final book in the Legend trilogy because, quite frankly, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

I was skeptical going into Legend as I had read Lu’s other trilogy, The Young Elites, before diving into this one, and the main reason I did so was because TYE is fantasy while Legend is dystopian sci-fi, two genres that I don’t normally choose first. However, I fell in love with TYE and Lu’s writing so of course I had to read this trilogy. I’m glad I did.

championTitle: Champion (Legend, #3)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release date: November 5, 2013
Genre: Young adult, dystopian, sci-fi, romance
Length: 369 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.”

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Maybe it’s because I don’t read many dystopians as I’ve been sorely dissatisfied with the few that I’ve read so I went into the series with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. Some of my main problems with the first two books were the ages of the two main characters, June and Day. Fifteen just seemed too young for this world but then I thought, “How silly!” and then came to appreciate the characters as a whole, age included, because it felt very much like a “coming-of-age” story as well.

While they very obviously have feelings for each other (that bathroom scene!), I didn’t find myself wholly invested in them until… Well, close to the end of the book. Truthfully, the ending had me in tears. But we’ll get to that later…

World building: excellent. I liked how we got more and more of the world (even Antartica).
Character development: brilliant! Very sad what happened to Thomas.
Storyline: I loved how this book brought hope out of a bad situation. A lot of times, dystopians are about people rebelling against the government but this story was about the leaders’ discontent with the current (young) Elector, Anden. They weren’t confident in him and his ability to be like his father but the catcher was that Anden didn’t want to be like his father and that’s why he elicited a lot of help from June and Day, who both garnered their own type of respect from the people.

The hardest thing for me to accept was the ending especially what happened to Day. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I feel like the “forgotten memory” trope is a bit of a cop-out, especially here. Not to say that I didn’t like it but I didn’t exactly see the point. What happened with Day and his headaches, I could understand that but affecting his memory… I don’t know. Was it all because of Day’s “illness”? But then I read the “years later” part and I was SCREAMING from joy, though it was still sad but was hope! I felt during these years, I could really relate to June. Things are going well not only for June but also for Day and Eden. I loved that Lu dangled a bit more hope for the two characters here as well.

For me, this was definitely a satisfying end to the series. I’m excited for Lu’s Warcross series!

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