Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: 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 once again. 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 he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
Every time I pick up the conclusion to a trilogy I wonder if it’s going to live up to the expectation’s I’ve been harboring for the months leading up to it. Luckily, in Champion, most of the things I loved about the first two books were as amazing as ever: smart and relatable characters, immersive world-building, and wonderfully heart-wrenching moments.
I’ve always appreciated the multiple societies Lu introduced in the first two books, but enjoyed them even more in this novel when she expanded it to a global level. For the first time we really got to see how other countries function in this world and the roles they play regarding the Republic and the Colonies. I particularly loved the Antarctic society where a virtual point system “game” was created. It was evidently responsible for the high levels of national productivity and low crime rates. I found it really fascinating and would love to see an entire book written from a Antarctican’s perspective. Just think, it could be like Ender’s Game meets popular dystopian… I’m just saying.
I always enjoy reading books that are provoking, so long as they’re still fun. Champion, much like the first two in the series, drew me into the conflicts emotionally to the point where I caught myself dwelling on them long after I put the book down. While Legend seemed mostly centered around June in my eyes, Champion seemed much more focused on Day (or, at the very least, he had the most compelling conflicts). Most of his passages were vibrant and evoking, really making the story pop. June, on the other hand, had some good moments but I occasionally found myself zoning out during her POV. Overall, the emotional conflicts in this final book were outstanding in all regards… except for one: the love story.
There seemed to be a great deal of prolonged, almost senseless turmoil surrounding June’s and Day’s relationship. What’s more, it all stemmed from each character’s internal dialogue that the other person either deserved better, didn’t feel the same way, or whatever other stupid reason they could find not to be together. It’s the only thing I found dissatisfying about the story, especially considering how brilliant their analytical skills are supposed to be (which, incidentally, was my favorite element about the first book). You would think they would have been able to figure out a way around their issues somewhere along the way. Love is not that blinding. Anyway, I found it tiresome after a while, and it made me care a whole lot less whether or not they wound up together in the end.
So, despite the fact that Champion lost that consistent, strong characterization that made the first book so special for me, I still enjoyed it. In every other regard, it was truly a satisfying conclusion.
Recommended Reading: I always hand Legend to people who have read Hunger Games and Divergent and are looking for their next amazing dystopian. It’s a fast-paced, exciting trilogy that remains among the ones I recommend the most.
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