Author: Marie Lu
Review: After waiting to read Champion for so long, because I was putting it off because of the mixed reviews about this conclusion but I am very glad I did read it because I wasn’t disappointed, Champion is everything a dystopian finale should be—full of heart-pounding danger, complicated emotions and impossible decisions for the characters we’ve grown to love. When we begin Champion, we find Day and June a bit out of their element. They’ve given their support to Anden as the new Elector to the Republic, and it has changed their lives dramatically. Day is a celebrity, no longer cowering in the shadows with the Patriots, but living in comfort and trying to keep a low profile with his brother Eden, all while nursing a dark secret. June is the Princeps-Elect, no longer patrolling the streets as part of the Republic’s military forces, but spending her days trailing Anden and attending Senate meetings full of political bickering.
June is still the hyper-intelligent strategist who can’t help but note every detail around her, but her heart is her strongest attribute, and she would break her own if it meant the happiness of someone she loves. Day has never encountered a bigger obstacle than the one he faces in Champion, but he doesn’t stop defending his family and his people in spectacular gravity and authority defying fashion, scaling buildings and carrying out one daring mission after another. These characters are easy to love and root for, even though they’re not perfect and have made many mistakes.
During Champion, Anden and June travel to Ross City, Antarctica. Firstly, Antarctica is basically a whole country of technology. When visiting, the guests have to wear special glasses that translate the language to English. They also have a point system. If I was a part of that world I would want to live in Antarctica. It comes across as a virtual game world. I would also want to live there because it is no longer a cold barren waste land, like Antarctica is now. I did find parts depressing like when Thomas told June how he killed her brother and it made me want to cry for the majority of the nearly 400 page novel, but I had guessed since the first book that both Thomas and Metias were gay and they had feelings toward one another. My prediction was confirmed, some had been in the other novel, but Thomas in this book finally admitted his feelings for Metias not only to June but to himself.
I love that June and Day’s romance smolders and thrills without threatening to overwhelm the rest of the story. I also love that it’s not the center of either of these characters’ universes. June and Day have intense passion and respect for one another, but also a sense of individual pride and self-preservation. They love each other fiercely, but they aren’t possessive and just want each other to be safe and happy—a tall order in any dystopian world, but especially so for two of the Republic’s most notorious faces.
When Day was shot by Commander Jameson, I expected the worst. I was almost positive he was going to die, I had assumed he would throughout the entire book since he was dying from the hole in his hippocampus region of the brain. Therefore, I had expected the worst. Especially right after Day was shot and saw his dead Mother. But instead of Day dying and going with his mother back to his father and older brother, John, he survived both the bullet wound and the surgery on his brain. I was ecstatic that he lived, but depressed when June was told that the operation was on part of his brain that stored his memories and he will forget most of the events that had occurred over the last year or two. This included all his memories of June. But ten years later, when Day and Eden return to the Republic from Antarctica, Day recognizes June.
Champion reminds me why I’ve always set the Legend series in its own league, even as the dystopian trend saturated bookshelves with similar stories. The Legend characters and their stories are full of heart and relentlessly hopeful, despite the cruel world in which they exist. It is not just fun, it’s emotionally gratifying to root for these stories to go the way you want, and to feel heartbroken when the characters you love are hurting. The ending takes all the heart and goodwill built up over the series and gives us a satisfying end, one that will leave us happy we invested so much emotion and energy into reading it.
Most of my issues with dystopian trilogies are that the world is usually not resolved or fixed by the end of the trilogy. That usually occurs because it is not possible to resolve a world in three books. Marie Lu actually resolved a world within three books. The government and world is not perfect, but what country or government is. With that said, I was still not completely thrilled with the ending. It had nothing to do with the world it was based in, but how we left Champion. To me the book is still open-ended. Anyone can assume that Day and June will get back together but the question is how and when. Since Day does not have all his memories of June, will she tell him of their past together? I am still hoping that Marie Lu will come out with a novella set after the epilogue because I was not wholly satisfied with they way she left the main characters and I wish the ending would have included more than June and Day reuniting and getting reintroduced to one another. I wish it would have shown more years down the timeline and where they were and how their relationship was progressing. It was also interesting to learn that Anden and June had dated for about four years and they broke up because June could not love Anden as much as he loved her. But that was not too shocking since it was easy to tell that she still had feelings for Day.
Overall, Champion was an excellent ending to the Legend trilogy, the only thing I was unhappy with was the ending where Day and June were re-introduced. I can see while reading this book why many people were unhappy with the ending to this series but I personally found it to be a believeable and it does pack on hell of an emotional punch right in the feels, Champion was action-packed, suspenseful, witty, romantic,a quick read and includes lovable characters. Marie Lu’s writing is brilliant. I highly recommend the whole trilogy to anyone.
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Also see: Legend by Marie Lu