Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA, dystopian, post apocalyptic
Series? Yes, Legend #3
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads: He is a Legend. She is a Prodigy. Who will be Champion?
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.
With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
Champion was the perfect conclusion to what is now one of my favorite series. There was nothing in this book that I would have changed, from the character development to the bittersweet ending to the politics and complications that developed – it was all perfectly crafted and Marie deserves the highest of praise for this breathtaking conclusion to her trilogy! Any future books are an auto-buy for me, and I anxiously await her new series, with the first book hopefully being published in fall of 2014.
So I’m having a really hard time gathering my thoughts for this review. It’s been well over a month since I’ve read it, and yet I still can’t quite grasp the right words to properly express just how much I adored this book and how absolutely flawless of a conclusion it was. So instead, here’s a gif.
Champion was truly the greatest way to end the series – I wouldn’t change a single thing even if I could. The only thing I ask for: please please please oh please can I have another book I CAN’T SAY GOODBYE. I actually put off reading Champion because I knew I would be a mess. And, as promised, I was. I closed that last page and burst into tears. I had to hide away in my bedroom for a while to compose myself. And then I promptly read the Life Before Legend novellas, which weren’t as great but still allowed me to say goodbye properly.
So here’s my go at a competent review. The characters: perfect maturation and development. Day irked me a bit in Prodigy, but he really grew into a man, and a strong leader at that. And June, at the same time, was suddenly an even stronger woman, and she never compromised her independence or capability to do anything. Both of them were just suddenly so grown up. It’s like where are my babies when did they get so old??? I also really appreciated how they had to work at their relationship – it wasn’t their priority, and it really suffers because of it. It was so realistic, and really showed that you have to work at a romance, it doesn’t just fall together.
As far as the revelation from the end of Prodigy regarding Day’s condition – I know a lot of people were irked at how easily it was resolved, but I don’t agree. There may not have been chapter upon chapter dedicated to it, but there was a huge time jump. And while I know this doesn’t make me an expert, I have a friend who suffered a brain aneurism, and I can tell you this – brain injuries are weird. They’re unpredictable, and every case is different. So I don’t find Day’s final state or sudden healing strange at all.
Two other things: the world building and Anden. I loved seeing all of the new cultures and realizing that the Republic isn’t really the superpower it makes itself out to be. Honestly it kind of reminded me of the US in its current state (that’s what I love about sci-fi and dystopia – there’s always that possibility of it being real). And then Anden: I know I complained about how I didn’t trust him at all in Prodigy, just because I had been duped by the Darkling from the Grisha Trilogy and I then refused to trust any man in an authority position if he seems too good to be true. But Anden… *sigh* I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that I love where Marie took his character. He’s incredibly multi-faceted in this book, and for a secondary character I thought he was perfectly developed.
As for the ending:
This is where I lose my words. It was so perfectly bittersweet that I could start crying right now because of how perfect it was. Yes, it was painful. Yes, it was a bit open-ended. No, I didn’t think it was a cop-out. I thought it stayed true to the story – harsh realism with that streak of rebellion and hope. There isn’t any shying away from the brutal honesty that I love from Marie, but she also gave us an ending that promises a little bit more. And now all I need is that missing book in this should-be quartet to detail the future. That’s all I ask. Or, someone recommend me a fic.
Long story short, since I wrote way more than I planned, read this book. Read this series. Buy the thing in its hardback boxed set. It’s beyond worth it. This is one series that will stand beside Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia and will be passed on to my children.
My Final Rating: