Champion (Legend, # 3)
By: Marie Lu
Published: November 5th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile (first published January 1st 2013)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Source: Borrowed from library
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Goodreads description--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.
Prodigy left me in a place where I wasn’t really happy. Day’s recently received a medical diagnosis that he doesn’t share with June. And June’s accepted a political position that puts her close to Andon and not really close to Day. To make matters worse, Day pulls the card about how June was involved in the death of his mother and brother which is the one thing that June feels the most guilt over. It feels like one of those “sacrificing for your good”/self-sabotage things that get on my nerves. But there was something about the whole thing that kept me from getting too annoyed. But that’s basically where we pick up with Champion. June and Day aren’t spending any time together. They both have cares and concerns that draw them away from each other even when they both still care deeply for the other.
As with several other series similar to this one (The Hunger Games, Divergent, Under the Never Sky, etc), Champion has a very political aspect to it that drives some of the plot along. Granted this isn’t as unexpected with Champion as it was for the above mentioned series enders because the Legend series has been more politically driven and less character driven all along. The Republic is trying its hardest to form a peace treaty with the Colonies. Andon is fighting to undo all the damage that his father did. But as the description says, there’s a different plague outbreak in the Colonies that is being blamed on the Republic. The Republic’s allies won’t step in and help until there’s proof that the Republic either didn’t spread the plague or is providing an antidote to the Colonies. However, the problem is…this isn’t a product of the Republic’s making. But hope can be found in Day’s brother Eden.
I don’t remember how long Day and June were physically apart, but I don’t think it was as long as I was afraid of; however, they still weren’t together emotionally. This wasn’t easy to read because I was rooting for them. They both wanted to be with the other, but there were so many things keeping them apart. There’s the appearance of a love triangle (or love square really) in the series, but have no fear, it’s not really anything to worry about. Over the entire series, I have enjoyed Day and June’s relationship. Things have never really been easy for them. They’ve faced so much. They don’t always agree. But their feelings and their faith is pretty constant despite whatever circumstances surround them.
The ending…well I’m torn on the ending. On the one hand, it wasn’t very satisfying. With everything that Prodigy puts the reader through and then add to that the events of Champion, it was more emotional than I was expecting. I will say that if I didn’t have the added hormones of pregnancy then I likely wouldn’t have gotten teary eyed, but alas I did. And at the same time, the ending was satisfying too. How that’s even possible is a bit of a mystery. I didn’t love it, but the ending wasn’t as bad as I was expecting either. Just be prepared to be put through the ringer.
In the end, I did enjoy Champion. It wasn’t the typical happy-go-lucky American way, but it wasn’t an all-out disappointment either. I enjoy when a book or series doesn’t just seek to make the reader happy and I think that Marie Lu got that right here. Because I did find myself emotional at the end, I’m going to give Champion 4 Stars, but this could have easily been 3.5 had it not had been for a redeeming aspect. Have you read Champion? What did you think? Let me know!