Monday, December 2, 2013

BR: Champion

by Marie Lu
Legend trilogy; book III 

Wow, I finished a series! I originally wasn’t going to write a review for this, but then I realized that I wrote a review for both books one and two, and I thought it’d be a nice little “set” if I actually wrote something for this third book too. It’s not every day that I finish a series*.

Summary (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 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.


Initially, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to read this third book. To be quite honest, I didn’t really remember what happened in Prodigy (interestingly, when I was going to start Prodigy, I had completely forgotten Legend), but when I saw the fanfare around its release, I reached for Prodigy on my bookshelf and read the last few chapters. And then I got that swooshing feeling in my stomach and thought “Oh. I really have to find out what happens.”

My Thoughts

Boy, I was not ready for this ending. I’ll admit, I needed a full day to recover.

Oh Audrey, jumping so far forward already? Okay, let’s rewind a bit. This book has everything I have come to expect of the series-- fast paced action, fantastic pacing, emotion, great characters, even better character development, awesome world-building, and witty one-liners. In this sense, it definitely didn't disappoint. But that said, Champion wasn’t perfect, in fact, I still ended up with quite a few nitpicks about various things—the plot isn’t super-memorable, the prose could feel clunky and forced at times, and there were some action scenes that felt a bit messy. Sometimes the writing style felt a bit amateur-ish, where there is an overabundance of knife metaphors and emotional descriptions toeing the edge of cheesy. And for some books, that would stop be in my tracks and I wouldn’t be able to notice anything else, but that wasn’t the case.

Once again, Marie Lu saves her book with enthralling, intensely admirable leading characters. They alone allowed me to overlook the other flaws in the book, because I was so caught up in their storylines.

I liked how the characters felt older. I liked how I could recognize their growth and development throughout the series. They’re not kids anymore. They are, but they aren’t.

I really liked the tension, the emotion, and the relationship between our two main characters.

I loved Day. I loved June.

That's what it comes down to, right? These characters we cheer for as we watch them evolve and grow. These characters who come into their own. These characters who jump right into our hearts from the very first page of Legend, and won't leave it at the end of Champion. There's so many reasons why I started this series, but these characters made me stay.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: this series is definitely appealing to fans of the blockbuster dystopian series.
Acknowledgements: 4/5, lovely!

8.8/10. Because I love the characters. And the last 35 pages. Those pages were exactly what I didn't know I wanted. That's how you end a series. Beautiful, bittersweet, but ultimately fitting. And that ending has stuck with me for a long time.

And my favourite quote**:
Day just smiles at me, an expression so sad that it breaks through my numbness, and I begin to cry. Those bright blue eyes. Before me is the boy who has bandaged my wounds on the streets of Lake, who has guarded his family with every bone in his body, who has stayed by my side in spite of everything, the boy of light and laughter and life, of grief and fury and passion, the boy whose fate is intertwined with mine, forever and always. 
"I love you," he whispers. "Can you stay awhile?” 

*I am actually immensely adept at not finishing series.
**because run-on sentences are my weakness (no, seriously). Also it reminds me so much of Jellicoe Road.

source: bought
author website / twitter / tumblr
my review of Legend (book 1) and Prodigy (book 2)

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