Author: Marie Lu
Rating:  4.5 out of 5
Genre: YA Dystopian
Format: EBook
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: November 5th 2013
Recommended Reading: 16+

Contains no spoilers

 

THE GIST: Marie Lu rounded off her series with a solid conclusion. What began as an exhilarating, exciting, and youthful book one, transformed into the intense, heart-wrenching book two, and finished with an unexpected and quite mature end to the series in book three. I struggled a bit with engagement in this one, and that might be entirely because of bad timing on my part, but I felt a little bored in places. Despite that, this book delivered beautiful character development, incredible world building, and painstaking despair that continued to keep me invested in the lead characters Day and June.

SYNOPSIS: 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.

BREAKDOWN: If you read my review of Prodigy, you already know I love the Legend series. It is always an exciting experience when an author can keep my heart in the palm of her hand, and Marie Lu certainly does that. In Legend we were introduced to a dystopian future in which the leading lady, June, first crossed paths with a common criminal, Day. Their journey was exciting, the action was clever and engaging, and the characters were so lovable. In Prodigy, the road became much harder for June and Day, and the book was filled with so much angst, I truly ached for the two of them. When the ending came, I was crushed. With still a third book to come, I held out hope for their romance, bleak though it was at the time.

I didn’t know what to expect going into Champion, but one thing was immediately clear and that was that this book stood out, and was it’s own, different kind of story. It was a completion of a series, yes, but it was so different from the others—in content, in scale of the central conflict, in tone, and in maturity. These characters had to grow up fast, and though rooting for them just as hard as I had in previous books, I didn’t feel the same intensity or passion.

In the story, June gives up her action-packed antics for the world of politics she’s gotten herself involved in. While believable, I found it just as dull as June did. Maybe that’s the point, but I really struggled through some of those early and middle chapters. Having said that, Lu raised the stakes in this one, and I cannot say enough how impressed I am with her plot in this book, particularly where the war and diplomacy were concerned. She was especially thorough. Her world is incredible and intricate, and I was right there in it the whole time, all of it playing out clearly in my head.

In addition to world-building, Lu excels with character, and this was no exception. These characters grew before my eyes, and the maturing was believable and well-done. I will always look back affectionately on my time with Day. He’s one of my favorite characters ever. And he had me wrapped around his little finger in this book. I hurt when he hurt, and loved being a part of his journey.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It has been such a pleasure to live in the world Marie Lu built throughout this series. I will miss Day and June. Especially Day.

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