Spoiler warning! This is the 3rd and final book in the Legend trilogy and this review will contain spoilers for the previous two books. You can read my review of Legend here and Prodigy here instead.
Champion by Marie Lu
Author: Marie Lu Website|Twitter
Published: 5 November 2013 (Penguin)
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Source: Borrowed from library
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
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 peaceful existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government's elite circles while Day has been assigned a high level military position.
Champion is the third and final book in the Legend trilogy, and picks up the story with June in her position of Princeps-Elect and Day struggling to look after brother Eden whilst facing his own health battles.
I've loved this trilogy so far. I enjoyed Prodigy even more than Legend, and with the cliffhanger the last book left us hanging on, I was desperate to dive into Champion. I'm disappointed to say that this was my least favourite book in the trilogy. A lot of things just didn't come together for me, but I think the biggest problem I had was that I was expecting it to be a lot different. There were things I was hoping to see that never came to fruition.
I'm going to start with the positives, because there was still a lot I did like. My favourite scenes were those that took place in Antarctica. Throughout the trilogy I've always had that curiosity about life outside the Republic, and I loved the glimpses we got at that. I thought the descriptions of the city in Antarctica and the technology introduced there were exciting and clever. I would maybe have liked to see more of the Colonies (one of the things I was expecting after reading Prodigy) so I was sad there wasn't more focus on that.
The trilogy has always had its strengths in the political side of the story, and Champion certainly played to those strengths. There was a lot of focus on tactics, plotting and negotiation and it took a hundred pages before you really got into the action. That made the first third of the book a bit slower paced and so it was a while before I was really hooked in. Once the action kicked in I could really immerse myself in the story.
The relationship between Day and June was obviously something I was looking forward to, and there were some wonderful moments between the two of them during the story. I was hoping for more of a solid conclusion to their story, but there was a lot left open ended. It's hard to talk about the ending without spoiling anything, but I did like the closing scenes. I think it appealed to my soppier side with this romantic idea it had going on and I left the book feeling slightly uplifted. I just would have preferred more closure and a less open ending, although I guess I can always use my imagination to fill the gaps!
In terms of things that didn't work so much, I didn't like the more subdued version of June. She only really comes into her own in the last hundred pages where she becomes the quick thinking, intelligent, slightly rebellious June we all know and love. I also had problems with the pacing in the quiter moments that had me skimming over bits to get to more exiting scenes. Because of that, I think I'll have to re-read at some point to pick up on a few plot points I missed or misunderstood.
I did enjoy Champion, particuarly the last hundred pages and the closing few chapters had me glued to the pages and my heart pounding. It didn't quite have the same spark as the previous two books, but I've still come to love the writing and characters. It's a trilogy I'd like to revisit and Marie Lu is still an author I will continue to follow in the future.
What to read next:
Books like this: Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Reached by Ally Condie