Champion by Marie Lu Review: Beautiful ending and heaps of politics

November 26, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

Published by Penguin Australia Source: Publisher
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

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Title: Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Source: Publisher review copy

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

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. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

I loved the Legend series and was eagerly awaiting Champion as the conclusion to the series, after all the major plot points in Prodigy. While it was a beautiful ending to the series, I just found the rest of the book to be political ridden and kind of boring.

While Legend was filled with heart stopping action and world building, Prodigy with excellent character development between the two kick ass leads, Champion was mainly about politics and wrapping things up. The Republic is finally at war with the Colonies and both June and Day use their high ranking positions to protect the country and the people they love, but what I really wanted to see was more action, more kick ass fighting scenes, more June and Day. Instead, what I got were political developments and outside world building that I didn’t really care about at this late stage of the series.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that an author can take a dystopian outside of the immediate country and show us the world at large. We were taken to Antarctica, which was humorously set out like a MMORPG with points assigned to every action, and a map at the start of the book shows us America split up into the Republic and the Colonies. Champion was about the good of the country while the first two books were more intimate, with June and Day were focusing on their people and the Republic.

June as the Princeps-Elect, while seemingly perfect at the time, was a poor fit at best as she spent the bulk of Champion hidden away in Senate chambers and meeting with government officials when she could be kicking ass in the front lines. As she follows in the footsteps of the new young Elector Anden, we’re as bored as she is as she comes to the conclusion that politics is not for her.

I hate Senate meetings. I hate them with a passion – nothing but a sea of bickering politicians and talking heads, talking talking talking all the time when I could instead be out in the streets, giving a mind and body a healthy workout. – June

Day is struck down by illness but spends the bulk of his time protecting his brother and trying to contain he deadly plague that has broken out in The Republic. He spends a lot of time thinking about June, pouring his heart and soul out to her. These two are the perfect couple, with Day as the emotional solider led by his heart and instinct and June as your constantly aware, analysing and calculating high ranking official. I wanted more romance between them, instead of other people getting in the way *cough Anden* in the love square (yep, that’s a double love triangle).

Despite my relative apathy with the rest of the book, the ending is one that is wrought with emotion where I found myself getting teary. Lu gave us exactly what us readers were looking for, and what June and Day deserve, with an epilogue to tie it all up. It gave us something crucial that many dystopian endings do not – an element of hope, that things would work out for the better. While Legend and Prodigy left us breathless, Champion ties up the loose ends, with Tess maturing throughout the journey, June figuring out her feelings for Anden and Day dealing with his sickness.

“You drive me insane, June…You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up.” – Day.

It’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to June and Day, but I’m kind of glad that’s where they ended up. The Legend trilogy is a series I’d recommend to everyone, for it’s amazing kickass couple, heart stopping action and military focus. I’m not sure where else Champion could have went, but that ending was perfect.

Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Series: Legend #3 (Read my Legend and Prodigy review)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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20 responses to “Champion by Marie Lu Review: Beautiful ending and heaps of politics

  1. Just want to let you know that I did not fully read your review as I'm not done with the book yet haha, but just wanted to check out your final rating. I do agree that this series has a lot of politics involved and I really appreciate that aspect given how I find Day and June's relationship kind of unrealistic (they seemed more mature than the average 15 year old in the previous installments).

    Anyway, you gave it *almost* a 4. That's a positive thing in my book. Hahaha. At least I know that I won't be wholly disappointed ( I AM LOOKING AT YOU, HORDE!!!)

    Faye @ The Social Potato
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    • Yeah, it was funny in the epilogue about that but that's all I'm going to say lol! They do seem really mature for 15 year olds. Good to hear that my ratings are taken as they are 🙂 I don't agree with those who think 3 stars is a bad thing! Guess it's up to you whether you like the content of the book as per the review. Hope you'll enjoy it Faye!

  2. Hurray! So glad you liked it! It sounds like every book Marie Lu writes just keeps getting better and better, which is great! I love watching how authors improve in their writing overtime! (Or at least some of them… *cough* Veronica Roth *cough*) 😉

    Anyway, your review is making me so excited to finish the series! I love the idea of traveling to Antarctica, and the battle scenes sound really intense! I really want to see how the love triangle (or should I say triangles…) resolve as well! I'm also looking forward to reading the ending – it sounds so great and heart-wrenching 🙂 I'm starting Champion soon, so hopefully I end up liking it as much as you did!

    As always, beautiful review Jeann! 😀
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  3. Yeah, I felt the exact same way that you did about Champion. It wasn't my favorite, but it was a decent ending, especially compared to THAT other dystopian series that also ended this year.

    I definitely felt like there was tons of politics and I'm usually not a fan, but it didn't bother me as much in this one because I love these characters. I would have loved to see them kick butt more though.

    Anyways, that ending almost killed me, especially the epilogue but at least gave us hope.

    I'm glad you liked it overall, Jeann.

    Lovely review!
    Nick @ Nick's B recently posted…Blog Tour Stop : Crash Into You by Katie McGarryMy Profile

  4. I haven't read past the first book, but I really enjoyed that. I've heard that much of this book is a struggle, but the conclusion is fitting and emotion – which definitely intrigues me! I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it for the most part, Jeann 🙂

  5. Now that the series is over, I can start reading it. No waiting for the next book! I've had Marie Lu's book since last year, but haven't started reading it. I do love kick-ass MCs, and it seems like June and Day is perfect for my taste. Fantastic review, Jeann!

  6. I hope I didn't spoil myself after reading this review. The Legend series has been in my TBR since ages ago but never got around to actually reading it. A lot of books are getting in the way. But after this review, I might promote it in my TBR list because who am I to resist an MMORPG like world building? And most of all, The Legend seems like a perfect dystopian series never relying on the romance to move forward. And is it right to assume that the love square was wonderfully handled here?

    I have to be honest, i have an aversion against love triangles because most of them are really tiring to read. And a lot of authors are just using them to propel the story forward. But still, I love me a romance (even a love triangle) that is perfectly done.

    Great review as always, Jeann! 😀
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  7. *sniff* I've only read Legend so far, but only for lack of time. I didn't adore Legend as much as I wanted to, but I did adore Day. June needed a reality check from genius to ground-level (which she got, I suppose). I'm reeeeally worried about all the love-triangle-squares in the next two books though. :/ They can get a little annoying. Still, I'm as keen as ever to finish the series!

    PS. I reeeally like your reviews. They're really nice to read and I like how you don't recap the whole book. You just get straight to the juicy stuff. Love it. 😉

    • I liked Legend well enough, but it really got amazing when it hit Prodigy! Overall this is one of the better dystopians out there, at least it ended ok. Awww thanks so much Cait, sometimes I do a synopsis but didn't feel the need in this one 🙂 Glad you are enjoying them!