Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Champion

Champion (Legend, #3)Title: Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend
Volume: 3 (final book)
Genre: dystopian, science fiction, romance

Why I Read It: This is the final book in the Legend trilogy, so I have really been looking forward to the release.

A Quick Introduction (spoilers for Legend and Prodigy): June and Day have lost a lot for the Republic- family, friends and now each other. Day is racing the clock, with doctor trying to find a way to operate on the tumor in his brain, a parting gift of the experimentation he underwent years ago against his will. June is back to being the Republic's golden girl, and is being groomed to be a senator. The young Elector is attempting to negotiate a treaty with the Colonies, with whom they've been at war for years. But just as things are starting to look up, a bioengineered plague threaten's everything they've worked for, and soon Day and June are pulled back into a battle for the Republic's survival. A battle that, in order to win, they might have to give up everything that they still hold dear.

What I Thought: Well, before getting into the content of the book, let me just say that the cover is beautiful. Actually, so are the covers for the rest of the trilogy, but I think this cover is my favourite.

Okay, so on to the actual content. I actually finished this book yesterday, but what with some other stuff that I had to do, I didn't get a review in. I enjoyed this one. Some time has passed between the end of Prodigy and the beginning of Champion (eight months). Day's brother, Eden, is recovering, though his eye sight is still very poor, and Day himself is in pretty bad shape. He has constant headaches, and sometime episodes where he is in debilitating agony. He and June haven't spoken since he left without telling her that he was dying, and it weighs on both of them, and there's clearly some tension there. June is struggling with her new role as Princeps Elect, since most of the senate doesn't respect her, and the Elector has just requested the she make a morally troubling decision- that she manipulate Day.

I think the characters seem older in this book than they did in the others. In Legend they seemed a lot more like kids, but now they've both suffered a lot, and have been forced to make choices that still weigh on them. They both seemed sort of weary, I suppose, and just when things were looking up for the Republic everything goes down hill, and they get dragged back into the middle of things. June herself is in a position she isn't comfortable with, and Day is getting sicker. Their relationship with each other was kind of stop-and-go in this book and there was a lot of sadness in it this time around, with everything that was going on.

I found some of the action sequences hard to follow, but I'm not sure if it was how they were written, or if I personally didn't follow them very well. This trilogy is typically very cinematic (the scenes are typically very movie-like, and easily visualized), but in this book there were some points where I couldn't visualize what was happening. Like I mentioned, mostly just scenes that were action or fight scenes, and therefore pretty frantic anyway.

There was also a whole subplot with Commander Jameson that seemed a little bit unnecessary to me. I could see why it was there, but it kind of seemed as though it was forced into a plot that already had a lot going on. June seemed to agonize a lot about whether or not she was like her former Commander, but it seemed like she was torturing herself a lot over a possiblity- the person she was a the start of Legend might have had a chance of becoming like Jameson, but after she met Day, and with everything else that happens, she wasn't that person anymore.

The plot did a good job of wrapping up the story in that there weren't a lot of loose ends (there is an epilogue as well, which takes place ten years after the events of Champion). The ending (I don't think I'm spoiling anything here) is bittersweet, which I personally prefer to everything being wrapped up in perfect happiness- it isn't how the world works, especially in a book where there is a lot of suffering to get to the end (a lot...). Going back to how these books are typically play out like a movie, I feel that the last scene from June's point of view, and the epilogue were particularly movie-like, and also that they were the most polished chapters of the book.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. There were some aspects that I think could have been improved, but overall it was a good ending to the series and I'm looking forward to reading more of Marie Lu's work (she has a high fantasy series coming out next).

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