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Review: Champion by @Marie_Lu

Champion is the last in the NYT bestselling YA trilogy. Read my review of the first, Legend, and the second, Prodigy.
championJune 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.

Finally finally finally I get my grubby fingers on this book!!

Champion begins eight months after Prodigy ends, after Day learns he is dying from a brain tumor, with those eight months acting as a wedge between he and June. Day has been living with Eden, moving in and out of hospitals while June has been growing in her position as the Princeps-Elect.

When the new strain only seems to have one solution: Eden, Day is forced with an impossible decision. Add that with a worsening tumor. Plus the Colonies threatening to invade the Republic. And you’ve got a book jammed with conflict and nail-biting intrigue.

Tess returns, more mature and wiser. So does Thomas, who, in my opinion, redeems himself by becoming a Javert character—which is interesting since June and Day originally spawned from Javert and Valjean characters. Even Anden continues to surprise me. Just when I think I’ve figured him out, another aspect of his personality surfaces.

We also receive another glimpse of the world outside. While the Republic is ruled with a tight-fist, Antarctica is much more subtle. Floating numbers above objects tell each citizen how many points they can earn by doing a task. The higher your points, the better life you lead—and everyone can see how many points you have.

It’s like video games on steroids, the ultimate motivational tool to keep people in line and an eerie picture of what our world could potentially look like.

What about June and Day’s relationship? Don’t worry. They continue to grow—as individuals first, then as a couple. Their relationship doesn’t take over the story, though it could’ve easily. And the romance finally pinnacles after building throughout the series.

The ending was perfect. Up there with the end of the Across the Universe trilogy and Divergent. Marie Lu found a way to end a trilogy completely her own.

You still go through the emotional heartbreak when June makes the decision, but the epilogue set ten years later brings the series full circle. There’s no open-ended questions, and though I dislike June’s decision, her reasoning fits with her personality.

Even if it’s not the ending I wanted, there’s still the hope for it. You’ll see what I mean. 🙂 I liked the first two books, but the full-circle ending makes this last one by far my favorite.

Be sure to check out Lu’s sketches of Day and June here.
Read the NYTimes review of Legend here.
Check out Lu’s website here.
Follow Lu on Twitter here.
Like Legend on Facebook here.

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