Champion by Marie Lu Book Review

Review by: dancingonrain.

 

June and Day’s story concludes with their paths separated in Marie Lu’s third and last book of the trilogy.  June is working for the Republic again while Day is working a high-level military position. While a peace treaty is in the midst of being formed, a new strain of a plague breaks out and threatens war between the Republic and the Colonies. But there is hope.  A potential for a cure.  If the world is to stop itself from crumbling, Day must hand his little brother Eden back over to the Republic for experimentation.  Elector Anden gives June her hardest task yet: using Day’s feelings for her and manipulating him to comply for the good of the people and to prevent a war that may have already started.

This third book was a satisfying way to end the trilogy.  While I did feel like the epilogue (the ten years later bit) wasn’t necessary, I also understand that most of the younger people would want a happy ending.  The reason I didn’t think the epilogue was needed was because although it would have been more of a bittersweet or even just bitter ending without it, it would’ve made June’s action in the last chapter (before the epilogue) seem more selfless.  But at the same time, the epilogue still does work because by now Day and June have a mutual friend, Tess.  So it was probably inevitable that Day and June would eventually be reunited anyway.  I will admit that I liked the whole “start anew” idea by the books end too and Day and June definitely deserve the second chance.  Either way, the last book of the trilogy did not disappoint.

This was one of the series where the story/plot and characters just got better and better through all three books.

I don’t think either of the main protagonist’s characters changed all that much during the entire series, but their motivations and allegiances did.  While that sometimes can lead for a boring story or novel, it didn’t bother me at all, mostly because I thought the characters, plot, and motivations were all well-constructed.

Like in the previous two books, the emotion that each of the characters expressed was excellent.  I feel that most of the time, the main protagonist feels bland and monotonous, even lacking emotion, especially in the young adult genre.  I think this only added to and helped the book be even better.  So many times the male character is written as emotionless, invulnerable, and perfect, which, of course is a boring and unrelatable character from the start.  Unless his character is one that is supposed to present himself as one devoid of all feelings (a socio/psychopath), then the emotion part actually strengthens stories more than taking away from them.

Likewise, often times we see the main female protagonist as a Mary Sue character, which Marie Lu avoids completely in this series.

For those of you who don’t know, a Mary Sue character is just there for the author’s or reader’s wish-fulfillment and has absolutely no logic behind any of their actions other than they never fail at anything ever.  These characters are beautiful, strong, and smart.  She often holds her own with the boys or even beat them most times, but they never can lose to them, which is unrealistic.  No one wins all the time.  These characters are flawless, which makes them a boring and unrelatable character, especially the flawless part.  Last time I checked, no one, regardless of gender, is perfect.  Everyone has flaws.  Everyone has weaknesses.  And everyone makes mistakes.  Gender or race is not an excuse for a Mary Sue character.

Marie Lu does great in avoiding this type of character.  She makes both characters flawed and shows how their past mistakes have affected them and the others around them in the present and as a reader, I loved the characters more for it.

Take June, for example, her mistake is she basically killed Day’s mother in the first book, and yet, these two still found a way to work it out.  Day’s weakness is his family and June.  While we still don’t see him expressing all his feelings of loss and sorrow to other characters openly, there are plenty of scenes when he’s alone, mourning their deaths/murders.  Only a sociopath wouldn’t feel anything after all the stress these two have been put through.

And let’s not forget that June and Day are teenagers, kids, and they are written as such.  I’ve read some young adult novels where their main characters seem like adults rather than children.

Another part of the trilogy I enjoyed was that what June and Day didn’t confide in each other or other characters, they confided in us, the reader, which made me feel all the more part of the story.

Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy is currently my favorite young adult series for the dystopian genre.  While she has a new series she’s working on now, The Young Elites series, I still prefer her first series: Legend, Prodigy, and then Champion.  I would recommend the Legend Trilogy to anyone and everyone who likes YA dystopian novels and for anyone who enjoyed the Hunger Games, but even if you didn’t enjoy the Hunger Games, I would still suggest you dab into Marie Lu’s world.

 

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