Champion (2013) – Marie Lu

Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy comes to a conclusion on this week’s Book Shelf. A Young Adult series that isn’t quite dystopian in nature, but flirts at its edges with a United States torn into two halves, the Republic and the Colonies.

War has been going on for a while, but with the introduction of the new Elector for the Republic, Anden, there may actually be a chance for peace. This is something that the rest of the world has been watching and judging, and we actually hear more about things that are going on outside North America this time around.

We catch up with both June and Day, with alternating chapters in their differing colours, as they dance around their feelings for one another, their commitments, and those around them, including Day’s younger brother, Eden, who may or may not hold the key to peace.

It seems a new virus has been unleashed upon the Colonies, and their Chancellor is firmly pointing his finger at the Republic. Does Eden hold the key? Will Day’s condition keep him apart from June? And will the entire continent be torn apart in one final cataclysmic conflagration?

Lu’s world is fully realised and over three novels she has brought her readers into it, invested them, and finally puts paid to story threads, character arcs, and the emotional needs of the reader.

champ

This has been a very entertaining, and surprisingly quick, series to get through, and one I would not have been aware of had it not been for my Sweetie. There is more than a healthy dose of teen angst, melodrama and romance trapped within the pages of the story, but Lu has created such solid characters that you buy into it, perhaps even recognise yourself in them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to slap some sense into them sometimes.

I do like the exploration of the two sides of the United States how similar they are – and you can see present day America in both sides of the conflict, and wonder how that will play out in modern times, and if this series is doing some prognostication.

I love that both leads push against the established stereotypes of race and gender, and reminds us that it’s not your appearance that matters, but what you do with your life, and how strongly you love.

I will say that the actual ending of the book was either telegraphed or I just knew how it was going to play out as soon as I started the book. But I knew that it would play out as it did.

I think that, if I can call it a complaint, is the only thing I didn’t care for. The ending.

Everything else was strong, well-crafted, pushed a little bit of national patriotism, and a lot of the human heart.

A fun series, well worth it if you are looking for something fun.

Legend-Trilogy

 

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