Book Review: Champion
By Marie Lu
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: 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. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
For starters, I am not the target audience. The target audience seems to include many photos of people crying, freaking out and yelling to express their feelings about Champion in their reviews. Ending a dystopian novel must be very difficult. Adult dystopian novels tend to stay dreary while young adult dystopian novels have hope for a cheerier future. I’m glad that the youth aren’t so jaded that they really do hope for a better future, perhaps it’s a reflection on their actual optimism in their own lives. My enthusiasm for the Legend series waned significantly as more trite elements were included. I am opposed to love triangles in particular. There is a slight love triangle that developed with June in the middle in the second novel.
Overall Champion is a good conclusion. The Republic and Colonies have a resolution, which might be temporary and might last. The other nations in the world step in to help both sides. The old factions make peace with each other, or die because they won’t work together. Love is thick through the book. There is love of family, love of country, love of ideals, love of comrades and romantic love. I was glad to see that love was not a one dimensional aspect. Another interesting aspect is the question, who is the champion? Eden, Day, Anden or June? What about Thomas? Each person, in a way, is a champion by living their ideals, compromise or through duty or love.
An on going dilemna for Day is the fear that his brother, Eden, will suffer or be experimented on if he agrees to allow scientists to use his blood to try to find a cure for the disease that he has survived. This sounds like bad science to me. I really believe that drawing some blood to run experiments on, and even a bone marrow sample is not actually life threatening or horribly painful, perhaps uncomfortable for a bit, but not really a big deal when faced with averting a war and saving millions of lives. The switch of using Eden’s blood to June’s was also rushed in the writing.
The heat is turned up in June and Day’s romance. They have sex then later that night Day goes to his old home to relive all the pain he has gone through which June witnesses since she secretly follows him, so she determines that she will always be a source of pain for him. They can’t leave each other alone, can’t live without each other, but also cause each other such grief. Doesn’t that sound like the drama of a high school love, where love is the end of the world? I don’t agree with glorifying teen sex in novels, which Champion does because June and Day are so deeply in “love”.
Day, now Daniel, has suffered a partial amnesia which causes him to lose all his memories of June, which she attributes to a higher power inducing because of her desperate prayer to save her live. Ten years later Lu comes up with a solution that seems to make both parties, not exactly happy, but perhaps hopeful of a future together.
Finally, the world healed at least as well as the broken people. It was an easy read and logical in most of its story development. It’s overly sentimental at times to intentionally pull on your heartstrings. Champion and the Legend series is actually better than a lot of the YA dystopian novels, but I am not young enough to fully love it.
– the Mother
The teen skipped this one.
I would recommend you try book by Cinda Williams Chima, like the Seven Realms series and try Cast of Stones, A The Staff and the Sword series by Patrick W. Carr.