Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Champion


17707500Title: Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Science fiction

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
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.
With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

I finally got around to finishing this series. It wasn't a bad ending, but I was disappointed.

When I started reading this series, I was hooked. Not because Legend was the best dystopian novel I'd read, or because it was particularly insightful or life-changing. It was simply addictive, and I loved the intelligent characters and the fast pace of the series. Prodigy blew my reservations about this series out of the water with its fearless twists and dramatic character growth.

Champion...I think overall Legend was a weaker book, but since I had such high expectations after Prodigy, I liked this one the least.

After that terrible cliffhanger in Prodigy, we are left wondering how things could possibly be resolved in Champion. Resolutions take their own sweet time, which is ironic considering how fast this book goes. In fact, any issues in the previous books become even more confounding and complicated, made even more so by the conflicting emotions of June and Day. Both of them must make sacrifices to save the nation, and sometimes that means hurting one person you care about in order to save the rest of them. June and Day have both grown an admirable amount since book 1, but in this book, June's sense of duty was absolutely maddening! More on that later.

I liked learning more about the world in Prodigy, and seeing how neither the Republic nor the Colonies was actually a great place to be. This pattern continues in this book, with a visit to Antarctica. I really liked the concept of a lifelong points system, and I also really liked the discussion on how to determine whether an action is good or bad. Marie Lu does a great job of showing us different societies that seem like they're out of a glossy magazine at first, but actually hide some pretty bad plumbing. This book is highly political, but instead of a lot of clever maneuvering as in Prodigy, this one is more of the dull "let's pretend Anden can actually do things even though the bureaucracy is very much in the way". It was tedious and annoying, especially after the action of the past two books.

mini rant about that ending:
JUNE ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME. Like June, I too am a terribly logical person. But even I have enough sense to realize that emotions don't follow rules. You can't just separate love and pain, and it's better to have both than have neither. Yet June is somehow convinced of the opposite. That would be good and fine if it were herself she were talking about, but she imposes her strange beliefs on Day instead. YOU DON'T GET TO MAKE THESE DECISIONS FOR OTHER PEOPLE, JUNE.

You don't just get to decide that you aren't worth someone's love or pain. You don't get to walk out of someone's life because you think it will be objectively better for them, leaving both yourself and that person devastated. And you ABSOLUTELY don't get second chances ten freaking years down the line. Ugh.

While I enjoyed the world and the fast pace, I didn't like the resolution of some of the conflicts, and I felt like a lot of complex issues became too simplified at the end. This was not a bad book by any means, but my expectations were so high that I ended up a bit disappointed.

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7 comments:

  1. I loved this series so much. I had the same complaints like you about the ending. I am quite excited to see what Marie Lu has next for her readers. I recommend this series to a lot of different people!

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  2. Aw I hate when that happens. I actually own Legend and was hoping to start reading it soon in preparation for Sci-Fi November, but am a little apprehensive now. I've finished a couple of series this year and I have found that I keep getting disappointed b the final book in the series. I don't know if my expectations are always just too high or if series just don't work for me, but meh. It makes me worried about reading this one. >.<

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  3. Yes, I'm excited for The Young Elites. I love stories that are told from the "villain" POV!

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  4. I'm in the minority on this one. Most people liked the thing that annoyed me. Champion is by far one of the better series endings from this year, but I just had my expectations too high. I definitely think this series is worth reading!

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  5. It is hard, isn't it, to not let expectations really affect how you read something?!! I thought what June did was interesting and I took it because medically there is background to forcing memories that aren't there being extremely unhealthy and then that Day did the exact same thing to June at the end of Prodigy... It's like they both tried to make a decision for both of them that really wasn't thier's to make. June definitely does have a very strict sense of self and ideals. I always love seeing when ideals that are based on certain perceptions are changed when those perceptions are changed. Hopefully Young Elites won't disappoint. :)

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  6. Yes, it is! I didn't really think of Day doing that at the end of Prodigy, but that's a really good point. They both think they are helping the other, but it's really not their decision. I just wish it hadn't taken June 10 years to figure that out!

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  7. Oh, definitely. It takes her forever before she gives in to how she feels! :)

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