31 December 2013

Champion

Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

While Legend is not one of my favorite young adult series, it is certainly a series I will add to my buy list to read again.  The characters are engaging, even if it is difficult to believe they are only sixteen years of age.  When reading the novels, I feel like I am watching a CW show, where they have twenty somethings playing high schoolers.  I know I mentioned this is my Prodigy review, and yes, perhaps in a different culture raised in war times it is something that could happen.  I just have a hard time believing it.

Lu spends a little bit of time delving into the backstory of the tension between the Republic and the Colonies in Champion, but I still felt it was a little underdeveloped.  In addition, as we explore this world that isn’t too far off (only 150 years in the future or so), it started to feel a little more towards sci fi and not just a dystopian/war series.  My main point here is the country of Antarctica.  The technology that keeps the city warm is only just hinted out as a huge dome they passed through easily as they flew in, and the buildings hundreds of stories tall, as well as the technology used to make the citizens live in a video game more or less seemed more sci fi than realizable.  That being said, I wish we could have spent more time in Antarctica with June and Anden, as this sci fi world Lu hinted at was actually much more fascinating than the Colonies or the Republic.

While Day’s health situation plays a major role in this novel, his relationship with June isn’t too smothering in the way that teen relationships can be in young adult series.  Granted, we see touches to two love triangles in Champion – Day/June/Tess and Day/June/Anden – but they aren’t too overwhelming or obnoxious.  And while the relationship between June and Day is still a huge subplot of the novel, it isn’t annoying until towards the very end.

I will say, even though I was disappointed with how Lu chose to end the novel by focusing on Day and June instead of the conflict between the Colonies and the Republic, up until this point it was very action packed.  I dare even say it was a page turner and I had a hard time putting it down as Anden, June, Day and the Patriots struggled against the clock to come up with one last hail Mary attempt to prevent a surrender to the Colonies.  Again, it was difficult to believe how young most of the characters were – even the young Anden – but I got over it… for the most part.

The name of the novel is something I don’t really get.  Prodigy and Legend both alluded to June/Day.  And on the back cover of the Champion novel, it alludes that one of them will be the Champion… which does not fit the context of the novel really at all.  If anything, the champion would arise between the conflict between the Colonies and the Republic.  But seeing as how that pans out, the word champion really doesn’t suit that part of the novel as well either.


As for the ending of the novel, considering how focused this novels were on June and Day over the dystopian, I wasn’t disappointed with it – apart from the sudden departure from the conflict on the streets.  Indeed, I actually appreciated the ending, especially with the fast forward in time to ten years down the road, where I could finally see the characters fitting their ages.  I do wish that the series had been a little more focused on the war between the Colonies and the Republic and a little less centered on the relationship between Day and June, but all and all it was an engaging series that while perhaps didn’t surpass the hype as quoted on the front of Legend, but may have lived up to it.

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