Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Champion

Champion
by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Published: 05 November 2013
Putnam Juvenile, Hardcover, 369 pages
Source: Purchased

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WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR FIRST 2 BOOKS.

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.

Rating: ★★★★★

If you’re reading this, it means I’ve finally forced myself to sit down and write a review of Champion by Marie Lu. Why have I been dragging this? Once I’ve finished this review, it’ll feel like I’ve said an official goodbye to Day, June and the entire Legend trilogy. I might never get to really wax poetry on my love for this spectacular trilogy again (unless a movie adaptation is released). However, farewell is inevitable.

I’m unsure whether I’ve mentioned this before, but I simply adore Marie Lu’s simple and fast paced writing style. It complemented the action and suspense in Champion incredibly well and had me glued to every page. Before I continue with this review, I should probably share some of my reactions to the end of Prodigy and Champion‘s synopsis:

  1. DAY IS DYING?! WHAT. MARIE LU. WHAT. IN. THIS. GODDY. DARN. WORLD. ARE. YOU. DOING. TO. OUR. HEARTS.
  2. I knew there would be a plague outbreak sooner or later.
  3. Oh, that beautiful cover. Let me grope it!

Now, I am obviously not a very sane person but at least I’m honest.

Moving on. Day and June had a prodigious amount of growth since Legend. They were chewed up by life then spit out in a mess over and over again but instead of letting that cripple them, they came back wiser than ever. Gone were the childlike naïveté they had at 15, in its place were 2 young adults forced to grow up too quickly. Having gone through their gruesome journey with them in the whole of the trilogy, Day and June have grown on me so much, as if they were my personal friends.

I remembered back when reading Legend, I had been a little iffy about the lack of information on the world outside of the Republic. Let me just say that in Champion, the believability of the rest of the world was unprecedented. Marie Lu’s concept of Antarctica and its capital city, Ross City, was absolutely fascinating! Moreover, the world politics involved were realistic yet not overly complicated. Basically, I simply revered the world building!

I’m going to avoid any sugarcoating and outright tell all of you that Champion was an extremely emotionally crippling book. The choices faced were impossible and heartbreaking and the stakes higher than ever. All the characters in Champion, not just Day and June, were so intricate and Marie Lu portrayed each of their pains in life beautifully. I could really tell how the events in the story affected everyone, no matter what social class or where their allegiances laid.

Regarding the very end of the book, it’s hard for me to rationally express my feelings about it but I will try. I died but I survived (in a way). My heart was shattered then pieced back together all wrongly. Oh, and my eyes were leaking like problematic faucets. Leaking is actually a severe understatement. Despite it crushing me, I utterly loved the way Marie Lu ended the trilogy. You simply know an ending is perfect when you can’t imagination anything better. I completely understood and admired June and the decision she made towards the end. It was painful but selfless and I’m not sure if I would have the strength to do that had I been in her place.

Overall, I just want to wrap this trilogy up in a pretty package, lock it in a private compartment in my heart and throw away the key. Though I think I might’ve already done that… Endearing, action packed, intense and heartrending, there’s no way I wouldn’t be recommending this trilogy to everyone I know! And now I guess it’s time to say goodbye. Before I end this off, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Marie Lu for sharing Day and June’s phenomenal journey with all of us readers and I would not ever forget them nor this awe-inspiring trilogy.

Adelena

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on Adel’s Fall 2013 TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we feature top ten books or book related stuff according to each week’s topic.

This week’s topic, the top 10 books on my fall 2013 TBR list. Fall is actually my favorite season of the year, which is why it’s such a pity I don’t get to experience it much here in tropical Singapore. However, to cheer me up, a whole lot of books I’ve been looking forward to this whole year would be released soon!

This list is made up of my top ten most anticipated fall 2013 releases.

Top 10 Books on Adel’s Fall TBR List:

Allegiant

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The final installment of the much-loved Divergent trilogy. I’m so stoked that I’m re-reading the earlier two books in preparation!

Champion

2. Champion by Marie Lu

Yet another conclusion to one of my favorite trilogies ever. Feels and tears, I’m prepared to face you!

Revelations

3. Revelations by J.A. Souders

Renegade was so flipping awesome & gory I simply cannot wait for this sequel!

AcrossStarSweptSeaJKT_des3.indd

4. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

The first book made me sob so much I just fell in love with it. And I’m a sucker for classic retellings.

Shadowhunter's Codex

5. The Shadowhunters’ Codex by Cassandra Clare

Fine, this isn’t a story book. But it’s Shadowhunters!

Sentinel

6. Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I might not have read Apollyon yet (my local library’s taking forever to get it) but that doesn’t stop me from getting excited over this final installment!

These Broken Stars

7. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

They got me at the sci-fi & Titanic in space part.

Endless Knight

8. Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

I’m not a fan of the cover, but I simply adore Kresley Cole’s books!

All Our Yesterdays

9. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

TIME TRAVELLING! *SQUEALS*

Fangirl

10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

There’s been so much hype over this book and I think any avid reader can relate to being a fangirl.

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So that’s it for me! 3/10 of the above books are final installments, guess I should prepare for a sob-tastic fall ahead! What are your top 10 books on your fall TBR list? Feel free to comment below!

Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy

Prodigy
by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Publication Date: 29 January 2013
Putnam Juvenile, Hardcover, 371 pages
Source: Library

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WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR LEGEND.

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

Rating: ★★★★★

After reading Prodigy, Marie Lu is inarguably one of the best YA authors I’ve come across (meaning I  desperately want to meet her) . Prodigy was impossibly even better than Legend, every moment so real I just fell headfirst into the world of June and Day. I was pleasantly surprised that all the characters had so much depth and I could picture them all as real, actual people. Basically, Prodigy completely swept me off to its dystopian future.

June and Day’s relationship faced many difficulties in this book as they were separated. Although all the doubts coming between them had me bleeding on the inside, I understood why said doubts appeared in the first place. They came from such different background and it was bound to cause problems sooner or later. Moreover, they’re only fifteen/sixteen (my age) so it was really relatable.

However, the one problem I did have, was that June and Day seemed a little too young for the intensity of their relationship. One way of looking at it is that they are way beyond their years, but this age issue still bothers me a little, being sixteen myself. The great things about this book though, far outweighs this little drawback.

I found June’s dependence on being analytic to prevent nerves utterly endearing and it completely sets her apart from other characters. I cannot reiterate enough how much I admire her prodigious (pun totally intended!) skills and downright genius brain. Although said genius brain wasn’t so genius when it came to figuring Day out. Her conflicting feelings about assassinating Anden was utterly justifiable because she’s been raised to protect the Elector her whole life. We can’t begrudge her inability to ditch a life-long instinct in the blink of an eye.

As for Day, although he too wasn’t wholeheartedly for killing Anden, his anger at the The Republic for ruining his family and using his younger brother, Eden, as a guinea pig, overshadowed sensibility. I didn’t mind his lack of rationale thinking (much) though because he is after all, just a teenage boy, albeit one that has gone through much more than your average teen boy. Regarding Day and Tess’s…  friendship? Or one-sided relationship? I knew Tess had feelings for Day and disliked June since Legend. However, I couldn’t bring myself to hate her as we all know jealousy can do ugly things to good people.

Touching a little on the other characters (because they all deserve some recognition), Kaede is my favourite sub-character, although definitely not from the start. Her fire and strength was wholly admirable and no matter how annoyingly jaded she might seem at first, I realised that she was just a girl trying to find her place in this world. I could say the same for Anden and that I knew he was a good person from the start! Yet, I am hands down a Day & June shipper. DAY AND JUNE FOREVER!!!

Please excuse my nutty fangirling. :)

Anyway, I’m keeping my lips sealed about (mostly) everything concerning the conclusion of Prodigy. Trust me when I say you’ll want to go into it blind. I didn’t but it still crushed me anyway. Prodigy has me drooling for Champion, the third and last installment. Thankfully, that’ll just be a 6 month wait until 4th November 2013 (very short compared to the usual YA books that take a year or more). If you’re planning on reading this, note that you should be equipped with a box of tissue and stay away from public places in the second half of the book. Happy (or, uh, weepy?) reading!

Adelena