Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Champion (Legend, #3) by Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: November 5th, 2013
Number of pages: 353 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

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 once again. 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 he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

CHAMPION is the final conclusion to Marie Lu's 'Legend' trilogy and it ends with a blast. After the end of Prodigy, I wasn't sure where Marie Lu would go with Champion. There was always that uncertainty, of the unknown to where she would end such a series. I had been so excited for this book to the point that I'm pretty sure I went to the bookstore like five or more times to see if the book had come in yet. I hated that it took almost a week for the bookstore to receive the books, and was so delirious when I finally had it in my hands.
I, of course dropped anything I was reading at the time to focus on this book at hand. Nothing was as important as me reading this final installment.
I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to both Day and June, and what would become of them by the end of this conclusive novel.

I have loved the dual POV for Day and June. They both have separate stories and slowly they found them connecting toward one another. There was of course, a time jump in between Prodigy and Champion which was close to a year, I think. They both were a little older and wiser, doing the things that needed to be done.
June was working for Anden, and Day was on the other side of the country doing other kind of work, also with his brother. He was also getting treatment for his illness, something which June still had no idea about.
The fact she didn't know just broke me heart, but I knew there was only a matter of time before they were reunited and she would discover the truth.  When that moment came, my heart went out to the both of them. June having to know that that the love of her life was dying and there was nothing that she could do about it.  
Day hating to be apart from her, didn't want to burden her with this news. But when June asks Day to come to the Republic, that is when things really begin.

There is a war going on and Day is the only thing that may help in succeeding in helping the country win. If not, well, they are all in deep trouble.  This is an action-packed adventure, full of twists and surprises. With heartbreaking confessions and things you did not expect.

Love triangle, anyone? I know some people felt Prodigy was the beginning of one, but let me clear this up for you. It is non existent. It was not there before, and in this book, it is not there here as well. The love between Day and June belong with Day and June.  There was nothing happening with anyone else, and if after this book you are unsure of that, then I think we read two completely different books.
The feelings. Love between these two is so beautiful, heartbreakingly, flawless. One of the best love stories executed so well. There is nobody else for them but each other.   Don't believe me?  Okay....
“You drive me insane June. You're the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can't catch my breath because I'm trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don't you? Billions of people will come and go in this world, but there will never be another like you.”

until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here. I love you, always.”

“Please don't take him away from this world. Please don't let him die here in my arms, not after everything we've been through together, not after You've taken so many others. Please, I beg You, let him live. I am willing to sacrifice anything to make this happen- I'm willing to do anything You ask. Maybe you'll laugh at me for such a naive promise, but I mean it in earnest, and I don't care if it makes no sense or seems impossible. Let him live. Please. I can't bear this a second time. "

He takes two steps away from me and then turns back like a caged animal. "Do you even love me?" he suddenly asks. He grips both of my shoulders. "I’ve said it to you before, and I still mean it. But I’ve never hear it form you. I can’t tell. And then you give me this ring" —he pauses to hold his hand up— "and I don’t know what to think anymore."
He draws closer, until I feel his lips against my ear. My entire body trembles. “Do you have any idea?” he says in a soft, broken, hoarse whisper. “Do you know how…how badly I wish…”
He pulls away long enough to look me desperately in the eyes. “If you don’t love me, just say it— you have to help me. It’d probably be for the best. I’d make it easier to stay away from you, wouldn’t it? I can let go.” He says it like he’s trying to convince himself. “I can let go, if you don’t love me.”
He says this as if he thinks I’m the stronger one. But I’m not. I can’t keep this up any better than he can. “No,” I say through gritted teeth and blurry vision. “I can’t help you. Because I do love you.” There it is, out in the open. “I’m in love with you,” I repeat.

Okay I should stop now with the quotes before I end up bawling on the floor. You get the picture now, right?

Back to the book...*deep breath*.  Throughout the series these characters have been through so much, done so much and they are so very young. Nobody should have to go through the things they have over the past three books. But they have and it has made them stronger by the end of it, in some way or another. They both have changed, in different ways than they were when we first started this series. I do not regret this story for a moment, if anything it will forever live on in my heart as being one of the best epic of proportions, once-in-a-lifetime trilogies which makes you feel a whole lot of emotions. These characters move into your heart and stay there.
Day and June. Nobody else like them nor ever will be. I admire them so much. From their bravery, to their honesty and the way they love. So intensely, passionately and wholely. They are beautiful characters and I would recommend this series to the world if possible.

The way this story ends felt so natural. It's not picture perfect. It's not your typical happily ever after ending, nor is it a heartbreaking one.  It was very highly satisfying, full of hope and promise and a happy one, just a little differently than we might have first thought.
I can't see anyone not liking the ending. There are certainly worse endings as you all know, so to have this series end in such a way is a relief,  and done so beautifully, in character with the point of things to come.

I feel satisfied and happy to leave these characters to carry on with their lives. Knowing they will be okay now. There will come a time when I will revisit them with re-reads of this series. But all in all, I could not have found a better ending to an amazing series. I applaud Marie Lu.  You now have a fan for life.

5  MILLION stars

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