Champion by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Excellent ending to a superb trilogy. Great writing, sympathetic and raw characterisation and an engaging plot. The style of narration, both from Day’s and June’s point of view, was fitting with the Legend world – stark, matter-of-fact, bleak and awful but not in any melodramatic way. The Republic of America and the Colonies are both frightening pictures of a potential future – pure dystopian terror. But Marie Lu immerses us into these worlds with a wonderfully distant, cold and atmospheric style of story-telling that is very in keeping with the plot’s major themes and ideas. This is just the way it is, she’s telling us. She’s not trying to shock us. She’s not trying to be clever. She’s simply presenting a horrendous future and the two young people who are drowning in it.
I’m not a lover of romance, but the Day/June relationship touched me deeply. They are two teenagers who understand that the world is bigger than them, and that love isn’t about flowers and meaningless declarations. It’s about caring for another person more than yourself, putting someone else first, protecting that person with your own soul. It’s about holding on and letting go. I adored Eden. What a cutie. Lu perfectly presents an enviable relationship between him and his brother Day. I’d die for him, too. That’s love. And that’s good writing.
Champion has good emotional closure. It’s what I like to call a three tissue ending. I have mixed thoughts about the epilogue. The picky writer in me thinks the book would have been perfect without it, that it in no way needed it. But the emotional wreck of a woman who has a very delicate and breakable heart, needed it like a kicked puppy needs a hug and a promise. It doesn’t matter, though, because I loved the book either way.
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