Champion (Legend, book three)
By Marie Lu
Published 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
WARNING: This review will likely contain spoilers. To read my reviews of the first two books, follow the links: 1 and 2.
June and Day have struggled but finally seem to be attaining a small measure of peace. Of course, it doesn't last long, as a plague sweeps the Colonies and war seems to loom just over the horizon. Stopping these horrors may all come down to the two of them. But what will they have to sacrifice in order to save their world?
Quite frequently, it amuses me when I look back at past reviews of earlier books in series. This is one example, where I seemed mostly ambivalent about the first book in this series, which I read and reviewed back in 2011. I think the further I got away from the first book, the more I liked it, and I've looked forward to each subsequent book more. This third and final entry was no exception.
I think Lu has done a tremendous job with her worldbuilding - and this book gives us the chance to see more of that world, as June travels abroad in her attempts to stop a war. I think the future that Lu has imagined is incredibly creative and interesting. I'm not sure if I believe it could happen, but I'm still fascinated by it.
Additionally, I think Lu has created some wonderful characters. By this point, I really care about Day and June and I hope for their success and happiness. I feel connected to and concerned for them, which maybe means I care too much about fictional people, but that's who I am. Throughout the series, I have loved seeing events through both Day and June's eyes.
Like the others, this book also keeps a steady pace. Nothing feels rushed or drawn-out; it moves along steadily without feeling like I'm being yanked by the hand by someone moving much faster than me. It's clear to me that Lu has a lot of skills as an author and I'm already anticipating her next book.
Where this book suffers a bit for me is the ending. Maybe I did it a slight disservice by reading it around the same time I read Allegiant, which had an ending that I thought suited the character well. In contrast, I almost felt that the ending here did the series and the characters a disservice. Without giving much away, I completely understand how much people enjoy a happy ending, and I am certainly one of those people, too. But more important to me is that the ending stay true to the story and characters. For me, this ending didn't quite do that. But, of course, your mileage may vary.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this series and will continue to recommend it to teen readers. I look forward to what Lu comes up with next!