March 24, 2015

Champion by Marie Lu - Book Review

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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.


I guess, Champion is the turning point of the series. All the loose ends will finally come together. All the questions will finally be answered. And the inevitable and most feared question, “will anybody die?” will finally be answered. 

Legend did not end so well between the main characters, so the level of anticipation of what’s going to happen next will intensify in this book. 

Day and June’s relationship will be tested in this final installment of the book. Although, their time apart will make the, realize how much they love each other, circumstances will also tear the apart.
“What’s the point of keeping in touch with the girl you’re crazy about, when you’re dying?”
Day’s experimentation escapade when he was child will finally catch up with him. Doctors will find out that he has only few months left to live and they’ll desperately try procedures to cure his terminal illness.
“Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know.”
Moreover, this book will also show the prevalence of working together instead of working against one another. The Republic realized that they have a higher chance of surviving the war if they all fought against the enemies. They may not have all the advance technologies, but they can work as a group to defeat them. 

With the pandemic spread of the plague all over the colonies and the republic, The Elector, Anden, is challenged to make speedy decisions that can compromise one of the parties if not thought over well. He was forced to donate a piece of his land to appease the Antarticans to aid them in the war. With the Africans and the Colonies, both against them, there’s a greater probability of the country losing to the war.
“Life in Ross City is a game, and we are all its players. Native Antarcticans don’t need glasses like you visitors do—all of us have chips embedded near our temples once we turn thirteen. It’s a piece of software that assigns points to everything around us.” He gestures toward the plants. “Do you see the words Water—Plus One hovering over that plant?” I nod. “If you decided to water that plant, for example, you would receive one point for doing so. Almost every positive action you make in Ross City will earn you achievement points, while negative actions subtract points. As you accumulate points, you gain levels. Right now, you are at Level One.” He pauses to point up at the virtual number floating over his head. “I am at Level Thirteen.”

“Your level means everything in Ross City. The higher your level, the more money you make, the better jobs you can apply for, and the more respected you are. Our highest scorers are widely admired and quite famous.”
The Ross City was a brilliant idea. I love the concept because it’s at par with the latest trend in the society. It’s like a game. I was actually smiling while their world is being described in the book. With a little bit of imagination, I can practically feel the world at my fingertips. I would enjoy this kind of world. It would be totally addicting and the country would benefit from their point system. Antarctica has gone a long way. 

As I’ve stated a while ago, Champion will detail how the United States of America split and became two separate entities. Apparently, the Republic of America enforced Martial Law in order to crack down the influx of refugees into its borders; while Colonies of America was created when corporations seized control of the federal government following the latter’s failure to handle debt accumulated from the flood of 2046. 

Here are some snippets from Champion regarding the takeover of the corporations in the Colonies of America:
“In this civilian recording, the city of Atlanta stages a fifteen-day riot against the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency. Similar riots appeared in all eastern cities over the course of three months, after which the cities declared loyalty to the military corporation DesCon, which possessed funds the beleaguered government did not”

“Along with twelve other corporations, DesCon contributed its funds to aid the civilians. By l2058, the United States government ceased to exist altogether in the east and was replaced with the Colonies of America, formed by a coalition of the country’s top thirteen corporations and bolstered by their joint profits. After a series of mergers, the Colonies of America now consists of four ruling corporations: DesCon, Cloud, Meditech, and Evergreen”
“The screens lining the hall show scenes of Republic soldiers clashing with Colonies troops in the streets—and, to my surprise, Republic civilians wielding whatever weapons they can find and joining in to push the Colonies back.”
Goosebumps. The scene feels real. One of my favorites. I don’t know but the scene showing people desperately fighting for their country digs deeply through my heart. It reminds me of the EDSA revolution here in our country. I actually felt teary-eyed while reading it. 

This scene also reminds us, that in every war, nobody can be declared a winner. We all lose. You cannot be declared a winner knowing that there are casualties and damages around you. 

I also liked how the author ended this book. I think this was the only dystopian book that included a peace treaty for all the parties involved in a war. Though bloods were shed, the war was prevented in exchange for a peace treaty. It made me admire the writer even more. I believe every one of us is aiming for world peace. This book shouts our heart’s desire. It may be difficult to achieve world peace, but there is still hope.
“He is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love 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.”
Many of the fans might be disappointed in how Marie Lu added that twist towards the end for Day. I am not one of them though. I had done my own analysis. I think what happened to him, dulled all the negativity he was feeling towards June. She’s right you know. As long as he has the recollection of all the memories they have together, the good and the bad, the resentment will always be there. It won’t go away. So perhaps, what happened was for their own good. They were emotionally healed and emotionally mature by the end of this book. 

I love the epilogue. It was actually one of the best parts. I devoured this book until the end. It was very engaging and I was disappointed to see the last page turned. I was kind of hoping that a new chapter would magically appear. This trilogy has the most promising ending. It’s still a happy ending for me. Champion was a blast and it’s the most perfect book to end a very fascinating trilogy. 5 star rating for me! Kudos to Marie Lu.
“When emotion fails, logic will save you.”
“You drive me insane, June,” he murmurs against my hair. “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?” I tilt my face up to see him. His eyes reflect the faint lights from the JumboTrons, a rainbow of evening colors. “Billions of people will come and go in this world,” he says softly, “but there will never be another like you.”
“People by nature are unjust, unfair, and conniving.”


Marie Lu


I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.


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