This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.
I have to start this review by discussing the last few pages of this incredible trilogy. Champion has such a beautiful, perfect ending, and it felt like Marie Lu wrote it as a love letter to her fans. No doubt she loves June and Day even more than we do, but when she signed off on this series with such compassion and respect, I couldn’t help but feel appreciated as a reader and a fan. I read Champion right after Allegiant, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the ending of Allegiant enraged some readers. For the record, I liked it, but I was nowhere near as invested in that series as I am with Legend. I can’t say I would have been thrilled if Lu had chosen to end Legend in a similar fashion, although I’m pretty sure my reaction would have stopped well short of death threats.
Throughout this series, the love between June and Day has always been genuine and never forced. They complement each other perfectly, and they need each other more than ever now. The Republic is under attack from both within and without: a deadly plague and a seemingly inevitable war with the Colonies. The Republic attempts to enlist the assistance of Antarctica for its military might, and this gives us a chance to see the similarities and the differences in how the three societies operate. It’s interesting, because all are flawed in one way or another, and we really only root for one side as “the best” because we happen to care its inhabitants.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Colonies gets his evil clutches on Day, and this was the one part of the story that seemed false. He blackmails Day with sleazy threats to get Day to work for him, but of course, Day is not the type to cave. Where the Chancellor could have approached Day in a non-threatening way by explaining how they could have a mutually beneficial (albeit distasteful) relationship, he instead ensured that Day would do everything possible to thwart him. The Chancellor also knew enough about Day and his background to know that Day would not respond well to threats, and Day’s reaction should have been predictable.
Aside from this minor complaint, there was so much to love in Champion, highlighted, of course, by the deep and complicated relationship between June and Day. And if there was a touch of cliche in the ending, who cares? It was so powerfully and beautifully moving. Just read it, and tell me you didn’t get choked up, too. My thanks to Marie Lu for sharing this beautiful story with us.