Champion by Marie Lu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reading the final book in a trilogy is a special moment. Not only must the story stand on its own, but it must provide a fitting final installment to an over-arching story that has spanned three books. It's little wonder that there are few trilogy finales that measure up to the task.
Marie Lu's Champion is a story that measures up.
In Legend, we came to know Day, a rebel of sorts whose fervor for equality makes him a champion of the Republic's people, and June, a young girl whose intellectual gifts have made her a precocious hope for the Republic's failing government. Their meeting was one of opposites who discovered their similarities. In Prodigy, we saw those fresh bonds tested, and in the end, we were left with a cliff-hanger ending that built up huge hopes for Champion.
I received the Legend boxed set as a gift for Christmas, and let me tell you, it took me DAYS to open the package. I was that anxious about what I would find on Champion's pages. I studiously avoided reviews and Twitter conversations on the book, and basically tried to act like it didn't exist at all. That's how nervous I was to find out what would happen to Day and June and the Republic at large.
Thankfully, once I did crack the cellophane on my lovely boxed set, I found that Marie Lu dove right back into her world with great pace and intensity. While this finale did not offer as much physicality as the previous novels, the political maneuvering on both Day and June's sides kept up the same pace. In the course of the action, we get to visit a starkly different world in Antarctica, as well as the innerworking of Day's relationship with his little brother Eden. We come to know Anden, the Republic's Elector, in much greater detail, and his character grows along with everyone else's. And the ending...well, I'll let you read that for yourselves. Just know that as with most trilogies, it's particularly difficult to say goodbye to the characters at the end, and Marie Lu makes that goodbye as difficult as possible.
After I read the acknowledgements and closed this book, I slid it back into the box sleeve and just stared at the spines for a while: Legend, Prodigy, Champion. Many great hours of reading lie therein, and while I'm sad that the ride is over, I'm also looking forward to a few other finale books in the coming year: Into the Still Blue, by Veronica Rossi, and Ruin & Rising, by Leigh Bardugo.
What about you? What did you think of Champion? And which finales are you most anticipating in the coming year?