Our Thoughts on the Final Book of the Legend Series, CHAMPION

It’s been over a week since the third and final book of the Legend trilogy was released, and maybe you’ve held off on reading it for one reason or another.  Maybe you’re scared of reading how it will end, or maybe you’re still catching up on other books (of which we can certainly understand), or maybe you just have to wait for that next paycheck.

Whatever the reason, we’re going to give you some of our thoughts on the final book that could encourage you to make Champion the next book for you to read.

No spoilers!

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Nat’s Review:

The introduction of some new characters and areas are not too expansive to where you feel lost. The focus is still maintained on the characters that we know and love as well as the situations that we’re familiar with already. That’s not saying there isn’t growth in the world that Marie has created, because there certainly is, but she just doesn’t overwhelm, or basically tease, you with what else is going outside of June and Day’s perspective. She gives you enough glimpses of life outside of the Rebuplic and the Colonies to make it interesting for you, but still manages to contain the world enough to where you don’t get confused. 

The war and the politics and how this future is really makes sense to me. There’s a lot of devices and things in there that we are familiar with and I can see how the future that Marie has created can be conceived from the politics and the technology and military of today’s culture. What I like the most about this part is that there is not really one area or city or territory that is vastly superior to the others, although a case could be made about one certain territory in particular, but still, I’m sure there are flaws there as well. That might be one thing that the young adults could really learn from this book as far as countries go. Neither the Republic nor the Colonies are favored in the way the people are being treated in either society, and there’s much to learn about that that could be seen in today’s society. 

Day and June. Oh, my dear Day and my dear June. There was nothing that they said or did that strayed away from what we already knew of them. They both harbor very strong feelings for each other. They both harbor strong doubts about the other and they both are challenged with the thought of whether they can even be together if they really wanted to. There was the established consequences of their past actions towards each other and their families, so of course, there’s always that “elephant in the room” for these two. How Marie deals with that in this book is pretty amazing – both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. 

I ended the book with tears in my eyes, from both sorrow and joy. Sorrow for what was lost, and joy for what was to come. I found hope again, too. It was earned in one of the most sacrificial ways possible. Deservedly so, I think. So, yes, I can see hope for a future that would fill in those losses with love and fulfillment. 

You can read the full review here.

Kait’s Review:

The problem with YA series (I want to write “seri”, even though that’s wrong) as a whole is that endings get tricky. Everyone wants to be shocking and thrilling and unexpected. In doing so, authors sometimes seem to lose sight of what it’s all about. Thankfully, Marie Lu is not one of those authors! She gives us action and twists without completely throwing out the rule book and THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS!

CHAMPION picks up several months after PRODIGY. Impending peace between the Republic and the Colonies comes to a screeching halt when the Republic’s plague, once believed to be contained, begins spreading throughout the Colonies. With a powerful new ally on their side, the Colonies prepare to overtake the Republic.

Politics are a much bigger part of the story in CHAMPION, but they’re an exciting part. Day and June’s personal battles are entwined with politics so deeply that your heart aches for one or both of them whenever a political struggle surfaces. Both characters are torn between saving the Republic and doubting it can ever be fixed. But alongside all the politics comes the heart-stopping action everyone loves from this trilogy. Things never get dull. Ten points to the author who knows how to balance out a story!

The one thing that confused me politically is The Patriots. You never really find out how they got to where they stand and why they choose to give up their former goal of reforming the United States. Did they forget all about it just because they were used under false pretenses in PRODIGY? All the same, I love their involvement in this book. Pascao and Tess are my buddies now!

Without giving too much away, this book gives us some insight into how the rest of the world works. The ravaged Republic and the commercialized Colonies are great settings, but seeing how the not-so-war-torn world functions really puts things into perspective and makes it even better.

Best part? The ending was pretty superb! No, things don’t wrap themselves up in neat little packages. But it’s beautiful and touching. The epilogue killed me, in the absolute best way possible. It pulled at my heartstrings but ultimately left me with HOPE.

You can read the full review here.

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REVIEW: Prodigy (ARC Novel) by Marie Lu

prodigyProdigy by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, this review is based off an ARC, or Advance Uncorrected Galleys, of the book, so please know that there could be possible changes in the final printed book that might change the review of this at a later date.

With that said, this will be a *spoiler free* review, thus no details will be mentioned. However, this is the second book of the Legend trilogy, so if you haven’t read the first book (Legend), then you might want to read that first before you go further.

At the end of Legend, we see that Day and June have escaped from the Republic, Batalla Hall, and Day’s execution – though not without leaving a mess of a trail behind them. An emotional mess of a trail, really.

Prodigy obviously has a lot to deal with in the wake of all that’s happened in the first book. There’s Day having to deal with the loss of his mother and brother while also trying to figure out what’s happened to Eden. And there’s June having to deal with not only the loss of her brother, with whom she’s had to deal with the majority of the time in the first book, but also the whole idea of her faith in the Republic as well.

They both have the challenge of dealing with this new “relationship” they have with each other.

The book pretty much starts up where it left off in Legend. There’s a lot of questions to be answered, like what happened to Eden, will Thomas get his due for killing Metias, are the Patriots going to help, will Day and June find happiness in the Colonies, where’s Tess, and what’s up with the plagues?

I was pleased to see that some of these questions were answered, but then the problem was that more questions popped up in its place.

I also had to try to remind myself that Day and June are still teens and that emotional turmoil (hormones) is still so much a strong influence in their lives, regardless of how smart or physically awesome they are. And emotions certainly take a toll on both of them. It was so much a part of their thoughts I almost wanted to slap them a bit and tell them to snap out of it. But then I would have to slap myself my 15-year-old self, too, and probably much harder.

As usually what comes with a second book, the beginning is a bit slow-paced, because there’s so much to be set up before the second half of the book sets in motion (and probably for the third book as well). So yeah, there’s good amount of talk in the beginning, but not that it’s unimportant – it’s just that with strategy talk, there’s also time for angst.

It’s interesting where the story takes you, and I kept telling the book, “No, that’s not a good idea!” or “Oh, no, this is going to screw things up!” or “Why did you say that!?” Yeah, I was freaking out just a bit.

Needless to say, the characters go through a lot of self-doubt and confusion and even desire.

In the first book, I wasn’t sure if I liked June. In this book, I found that I liked her a little more. She reminds me, in a certain way, of Sherlock Holmes in that she’s calculating, deducing, and just plain smart. However, she’s not that smart and sometimes doesn’t act upon her gut instinct or doesn’t think it through all the way until it’s almost too late.

She’s also mentally strong, a smart fighter, and even though she can get hurt by words, she tries not to let it show, pushing forth her tough exterior to the front.

Being that she was raised to believe wholeheartedly in everything that the Republic was doing was right, she’s having to struggle constantly with what she does believe in and if there’s any way she can accept a different life than the one she was born into.

As for Day, being that he was raised in a totally different way of life, his distrust in pretty much everything comes into play a lot and we see him struggle with his own self-worth and the extent of which he’s willing to go to be with those he loves, whether by blind faith or extreme emotion.

Not only that, there’s something about Day that doesn’t really come into play in this book as much as it will definitely come into play in the final book (there’s hints of it throughout the book), and I will say this much… prepare your heart for major “feels”.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that the book is good. There’s elements that may seem familiar to you, that were used in other stories, but the characters stand on their own, and Marie has created an exciting dystopian steampunk future.

Remember to walk in the light.

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REVIEW: Legend (novel) by Marie Lu

legendLegend by Marie Lu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The characters are great. I definitely love Day very much, and I hurt for him. So much bad stuff happened to him for no reason and yet, he still never was angry enough to want to kill others over it. Well, maybe once or twice, but I don’t blame him. If someone messes with my family, I wouldn’t just want to destroy things… I’d want to… well, I won’t answer that thought, but I think you know what I mean.

And then there’s June, and you kind of feel sorry for her, but at the same time, you wonder how someone so smart can be so… ignorant.

Actually, I guess they’re both ignorant in ways, but they are only 15 years old, so really, they’re probably a lot smarter than I was at 15.

Anyway, being that this takes place in a dystopian future, you’re bound to not like a lot of people, and there are certainly at least two that you really end up loathing. One was definitely meant for us to dislike from the very beginning, and you do. I just don’t see how anyone could NOT dislike this person.

The story is not loaded with a bunch of subplots or deep theoretical meaning, or at least it doesn’t seem to be, and it’s pretty straightforward, and maybe a little predictable at times, but it’s still enjoyable to see it all unfold. The few parts that aren’t as predictable as downright messed up. Well, I’m only talking about one instance in particular, and I have to admit, it was so shocking, I literally closed the book and starting hitting it against my forehead (not hard, mind you, but more as this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening kind of way).

As I said, this book isn’t pretty deep, but there’s still something to learn from it and the way people treat other people they think that are below them. I finished this book pretty well in one piece emotionally, not too torn up about it all. And I can’t say it’s one of the best books I’ve read lately, however, I’m interested in what’s going to happen now, especially to Day and those that he cares about. Although June carries pretty much half the story, I’m still trying to warm up to her (due to events in the book). Looking forward to reading the next book now.

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