Thursday, November 7, 2013

{Audiobook} Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Thursday, November 7, 2013 with 2 comments
Title: Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Narrator:  Steven Kaplan, Mariel Stern
Series: Legend, book #3
Length:  10 hrs 3 mins
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

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 once again. 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 he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

The way I feel after having finished Champion is the way I had hoped to feel after Allegiant.  Shoot, it's the way I hope to feel after reading any series finale but most especially those that have become favorites. This is how you write the ending to a trilogy.  This is how you say goodbye to characters that feel more like friends than simple descriptions in the pages of a book.

It's with a heavy heart that I do say goodbye to June and Day but not because their ending wrecked me.  On the contrary, the ending to the Legend series was quite hopeful.  It wasn't picture perfect, wrapped up like a Christmas present with a beautiful bow.  But it was spectacular in the way that it pulled you in, made you feel cozy like when you're sitting in front of a warm fire with a mug of hot cocoa.  I should know...I listened to the last ten minutes at least three times last night.  ;0)

I promise to try not to make any more comparisons to that other finale from a couple of weeks ago.  It's just that it's still so fresh on my mind that it's hard not to.  But this book deserves to stand on its own merits, especially because it was such a strong finish.  There were moments of extreme tenderness and love, but not minutes later, I was overcome with this insurmountable sense of grief over what one character specifically was facing.  It was difficult not to give into both of those emotions and wish to remain in that portion of the novel, but there's a war brewing, and I didn't have time for brooding over what might have been or what's been lost.  Not yet, anyway.  Though the characters themselves are often faced with their pasts and previous mistakes, they endeavor to overcome all of that and move forward.  In the face of all of their vulnerabilities, all of their perceived shortcomings, they were strong and self-sacrificing and proved to everyone just how resilient they could be.

Did you think there was a love triangle emerging in Prodigy?  'Cause I didn't.  And for those of you who think triangles are the foulest trope to grace the pages of our YA novels, rejoice.  It's practically nonexistent. No.  It IS nonexistent.  Shame on all ye who doubt June and Day's feelings.  Their romance has really blossomed over the course of this trilogy, and though it's not always sunshine and rainbows for them, they're the real deal.  Just don't expect them to realize it overnight.

The war, the plague, the biochemical's all pushed to the forefront in this final book, and as much as we want our beloved Legend and Prodigy to get their happy ending, the country comes first.  The way this world has been set up has always frightened's just so unbelievably plausible.  And it feels even more so in this installment.  It's militaristic but also chaotic, pitting government against government, citizen against citizen.  Even Antarctica gets in on the action.

This is the first time I listened to a book in this series on audio.  I remember the details of the other two books pretty vividly, this being a favorite and all, so I didn't feel compelled to listen to the first two books prior to picking up Champion. However, after listening to Champion on audio, I have to say, I kind of wish I had.  I loved the narrators chosen to portray June and Day.  They embodied these characters so perfectly, and they sounded like the teenagers that these characters are.  Right down to Day's "yeah".  *sigh*  I definitely see myself purchasing the other two audiobooks for a future re-read/listen.

Champion is a stunning conclusion: fast-paced, action-packed, and riddled with emotion.  Marie Lu knows how to bring the feels, and she knows how to use them against you.  But as with most good villains, I'm sure she'd say that the end justifies the means.  :)  If you're already invested in this series, you have to see it through, and I'm pretty sure you'll be happy with the ending.  Seriously, it was a truly satisfying and fitting end.  And if you haven't started the series yet, well, get to it, especially if you're coming off one of those (ahem) other unsatisfying series endings, yeah?  :D

Life Before Legend (Legend, #0.5)Legend (Legend, #1)Prodigy (Legend, #2)Champion (Legend, #3)

About the author:

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers' markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)

I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I'm currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.

Find Marie:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. I feel like saying, "And that's how it's done, Roth." Kidding. To each to their own, yeah? I'm glad this fulfilled everything you've expected of this series. :)

  2. Ah, I haven't read Legend yet! I once got it from the library, but never did get around to reading it. Yay, so happy that it ended well. That's the dreadful thing about series, that last book where you're all twisted inside and hoping beyond all hopes that it will meet your expectations. AND THIS DOES! *goes to get Legend again from the library*


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