Review: Champion – Marie Lu

Review: Champion – Marie LuChampion by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Published by Speak
Published: November 5, 2013
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three-stars

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.

Disappointed. That’s the first word that sadly came to mind as I read the last page of Champion, the end of the Legend series. I was flat out disappointed in the series as a whole which I’m well aware is a very unpopular opinion, but how I feel none the less. I really loved Legend. I loved the story and the energy and excitement. But that is where the love ended. For me, there was something missing in both Prodigy and Champion which left me feeling just meh about the series in general.

Champion is the final part of Marie Lu’s Legend series and to say I was leery going in would be a slight understatement. Because the truth is that I wasn’t 100% crazy about Prodigy. I found that book to be slow and picked up enough at the end, but still not up to Legend caliber. I hoped it was just me and timing, but after reading Champion I know it wasn’t timing. It could still just be me, actually, it kind of looks like it is based on reviews and ratings, but I just didn’t feel it. It felt forced and was actually a chore to read in parts because something just wasn’t there for me.

The story picks up where Prodigy left off. June is now part of the new Elector’s political world while Day is dealing with the news of is headaches and the return of his brother Eden. Having been separated for months they try to move on from one another. But when the Republic and all its citizens are in danger June and Day come together and work to stop the danger. But as tensions rise and situations change they are both put to the test and have to decide how far they are willing to go for their country and what I may cost them in the long run.

Like I said, this book was just off for me. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t enjoy it either. Were there parts I liked? Definitely. I enjoyed seeing sides of Day and June that hadn’t really be touched on. I liked hearing more backstory on both of them and their struggles. When they were in scenes together they were magic. And this may be where my trouble lies as I feel like there wasn’t enough of them together. Maybe that was the spark I was missing or what I felt was off. I just don’t know. I wanted to like it, I did, but I just couldn’t do it.

I will say that Lu’s story was strong for the series in general. She thought the whole thing through from the first book to the last and didn’t leave anything to chance. The end of Champion was definitely a unique way to go that was unexpected. Just because I didn’t love it, don’t go by me. Like I said I have the unpopular opinion on this one and I strongly suggest you read it and make up your own mind.

 

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Review: Prodigy – Marie Lu

Review: Prodigy – Marie LuProdigy by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Published by Speak
Published: April 8, 2014
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three-half-stars

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. 

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller Legend, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action. 


Right away I will admit to not liking this as much as Legend at all. I found the middle to drag and the end was super sad but you could see coming from a mile away. But I also understood the purpose of this book. To me, Prodigy did what most first books do and set up the series.  In my mind, Prodigy was there to set up the final chapter, the last book in the series, Champion, and that made it understandable why I found parts slow and draggy.

Prodigy picks up right where Legend ended. June and Day are on the run and are heading to Vegas to see the Patriots. Not really sure what they are up against or what the Patriots will do for them, they head in blindly and are faced with a request. For the Patriots to help them they must do one thing, they must kill the Elector Primo. Only things are different because the Elector dies and his son takes over. Faced with a decision June agrees to go to the new Elector undercover and starts to question everything as the new Elector proves to show he is nothing like his father. Now in a race against time and with the truth bubbling to the surface June and Day must make a choice and it is a choice that could leave one or both of the heartbroken.

I really don’t know what it was about this book, but it just didn’t wow me. Like I said, I think I got the point of it, but I still feel like something was missing. Was it a nice addition to Legend, sure. But I also think it could have been condensed and mad part of Legend. I don’t feel like it was enough to be a book on its own and it didn’t really make me pine for Champion like I thought it would.  Maybe it was the lack of Day and June togetherness/interaction or the addition of the Patriots who I found annoying or the fact that I just didn’t like where it went, but it just didn’t feel right. June didn’t seem like June and Day seemed less Day like. I hated the Tess parts and the plot itself reminded me of other dystopian books I have read in the past.

With that said, Lu’s writing was still amazing and one of the parts I really loved about the book. I also liked the end even though I saw it coming. It still left me with a feeling of what will happen next so that was a plus to the experience. All in all, I didn’t get the great book feels that others have seemed to get. It may have just been me and the fact I was traveling and reading or I just wasn’t into it. Either way, I’m still going to read Champion like I planned and find out how this series is going to end. I would say to read it for yourself and you decide what you think.

Don’t forget to enter my Last Hurrah Giveaway. Goes until 8/24 at 11pm EST.

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Second Chance Sunday – Legend by Marie Lu

Later this week I will post my review for Prodigy, the follow-up to Marie Lu’s book Legend. Since that was scheduled I thought it would be a great idea to use today’s Second Chance Sunday to review Legend.

Second Chance Sunday – Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published: November 29, 2011
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five-stars

Once unknown as the western coast of United States, the Republic is now a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors, the Colonies.Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a military prodigy. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic's highest circles.Born into the slums of the Republic's Lake Sector, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect. Now, caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June tries desperately to avenge Metias's death.But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, Marie Lu has written an exhilarating first novel that is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Legend is a story about a girl and boy that have been living in two different worlds. One is the privileged, “smart” girl that is destined for a high ranking in the Republic’s government. The other is a street rat that does everything he can to take the Republic down and save his family who are the most important people in the world to him. He has been classified as “useless” while she is classified as “important”. They have no idea who the other is other than through rumors and gossip until there is an incident that will forever connect them. I know, I know, it sounds like it has been done, a cliché plot. But trust me when I tell you Legend is anything but cliché. It is a journey of discovery and love and family and truth.

In all honesty, I was skeptical going into this book. I had heard a lot of great things about it, hardly anything bad, and I was scared it was going to end up being like a hyped up movie that just didn’t live up to expectations, that the plot was going to be the same thing done a million times in a million different ways. That added to the fact that I had read a few duds prior, I was just waiting for disaster to strike. Luckily for me, Lu didn’t let me down and Legend was just what everyone had said it would be and more.

I must admit in the beginning I was reading it and hoping for failure. I was intrigued by the Republic (a variation on Los Angeles’ slum sections, rich sections and government sections) and found the setting to be very believable. Within its confines, though, I wasn’t all that inclined to care about Day and his problems or June and her poor little rich girl lifestyle. They seemed to be a little too contrived which didn’t go with the realism of the background. But true to life, the more I found out about both of these amazing characters the more I wanted for them. I wanted Day to be safe and to save his family. I wanted June to take her blinders off and see what was right in front of her eyes, that the Republic wasn’t what it seemed. I truly wanted them to succeed.

To me, June may have been 15 but she was a child. She believed in something with her whole heart because she was told it was true. She never questioned it or sought any kind of answers because what she was told was all she needed to know. That is until things didn’t start to add up, make any sense. Slowly the blinders came off and June blossomed before my eyes. She became a heroine and that made her even more likable.

Now Day, Day was a mystery to me. Like I said I wasn’t all that enthralled with him at the start. I didn’t really want to know his back story. He was an Aladdin type to me, a character that had been done. But as the book progressed he captured me. Because really all he was was a kid that loved his family and wanted them safe. He wasn’t some sinister boy trying to fool the government. He was just who he was. He was a smart boy with a goal.

The twists and turns in this novel had me riveted and at the end of my seat. My heart was pounding in my chest during the end and I wanted to finish and let the story last forever at the same time. Lu totally captured me with her incredibly woven tale of street punk meets a girl of privilege and made it seem like a story I had never read before. If you like action with a bit of mystery and a side of romance, this book is for you. I promise it won’t disappoint.

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