Champion by Marie Lu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
With all these series coming to an end, I cannot help but make comparisons and draw parallels where there are. What’s common: heroic endings as the first step to some well deserved (?) new beginning. I personally thought Allegiant’s end well-done, despite the redundant-feel its first two thirds offered; found Into the Still Blue even better than that, with not one moment in it lagging as each instance cropping up was related clearly to where the story began; thought Pandemonium mind numbingly boring but worse (and a little like Horde) ending with a too- easy fix unrelated to the origins of both their stories. Comparatively, I’d say CHAMPION is equal to the excitement that Allegiant eventually offered AND almost as heartbreaking as ITSB/Horde became. Sure, none of these conclusions are my “absolute-fave” but I appreciate each of them for varying reasons.
My biggest problem with these conclusions are how certain story lines came out of nowhere to resolve problems raised in prior installments; Allegiant, Pandemonium and, for me, a little of Horde suffer this issue. Not so with DAY JUNE and ANDEN, they stuck to their guns and progressed logically from there, but minus the predictability: She’s soldier; he’s rebel; and the other guy’s leader; they grow from these roles, but better yet, they don’t stick to what’s common in getting whiny angsty and mired in all the emotion.
There’s internal confliction, sure, but things don’t get too wishy-washy, angsty. Time and again, they’d all remind me of what initially got me caught up in them in the first place: Day, all about the brother; June, all about the guilt; Anden, all about what’s expected; and the three of them all about what’s best for the Republic. Then there’s a building upon what’s there from soldier or rebel to leader; from leader to symbol. And the more personal elements of what they’d become for each other. That said: there’s constancy without things staying still.
Staying still and becoming too angsty *cough* Pandemonium*cough* were given no opportunity here as something was always happening. Recall in LEGEND, my minor complaint of it being too action adventure so much so that the dystopian element had been set aside… in hindsight: maybe not a bad thing? Because things don’t let up here do they? Not to say this was all action no heart because there was heart here. June and Day and all those feels? The back and forth on what they each want and deserve versus what need doing..? *heart-clutch/quiet-sob*
Now I leave you with a question mark: I don’t know how I feel about Day-June and that last bit of the book. I am still processing because at times I find myself asking if this was this another Pandemonium? A resolution written to satisfy all sides; and then in another moment I feel like I did with Allegiant… as in *ugly sob* because it’s just not the same. I’m still processing here.
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