November 5, 2013

Latest Read: Champion by Marie Lu

Here are the basics ...
Champion (Legend, #3) by Marie Lu
Publication date: Nov. 5, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian
Source: ARC from Michelle (Thanks!)

Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
Marie Lu manages to outdo herself with each new book in this series and this final one, Champion? Amazing. Absolutely amazing. It was intense, heartbreaking, action-packed and I may have shed a tear (or ten). It evoked exactly the kind of emotion I had hoped it would but also surprised me along the way with its unexpected twists and turns. More than anything though, I was happy to be reunited with June and Day, two characters I love dearly, and wanted to see where this final book would lead them (and hoped my own heart would survive the journey!).

Thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of both Day and June, Anden is now the Elector of the Republic. June is at his side working in the government as one of the Princeps Elect while Day lives in San Francisco with his brother Eden, caring for him and undergoing his own treatment. They haven't seen each other in months until June personally requests his attendance for an emergency ball. Deep down you know these two want to see each other but the truth of the matter is, the Republic needs Day's (and June's) help - again. The Colonies think that the recent plague outbreaks are being caused by the Republic and their already uneasy treaty is about to collapse which would result in war. The only way to stop this from happening is to find a cure and Day and June are the key.

Maybe it's because I knew it was the last book but I felt this heightened sense of urgency as I flew through the pages (I read it in one sitting!). Lu's words conveyed what was at stake for their nation and for Day and June themselves. You want them and Anden and the Republic to persevere and I was eager to find out if they could outsmart the Colonies. But as quickly as I read it, it was the moments with Day and June that I took the time to savor.

Day is as fierce and caring as ever in all the things that matter to him - his family, the way the poor in the Republic are treated and of course, his feelings for June. If you swooned before.. well, be prepared for ten times more swooning. The intensity between him and June is a palpable thing. It's beautiful but also tainted by sins of the past and you can't help but feel for these two as they face it. And June. She is without a doubt, one of my favorite heroines. We get to see her at her strongest, most intelligent and her most vulnerable in Champion. She is so brave. Not only for facing her enemies but for finally embracing the depth of her feelings for Day. And as bittersweet as it was to say goodbye to these two, this last book was an amazing thrill ride of a send-off.

Do I recommend?: I do! I can only imagine how much pressure there is when an author is ending a series. Expectations are high and honestly, this surpassed mine.

Happy reading!

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