Champion: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Champion by Marie LuTogether June and Day have faced death, loss and countless other obstacles in their efforts to help the people of the Republic. June is now poised to serve at the Elector’s side while Day is in a respected position within the military. With Anden taking the country in new directions as Elector, it finally seems like the Republic is worth saving.

Whether the country actually can be saved remains to be seen. An already elusive treaty with the neighboring Colonies becomes all but impossible when a new, far deadlier, plague surfaces and war threatens to break out anew.

With so much already lost, June and Day might have to sacrifice even more if they want to save the Republic–or themselves–in Champion (2013) by Marie Lu.

Champion is the conclusion to Marie Lu’s “Legend” Trilogy which began with Legendand Prodigy.

Champion is an excellent conclusion to a trilogy that has been both action-packed and heartbreaking. It’s amazing to see how much all of the characters have grown over the course of the series as they make hard decisions and gain perspective on all of the choices that led to this present moment.

While the second book in the series was more plot-driven, Champion is more introspective* and brings the focus back to June and Day’s relationship. Alternating chapters (as found in the other books) ensure that June and Day have equal time telling the story. It is, however, interesting to note the subtle shift as June is finally able to become as completely selfless in her heroics as Day was from the beginning.

It’s easy to talk about romance in a story with characters who are attractive both apart and together. Finding true partnerships is much more difficult. Lu has created the latter here. While Day and June are both strong and capable on their own, Champion confirms that together this duo is all but unstoppable.

Because of the intricate plot and world-building that brings readers to previously unseen parts of Day and June’s world, it’s unlikely readers will be able to follow Champion without reading the earlier books in the series. That said, Champion is easily the best of the series complete with a satisfying epilogue to round out a sensational plot. Highly recommended.

*Don’t worry, there are still tons of high octane action sequences and nail biting moments too!

Possible Pairings: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, White Cat by Holly Black, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Selection by Kiera Cass, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid, Proxy by Alex London, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien, Divergent by Veronica Roth, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

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Prodigy: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Prodigy by Marie LuJune and Day arrive in Vegas just in time for everything to change: The Elector Primo has died. His son, Anden, will replace him as leader of the Republic.

Escaped fugitives desperate to get away from the reach of the Republic, June and Day fall in with the Patriots–an organization trying to overthrow the Republic. The Patriots are happy to help Day find his brother and get them all passage to the neighboring Colonies. For a price.

If June and Day help assassinate the new Elector, they can finally be free, maybe even happy. And together.

The only problem is that as June learns more about the Patriots and their plan she realizes the new Elector might not be the problem and the Patriots might not be anyone she or Day can trust.

Revolution might not be the only way to change things in the Republic. Bloodshed and war might not be the only cost either in Prodigy (2013) by Marie Lu.

Prodigy is the sequel to Lu’s wildly popular debut, Legend. The Legend trilogy will conclude with Champion‘s release in November 2013.

Prodigy picks up right where Legend left off with Day and June on the run. Lu deftly combines new and old information to bring readers up to speed without sacrificing the story’s pacing.

Once again the novel alternates between chapters narrated by Day and June. There are more false starts and near misses as both Day and June begin to wonder about their future in the midst of disapproval and their own doubts.

Prodigy is a clever, action-packed story of revolution and change. Lu expertly unpacks the idea of working within the system versus without. Prodigy also delivers a lot more information about the world of the Republic as well as its neighboring countries to add a fascinating dimension of world politics to the story.

With an ending that is as shocking as it is heartbreaking, Prodigy is sure to leave readers eager for this trilogy’s final installment–a book that is sure to be another stunner in a fine series.

Possible Pairings: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, White Cat by Holly Black, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Selection by Kiera Cass, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid, Proxy by Alex London, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien, Divergent by Veronica Roth, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2012*

Legend: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Legend by Marie LuJune and Day are part of the same nation: The Republic of America. They’re in the same city: Los Angeles, California. Their lives could not be more different.

Born into an elite family, June lives in a wealthy sector with her brother Metias and every luxury the Republic has to offer. A prodigy who passed her Trial with more than flying colors, June is training to join the Republic military and take her rightful position among the country’s leaders in their continuing war against the Patriots.

Day is not elite, or wealthy, and he’s definitely not a prodigy. Born in the Lake Sector slums, Day’s family thinks he’s dead. It’s safer that way. Better he have no connections to anyone when he is the most wanted criminal in the Republic.

No one knows what Day looks like or where to find him. His odds of avoiding capture and continuing to be a thorn in the Republic’s side are quite good. Until Day takes a desperate risk for his family–one that leads to Day becoming the prime suspect in the murder of a Republic soldier.

Not just any soldier, though. With her brother dead, June is highly motivated to catch his killer both to prove herself to her military superiors and to earn Metias some much-deserved justice. She is willing to do anything to achieve her goal.

From different worlds, pitted against each other, June and Day are obvious enemies. When sinister secrets about the Republic come to light, Day and June are also their own best allies in their search for the truth in Legend (2011) by Marie Lu.

Legend is Lu’s first novel.

There are a lot of books that have been called “the next Hunger Games” or otherwise compared to Suzanne Collins’ bestselling, amazing trilogy. A lot of them are quite good. Legend was one of those books. It has also been receiving steady hype since this summer. As with many books that get a lot of buzz, I expected to enjoy Legend.

I did not expect to be completely engrossed and impressed. But I was.

Legend is the first book that I’ve thought was completely on par with The Hunger Games without any reservations.

Written in chapters that alternate between Day and June’s narrations* the story is filled with action and tension. Lu masterfully creates two unique characters with their own narrative voices that add depth to an already exciting story. In an over-saturated genre, Legend keeps readers guessing to the very end not just about what will happen to June and Day but about some of the key tenets of the world she has created.

Legend is the first book in a series that promises adventure and suspense as well as a variety of diverse, layered characters. Lu, and her debut novel, are sure to find a place in the hearts of many readers looking for a worthy follow-up to The Hunger Games.

*The book is packaged with DAY or JUNE written across the top of each chapter. Day’s chapters are printed in a bold, gold colored sans serif font while June’s are the more traditional black serif. Some people were unimpressed by the packaging, my mom couldn’t even tell some text was gold. I quite liked the touch and thought it was very clever and well done.

Possible Pairings: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, White Cat by Holly Black, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Selection by Kiera Cass, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid, Proxy by Alex London, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien, Divergent by Veronica Roth, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2011