Champion by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First and foremost, I need to warn you that I happen to love the Legend series of books so I may be a little biased.
In the earlier books we learn that the United States of America has become divided -- the Republic and the Colonies. The Republic is led by an Electore-Primo while the Colonies are led by corporations. Within the Republic, people are further divided into the rich and the poor. Within the most affluent districts of the Republic, there is a 15-year old prodigy by the name of June. She is very smart, passionate, obedient, and scored a perfect score in her trials. She also has a very bright future within the military as her brother is also a respected officer.
In the slums of the Lake Sector, there is another 15-year old named Day. He is also very smart but was unable to pass his trials. Or at least that was what he was told. He becomes the most wanted criminal of the Republic and is being hunted. Day's brother is ill and he needs medicine desperately. But medicine is never easy to come by and he may have to break into a hospital to steal it.
Within a hospital, June's brother Metias suspects that a young injured vagrant boy is not who he appears to be. There is a chase and somewhere along the way Metias is close to catching the thief -- Day. However, Day slips away and Metias is found dead. Day becomes the prime suspect and becomes the more wanted than ever.
As June wants to avenge her brother's murder, Day wants only his family's survival. The two meet and in a very unfortunate turn of events, Day's family is attacked and taken hostage by the Republic's military. Things come to a head and both teenagers begin to learn some very ugly truths about the lengths the Republic and the Elector-Primo will go to keep their very cruel and ugly secrets.
June and Day run away and are able to arrive in Las Vegas barely alive. But things are not much better there at all. Then the Elector-Primo dies and his young son Anden becomes the new ruler. As the Republic becomes embroiled in chaotic events, June join the Patriots in the hope of rescuing Day's brother. Patriots offer them passage to the Colonies provided June and Day are able to assassinate the new Elector-Primo.
As June learns more about the new Elector, she becomes convinced that he is not the man his father was and that the Patriots may not have the right idea as to how things should go. Both June and Day are able to move the people towards supporting Anden and the Republic's new future. June becomes a Princeps-Elect -- she is in training to become the Elector-Primo's second-in-command. Day finds out that he sick and he may not have long to live. He decides to urge June to accept being Princeps-Elect while he moves back with his brother Eden.
In Champion, the Republic is changing slowly but surely. But peace with the Colonies is at a precarious edge. There is a new plague and the Colonies blame the Republic for spreading it. The Colonies want war. Anden needs to find a way to protect his people and keep the peace. The secret to their survival may lie in finding a cure to the new plague. But that means that the Republic needs Day's brother Eden.
For a long time, June and Day are busy living their own lives. Though they try to keep in touch, Day feels he needs to keep his distance as he knows he may not have a future at all. But Anden needs Day's help and Day will only listen to June. But June knows that the Republic may be asking too much of Day this time.
Day is barely holding on. His illness is getting so much worse and things are looking bleaker than ever. His brother Eden is slowly recovering from being experimented upon by the Republic during the time of the previous Elector.
Time is of the essence. The Colonies decide to attack and the Republic may not be able to hold them off for long. Will the Republic survive? Will Day live long enough to see peace reign? Will June be able to help Day find a way to buy time for the Republic? Can Anden stay in control?
Champion is a very good sequel to the series and it is a very exciting yet poignant at the same time. There are so many twists and turns which will keep the reader glued and unable to put the book down. Marie Lu does an awesome job in providing a conclusion to her amazing Legend series.
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