Champion : a Legend novel by Marie Lu

A solid completion to the trilogy. A few months have passed, and the trio are engaged in the highest levels of guiding the country… which is about to get attacked.

Day and Eden have largely detached and are living in SF; they’re trying to recover from their ailments. June is struggling to act with the senators to craft a response to the nation’s problems… and to support Anden. (This continues to be an issue in his relationship with June.)

There’s a bit of getting the band back together, a dangerous and deceptive plan to save the Republic, a visit to the futuristic feeling Antarctica, etc.

It’s a less thrilling conclusion, to me, but still a solid end to the series. (Though the act of stripping Day’s connections and recent memories at the end felt like a bad Dallas riff.)

I have another book in the world titled The Young Elites; I think it’s set a generation after these turbulent days, when the global and political realms have shifted significantly.

Prodigy by Marie Lu

The second book, a sequel to Legend. It doesn’t start off as a great stand alone (it starts with them on the run, so you’ll want to understand who they’re running from and running toward), but it offers a solid conclusion. The conclusion marks a pivot–I can see a third book with a different mix of POV characters, though it doesn’t have to change.

The books kicks off with learning more about the Patriots, including meeting their leadership. The plan they present to Day and June is a YA level plot… which makes it rewarding when it’s later revealed that the Patriots, Republic, and Colonies are all more complicated than Day or June understand.

Tess really blossoms as a character and feel authentic. Day and June have a bout of trust issues–while it makes sense and doesn’t quite fall into the trap of being easily solved in one conversation–it still felt tropey as I read it.

The final sequence is movie ready action, requiring action movie like levels of disbelief. But it ends strong, with the characters changed and looking forward to much more adult and constrained responsibilities. (As I wrote this, I realized that their position at the end of this book isn’t dissimilar to Katniss and Peta the end of the Hunger Game’s first book.)

Anyway, I enjoyed it and it finished well. I’m ordering the next two books from the library.

Legend by Marie Lu

A fun YA book set in a dystopia that seems more the result of politics and climate change than nuclear winter or an equally dramatic break with today. Though, given the Elector’s control over information, who knows how much the world is accurately seen by either of our perceptive teens?

Day and June are both very sympathetic characters; incredibly skilled and to be looked up to from a raw potential POV, but also still victim to teenage gaps.

I enjoyed the first book and am a few chapters into its sequel, Prodigy.