“Champion” by Marie Lu (2013) Review

Marie Lu has a way with words, there’s no doubt about that. Sure, we all have our favourites whether that be genre or authors, but you can’t deny the spark that allows some books to shine brighter than the others.

In the cluster of young adult fiction that has kept filling the shelves in the past ten years or so, dystopian trilogies featuring teenage male heroes or female heroines is a familiar sight we’ve all come to know. In spite of this, the genre continues to flourish and although some may prefer it dwindle away, there’s no denying that there’s still a lot more stories to tell.

Champion is the final book of Lu’s first trilogy. Preceded by Legend and Prodigy, readers are taken on one last journey with its two protagonists June and Day and kept on the edge of their seat the entire time.

What I think makes Champion stick out from the previous books, is its ability to balance both conflict and action with emotional depth. Sure the first two had this, but Champion approached these ideas with more maturity and ease. The pace was a factor in this as well, allowing its readers not to be overwhelmed by the conflict or bored by the quieter moments.

June and Day will forever be one of my favourite literature couples, though I don’t like to refer to them as a couple because I feel as though it automatically romanticizes them. Perhaps we could opt for ‘pairing’ instead. Their relationship was a complicated one and not in the ways you’d think (fellow readers will know what I mean!). Without giving anything away, this relationship also helped lead to the bittersweet ending of Champion where I was left realizing I’d formed a bond and emotional connection with these characters across all books. Being able to experience their stories from both perspectives was something I’d never experienced before in a book, especially in first person and I am grateful that I did.

If you’re a fan of young adult fiction or even just the science fiction/dystopian genre, go and read these books! They deserve to be read and deserve to have readers experience this wonderful world from their own eyes. As books come and go, Champion is a much needed addition to your bookshelf.