Champion (Legend #3)
Champion (Legend #3)
by Marie Lu
It's a rite of passage to question absolutely everything around you as an adolescent, isn't it? It is so easy as you are coming of age to see the things around us that are unjust. Most of us around 14-18 haven't learned the fine art of swallowing a heaping spoonful of complete bullshit -- with a smile, no less. I love and admire the idealism of young people... and it might also be one of the reasons so many of us enjoy YA well into adulthood. YA is daring and unabashedly philosophical.
Unjust national governments are a frequent theme in YA fantasy for good reason. However, the Legend series pushes these ideas further and with maturity. In Champion, we learn more about the history of how the United States became two nations: the Republic of America and the Colonies. A massive three-year flood caused by global warming resulted in increased political tension as the Colonies lost a majority of their land mass and their population fled West in search of resources. The Republic sought to preserve their resources from looting by citizens from the Colonies and created a border in the middle of the country. The government left in the Colonies was so weak, corporations took over and through mergers, the entire country is owned by just four corporations.
We also learn more about broader international politics within June and Day's world. Antarctica -- now a more habitable temperature -- is ruled by a gaming lifestyle. Every citizen earns (or loses) points based on activities and decisions made throughout the day. June aptly questions whether the system is truly objective because someone out there is making the call to assign points or detract points from certain activities. She rhetorically asks where political protests would fall within Antarctica's point system?
Day struggles as political tensions flare but ultimately finds that his patriotism to the Republic is stronger than any criticism he might have of its flawed leadership. It's good food for thought for times when our own country's leadership may not align with our personal political beliefs. Even in the face of grave atrocities committed by the Republic, even after witnessing his own mother's murder at a Republic officer's order, he still loves the Republic enough to protect it from an invading foreign government.
I absolutely love Marie Lu after finishing this series. I bought The Elites several years ago on a kindle daily deal and have yet to read it... but I am tempted to follow up this series with her next one. I'm going to force myself to wait a few months because I know once I start it, I won't want to finish.
If it's not already obvious from this review, I give this entire series a 5/5.