There were many ups and downs within the dystopian genre throughout these recent years but The Legend series was more right up to the alley where The Hunger Games had left me. “Champion” is a difficult book even for me. It was written with the intention of crafting a very adult story to a younger audience that even I’m not sure it would interest those demographic. The story was heavily political. The book began with the republic in a much different place than the previous book. A new elector was assigned which leads to citizen rebellions and chaos. After a plot to assassinate Elector Anden fell through by the help of Day and June, the republic began another chapter of change except that it will get worst before it get better. A year after Prodigy, the Colonies of America and the Republic of America was conflicted between one another. When the biological weapon crafted by the former Republic had mutated in the Colonies, they were threatening the Republic with an all out invasion if they don’t give up Eden, Day’s brother who survived the plague virus previously. Pressurized by this, Anden asked Princeps-Elect June to bring Day back to the capital without revealing the bad situation. June was still broken-hearted after Day left her but she was still unaware about the truth about Day dying. Currently he suffered heavy migraines from the complications that was revealed in the last book. Day’s condition had worsened and he was having troubles with the drugs and the doctors weren’t all too positive about him surviving the months to his surgery. But nobody anticipate that the peace between two country will break apart and time is running out.
Its not hard to draw a comparison between Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay and Marie Lu’s Champion. Personally, The Legend series had the worldbuilding done right than The Hunger Games series. The world is a larger place in this futuristic America rather than Panem. The Republic of America initially drew a similar vein and feel to the military state of North Korea but before the police state became oppressive, the other richer states isn’t looking that well either. The Colonies of America was entirely a corporation fantasy where the social divide was run on wealth and consumerism. But what seemingly appealing to another is a nightmare for someone else. For all that was, this kind of world-building was more realistic than The Hunger Games which does have unevenness with the narratives and limited expansion with the political aspect of Panem. It made more sense in this book because of the role of both main characters who held the position of power unlike Katniss who merely function as a symbol.
Due to the dual narratives, the political aspect of the story was explored even further via June who became one of the Princeps-Elect in Prodigy while another part of the book show Day’s uneasiness with the power he held among the people of the Republic as a symbol of hope much like Katniss does. But while Katniss unintentionally drove the people of Panem to a coup from her defiance in The Hunger Games while Day had a more selfless motivation to help his family and the people around him. When he help the people to support Anden’s rule, who prove to be a better person than his father, Day was more involved as the representative of the people than Katniss does. Both Katniss and Day was willing to fight a war for their family but Day was the essence of the rebellion from the start unlike Katniss who only participate in it at the end. In a way, the differences made the books
But for all its worth, the relationship between Day and June was explored even deeper than they had before. Despite part of everything that was bad from the beginning of the trilogy came from Commander Jameson’s plot with the senate to overthrow the Elector, the facts remain that June was the one responsible to several deaths of Day’s family members even if she wasn’t the one who held the trigger. Thomas was also the main focus in this side story but the existing situation still drove a wedge between them despite their feelings for one another. On the other hand, I do like Anden as a character in this book and even if he function as a third wheeler between Day and June. His role in the story was crucial rather than an unnecessary filler character which I usually see in Gale. Same goes with Tess too. In a way, Marie Lu manage to round out the three book together around the characters and the plot and made the story paced linearly with the burden of several hard subjects.
And someone finally write a story about medical-related something that was realistic to a biomedical scientist and made a story neatly around it without trying so hard to sound too smart that it was too difficult for readers to understand about it. I’m looking at you Veronica Roth.