Champion (Marie Lu's Legend Series #3)

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Overview


The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?  
 
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new ...

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Champion (Marie Lu's Legend Series #3)

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Overview


The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?  
 
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This stunning finale to Marie Lu's wildly popular Legend trilogy takes off where Prodigy left off. Fifteen-year-old prodigies June Iparis and "Day" Wing have previously weathered rocky histories together, but everything now seems threatened in disturbing new ways. As plagues and wars fill the horizons, even their relationship seems for the moment small in the fabric of things.

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/07/2013
The conclusion to Lu’s Legend trilogy opens on a stage set for personal resolution, maybe even a happy ending. With the political transition established and the Patriots quiet, June and Day appear to have the opportunity to close their romantic distance. But there are lessons neither has learned about how much power to grant the past, and it’s easier to focus on the virtues of separation. That is, until geopolitical reality comes roaring back to complicate every bond and every choice. Moments of technical awkwardness, rare in Lu’s work, do crop up, such as a lengthy spoken confession by June’s old colleague Thomas (“A blade of guilt twisted painfully in my chest, but it was too late to turn back”). The story, however, remains masterfully true to its themes of loyalty, necessity, and dreams, eschewing any easy outs that the plot could offer. A happy-ever-after glow was never in the cards for these two, but Lu displays a hint of Charlotte Brontë in the resolution her characters find. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Nov.)
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Kaitlin Connors
The third and final installment in Lu’s Legend series, Champion finds Day living in San Francisco with Eden, his brother, and Lucy, Eden’s caretaker. Day is the unwitting hero for the Republic. Just as the Republic and the colonies are preparing to sign a peace treaty, Day receives a call from June, whom he has not seen in eight months. Weapons left behind by the Republic on the colonies’ land have spread a plague and the colonies have called off the treaty. Day’s brother is the best hope for restoring peace and saving the Republic. Simultaneously, Captain Jameson is facing crimes against the Republic only to escape and become a fugitive. Day is once again at the crux of major, life-altering decisions. Unfortunately, he is also dying. Lu proves she has not lost her touch, offering a power-packed third installment that thrills from the very beginning. Fans of the series will not be disappointed as they follow Day through acts of heroism and raw emotional tumult as he aims to protect his brother and fight for a government for which he has lukewarm feelings. It is his intrigue and deep feelings for June which will either destroy or save him. Chilling and fascinating, this series finale deftly ties together many twists and turns. Those new to the series will want to start with the first novel so as to not miss out on key details and important backstory, though Lu effectively provides details as reminders for those who have read the entire series, but want a refresher. This title and series offer an excellent read-alike, with boy appeal, for fans of The Hunger Games and dystopian novels. Reviewer: Kaitlin Connors; Ages 11 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-02
This exhilarating finale to the dystopian Legend trilogy delivers on the promises of the genre without ever being predictable about details. June and Day are finally on the right side of the law, but nothing's gotten any easier. June, the former soldier, is now one of three Princeps-Elect, next in line to lead the Senate. Day, "most-wanted-criminal-turned-national-hero," is now the face of popular support for the young Elector. The future's dazzlingly bright, right? In fact, from their high perches, June and Day can see everything about to go horrifyingly wrong. The Elector knows the Colonies are about to invade, and he thinks a plague cure will save the day--a cure he's convinced they'll discover by experimenting on Day's brother, Eden. Day will never let the Republic have his brother again; he barely got Eden back alive after the first time they took him for medical experiments. On the other hand, since Day is dying, it's not clear what he can do for Eden or the Republic. Brief international travel expands the worldbuilding of this universe: June and Day had encountered the capitalist dystopia of the Colonies in Prodigy (2012), while June here encounters the seemingly more idyllic society-as-game of Ross City, Antarctica. A civilization run as if it were "The Sims" is intriguing, and it's disappointing that June spends little time there, but there's plenty of betrayal and action to resolve back in the Republic. Ever respectful of the capacity of its readers, this series offers a satisfying conclusion of potential rather than a neatly wrapped denouement. (Science fiction. 13-16)
School Library Journal
01/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—Factions will fight, traitors will be tried and convicted, and secrets revealed before star-crossed lovers Day and June's powerful story ends in the final book in the trilogy. Day and his brother, Eden, are in San Francisco for medical treatment after Eden was subjected to virus experiments by the Colonies. June is in Denver acting as one of the Princeps-Elect. After months apart without any communication, June asks Day to return with Eden so that the Republic can use the virus Eden is carrying to find a cure for the plague that has invaded the Colonies. The Colonies believe that the Republic has a cure, and issue an ultimatum that unless the Republic reveals it, the Colonies will attack. Then they renege on their promise to hold off and attack without warning. The Republic's Elector desperately needs allies but no one wants to help. Day is also trying not to let June know that he's dying. The Colonies' Chancellor knows that the people will follow Day, and if Day can get the citizens to accept the Colonies' rule, the Chancellor promises to save them and Day's loved ones. Can they find a cure for the virus in time? Can Day and his old Patriot friends defeat the Chancellor and his soldiers? June and Day's future together is equally uncertain. They love each other but their painful pasts and June's involvement in Day's family's deaths will always be between them. Lu's unexpected ending adds an extra poignancy to their complicated relationship. Fans who loved Legend (2011) and Prodigy (2013, both Putnam) won't want to miss this one.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399256776
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Series: Marie Lu's Legend Series , #3
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 823
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marie Lu

Marie Lu (www.marielu.org) is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Legend and Prodigy. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one boyfriend, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.
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Read an Excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

REPUBLIC OF AMERICA

• * *

POPULATION: 24,646,320
 
OUT OF ALL THE DISGUISES I’VE WORN, THIS ONE might be my favorite.

Dark red hair, different enough from my usual white-blond, cut to just past my shoulders and pulled back into a tail. Green contacts that look natural when layered over my blue eyes. A crumpled, half-tucked collar shirt, its tiny silver but­tons shining in the dark, a thin military jacket, black pants and steel-toed boots, a thick gray scarf wrapped around my neck, chin, and mouth. A dark soldier cap is pulled low over my forehead, and a crimson, painted tattoo stretches all over the left half of my face, changing me into someone unfamiliar. Aside from this, I wear an ever-present earpiece and mike. The Republic insists on it.

In most other cities, I’d probably get even more stares than I usually do because of that giant goddy tattoo—not exactly a subtle marker, I gotta admit. But here in San Francisco, I blend right in with the others. The first thing I noticed when Eden and I moved to Frisco eight months ago was the local trend: young people painting black or red pat­terns on their faces, some small and delicate, like Republic seals on their temples or something similar, others huge and sprawling, like giant patterns of the Republic’s land shape. I chose a pretty generic tattoo tonight, because I’m not loyal enough to the Republic to stamp that loyalty right on my face. Leave that to June. Instead, I have stylized flames. Good enough.

My insomnia’s acting up tonight, so instead of sleeping, I’m walking alone through a sector called Marina, which as far as I can tell is the hillier, Frisco equivalent of LA’s Lake sector. The night’s cool and pretty quiet, and a light drizzle is blowing in from the city’s bay. The streets are narrow, glistening wet, and riddled with potholes, and the buildings that rise up on both sides—most of them tall enough to van­ish into tonight’s low-lying clouds—are eclectic, painted with fading red and gold and black, their sides fortified with enormous steel beams to counter the earthquakes that roll through every couple of months. JumboTrons five or six sto­ries high sit on every other block, blaring the usual barrage of Republic news. The air smells salty and bitter, like smoke and industrial waste mixed with seawater, and somewhere in there, a faint whiff of fried fish. Sometimes, when I turn down a corner, I’ll suddenly end up close enough to the water’s edge to get my boots wet. Here the land slopes right into the bay and hundreds of buildings poke out half submerged along the horizon. Whenever I get a view of the bay, I can also see the Golden Gate Ruins, the twisted remnants of some old bridge all piled up along the other side of the shore. A hand­ful of people jostle past me now and then, but for the most part the city is asleep. Scattered bonfires light alleyways, gathering spots for the sector’s street folks. It’s not that different from Lake.

Well—I guess there are some differences now. The San Francisco Trial Stadium, for one, which sits empty and unlit off in the distance. Fewer street police in the poor sectors. The city’s graffiti. You can always get an idea of how the people are feeling by looking at the recent graffiti. A lot of the messages I’ve seen lately actually support the Republic’s new Elector. He is our hope, says one message scrawled on the side of a building. Another painted on the street reads: The Elector will guide us out of the darkness. A little too opti­mistic, if you ask me, but I guess they’re good signs. Anden must be doing something right. And yet. Every now and then, I’ll also see messages that say, The Elector’s a hoax, or Brain­washed, or The Day we knew is dead.

I don’t know. Sometimes this new trust between Anden and the people feels like a string . . . and I am that string. Besides, maybe the happy graffiti’s fake, painted by propa­ganda officers. Why not?

You never know with the Republic.

Eden and I, of course, have a Frisco apartment in a rich sector called Pacifica, where we stay with our caretaker, Lucy. The Republic’s gotta take care of its seventeen-year-old most-wanted-criminal-turned-national-hero, doesn’t it? I remember how much I distrusted Lucy—a stern, stout, fifty-two-year-old lady dressed in classic Republic colors—when she first showed up at our door in Denver. “The Republic has assigned me to assist you boys,” she told me as she bustled in to our apartment. Her eyes had settled immediately on Eden. “Especially the little one.”

Yeah. That didn’t sit well with me. First of all, it’d taken me two months before I could even let Eden out of my sight. We ate side by side; we slept side by side; he was never alone. I’d gone as far as standing outside his bathroom door, as if Republic soldiers would somehow suck him out through a vent, take him back to a lab, and hook him up to a bunch of machines.

“Eden doesn’t need you,” I’d snapped at Lucy. “He’s got me. I take care of him.”

But my health started fluctuating after those first couple of months. Some days I felt fine; other days, I’d be stuck in bed with a crippling headache. On those bad days, Lucy would take over—and after a few shouting matches, she and I settled into a grudging routine. She does make pretty awe­some meat pies. And when we moved here to Frisco, she came with us. She guides Eden. She manages my medications.

When I’m finally tired of walking, I notice that I’ve wan­dered right out of Marina and into a wealthier neighboring district. I stop in front of a club with THE OBSIDIAN LOUNGE scored into a metal slab over its door. I slide against the wall into a sitting position, my arms resting on my knees, and feel the music’s vibrations. My metal leg is ice-cold through the fabric of my trousers. On the wall across from me, graffiti scrawled in red reads, Day = Traitor. I sigh, take a silver tin from my pocket, and pull out a long cigarette. I run a finger across the SAN FRANCISCO CENTRAL HOSPITAL text imprinted down its length. Prescription cigarettes. Doctor’s orders, yeah? I put it to my lips with trembling fingers and light it up. Close eyes. Take a puff. Gradually I lose myself in the clouds of blue smoke, waiting for the sweet, hallucinogenic effects to wash over me.

Doesn’t take long tonight. Soon the constant, dull head­ache disappears, and the world around me takes on a blurry sheen that I know isn’t only from the rain. A girl’s sitting next to me. It’s Tess.

She gives me the grin I was so familiar with back on the streets of Lake. “Any news from the JumboTrons?” she asks me, pointing toward a screen across the road.

I exhale blue smoke and lazily shake my head. “Nope. I mean, I’ve seen a couple of Patriot-related headlines, but it’s like you guys vanished off the map. Where are you? Where are you going?”

“Do you miss me?” Tess asks instead of answering.

I stare at the shimmery image of her. She’s how I remem­ber from the streets—her reddish-brown hair tied into a messy braid, her eyes large and luminous, kind and gentle. Little baby Tess. What were my last words to her . . . back when we had botched the Patriots’ assassination attempt on Anden? Please, Tess—I can’t leave you here. But that’s exactly what I did.

I turn away, taking another drag on my cigarette. Do I miss her? “Every day,” I reply.

“You’ve been trying to find me,” Tess says, scooting closer. I swear I can almost feel her shoulder against mine. “I’ve seen you, scouring the JumboTrons and airwaves for news, eavesdropping on the streets. But the Patriots are in hiding right now.”

Of course they’re in hiding. Why would they attack, now that Anden’s in power and a peace treaty between the Repub­lic and the Colonies is a done deal? What could their new cause possibly be? I have no idea. Maybe they don’t have one. Maybe they don’t even exist anymore. “I wish you would come back,” I murmur to Tess. “It’d be nice to see you again.”

“What about June?”

As she asks this, her image vanishes. She’s replaced by June, with her long ponytail and her dark eyes that shine with hints of gold, serious and analyzing, always analyzing. I lean my head against my knee and close my eyes. Even the illusion of June is enough to send a stabbing pain through my chest. Hell. I miss her so much.

I remember how I’d said good-bye to her back in Denver, before Eden and I moved to Frisco. “I’m sure we’ll be back,” I’d told her over my mike, trying to fill the awkward silence between us. “After Eden’s treatment is done.” This was a lie, of course. We were going to Frisco for my treatment, not Eden’s. But June didn’t know this, so she just said, “Come back soon.”

That was almost eight months ago. I haven’t heard from her since. I don’t know if it’s because each of us is too hesitant to bother the other, too afraid that the other doesn’t want to talk, or maybe both of us are just too damn proud to be the one desperate enough to reach out. Maybe she’s just not interested enough. But you know how it goes. A week passes without contact, and then a month, and soon too much time has passed and calling her would just feel random and weird. So I don’t. Besides, what would I say? Don’t worry, doctors are fighting to save my life. Don’t worry, they’re trying to shrink the problem area in my brain with a giant pile of medi­cation before attempting an operation. Don’t worry, Antarc­tica might grant me access to treatment in their superior hospitals. Don’t worry, I’ll be just fine.

What’s the point of keeping in touch with the girl you’re crazy about, when you’re dying?

The reminder sends a throbbing pain through the back of my head. “It’s better this way,” I tell myself for the hun­dredth time. And it is. By not seeing her for so long, the memory of how we’d originally met has grown dimmer, and I find myself thinking about her connection to my family’s deaths less often.

Unlike Tess’s, for some reason June’s image never says a word. I try to ignore the shimmery mirage, but she refuses to go away. So damn stubborn.

Finally, I stand, stub my cigarette into the pavement, and step through the door of the Obsidian Lounge. Maybe the music and lights will shake her from my system.

For an instant, I can’t see a thing. The club is pitch-black, and the sound’s deafening. I’m stopped immediately by an enormous pair of soldiers. One of them puts a firm hand on my shoulder. “Name and branch?” he asks.

I have no interest in making my real identity known. “Cor­poral Schuster. Air force,” I reply, blurting out a random name and the first branch that comes to mind. I always think of the air force first, mostly because of Kaede. “I’m stationed at Naval Base Two.”

The guard nods. “Air force kids over in the back left, near the bathrooms. And if I hear you picking any fights with the army booths, you’re out and your commander hears about it in the morning. Got it?”

I nod, and the soldiers let me pass. I walk down a dark hall and through a second door, then melt into the crowds and flashing lights inside.

The dance floor is jammed with people in loose shirts and rolled-up sleeves, dresses paired with rumpled uniforms. I find the air force booths in the back of the room. Good, there are several empty ones. I slide into a booth, prop up my boots against the cushioned seats, and lean my head back. At least June’s image has disappeared. The loud music sends all my thoughts scattering.

I’ve only been in the booth for a few minutes when a girl cuts her way through the crowded dance floor and stumbles toward me. She looks flushed, her eyes bright and teasing; and when I glance behind her, I notice a cluster of laughing girls watching us. I force a smile. Usually, I like the attention in clubs, but sometimes, I just want to close my eyes and let the chaos take me away.

She leans over and presses her lips against my ear. “Excuse me,” she shouts over the noise. “My girlfriends want to know if you’re Day.”

I’ve been recognized already? I shrink instinctively away and shake my head so the others can see. “You got the wrong guy,” I reply with a wry grin. “But thanks for the compliment.”

The girl’s face is almost entirely covered in shadows, but even so, I can tell she’s blushing furiously. Her friends burst out laughing. None of them look like they believe my denial. “Want to dance?” the girl asks. She glances over her shoulder toward the flashing blue and gold lights, then back at me. This must be something her friends dared her to do too.

As I’m trying to think up some sort of polite refusal, I take in the girl’s appearance. The club’s too dark for me to get a good look at her, and all I see are glimpses of neon highlights on her skin and long ponytail, her glossy lips curved into a smile, her body lean and smooth in a short dress and mili­tary boots. My refusal fades on my tongue. Something about her reminds me of June. In the eight months since June first became a Princeps-Elect, I haven’t felt excited about many girls—but now, with this shadowy doppelgänger beckoning me onto the dance floor, I let myself feel hopeful again.

“Yeah, why not?” I say.

The girl breaks into a wide smile. When I get up from the booth and take her hand, her friends all let out a gasp of surprise, followed by a loud cheer. The girl leads me through them, and before I know it, we’ve pushed our way into the crowds and carved out a tiny space right in the middle of the action.

I press myself against her, she runs a hand along the back of my neck, and we let the pounding beat carry us away. She’s cute, I admit to myself, blinded in this sea of lights and limbs. The song changes, then changes again. I have no idea how long we’re lost like this, but when she leans forward and brushes her lips over my own, I close my eyes and let her. I even feel a shiver run down my spine. She kisses me twice, her mouth soft and liquid, her tongue tasting of vodka and fruit. I flatten one hand against the small of the girl’s back and pull her closer, until her body’s solidly against mine. Her kisses grow more urgent. She is June, I tell myself, choosing to indulge in the fantasy. With my eyes closed, my mind still hazy from my cigarette’s hallucinogens, I can believe it for a moment—I can picture her kissing me here, taking every last breath from my lungs. The girl probably senses the change in my movements, my sudden hunger and desire, because she grins against my lips. She is June. It is June’s dark hair that brushes against my face, June’s long lashes that touch my cheeks, June’s arm wrapped around my neck, June’s body sliding against mine. A soft moan escapes me.

“Come on,” she whispers. Mischief laces her words. “Let’s go get some air.”

How long has it been? I don’t want to leave, because it means I’ll have to open my eyes and June will be gone, replaced with this girl that I don’t know. But she pulls on my hand and I’m forced to look around. June is nowhere to be seen, of course. The club’s lights flash and I’m momentarily blinded. She guides me through the throngs of dancers, down the club’s dark hallway, and out an unmarked back door. We step into a quiet back alley. A few weak spotlights shine down along the path, giving everything an eerie, greenish glow.

She pushes me against the wall and drowns me in another kiss. Her skin is moist, and I feel her goose bumps rise beneath my touch. I kiss her back, and a small laugh of surprise escapes her when I flip us around and pin her against the wall.

She’s June, I tell myself on repeat. My lips work greedily along her neck, tasting smoke and perfume.

Faint static sizzles in my earpiece, the sound of rain and frying eggs. I try to ignore the incoming call, even as a man’s voice fills my ears. Talk about a buzzkill. “Mr. Wing,” he says.

I don’t answer it. Go away. I’m busy.

A few seconds later, the voice starts up again. “Mr. Wing, this is Captain David Guzman of Denver City Patrol Fourteen. I know you’re there.”

Oh, this guy. This poor captain’s always the one tasked with trying to get hold of me.

I sigh and break away from the girl. “Sorry,” I say breath­lessly. I give her an apologetic frown and gesture at my ear. “Give me a minute?”

She smiles and smoothes down her dress. “I’ll be inside,” she replies. “Look for me.” Then she steps through the door and back into the club.

I turn my mike on and start slowly pacing up and down the alley. “What do you want?” I say in an annoyed whisper.

The captain sighs over the earpiece and launches into his message. “Mr. Wing, your presence is requested in Denver tomorrow night, on Independence Day, at the Capitol Tower’s ballroom. As always, you are free to turn down the request—as you usually do,” he mutters under his breath. “However, this banquet is an exceptional meeting of great importance. Should you choose to attend, we’ll have a private jet waiting for you in the morning.”

An exceptional meeting of great importance? Ever heard so many fancy words in one sentence? I roll my eyes. Every month or so, I get an invitation to some goddy capital event, like a ball for all the high-ranking war generals or the cel­ebration they held when Anden finally ended the Trials. But the only reason they want me to go to these things is so they can show me off and remind the people, “Look, just in case you forgot, Day is on our side!” Don’t push your luck, Anden.

“Mr. Wing,” the captain says when I stay silent, as if he’s resorting to some final argument, “the glorious Elector per­sonally requests your presence. So does the Princeps-Elect.”

The Princeps-Elect.

My boots crunch to a halt in the middle of the alley. I forget to breathe.

Don’t get too excited—after all, there are three Princeps-Elects, and he might be referring to any one of them. A few seconds pass before I finally ask, “Which Princeps-Elect?”

“The one who actually matters to you.”

My cheeks warm at the taunt in his voice. “June?”

“Yes, Ms. June Iparis,” the captain replies. He sounds relieved to finally have my attention. “She wanted to make it a personal request this time. She would very much like to see you at the Capitol Tower’s banquet.”

My head aches, and I fight to steady my breathing. All thoughts of the girl in the club go out the window. June has not personally asked for me in eight months—this is the first time that she’s requested I attend a public function. “What’s this for?” I ask. “Just an Independence Day party? Why so important?”

The captain hesitates. “It’s a matter of national security.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” My initial excitement slowly wanes—maybe he’s just bluffing. “Look, Captain, I’ve got some unfinished business to take care of. Try convincing me again in the morning.”

The captain curses under his breath. “Fine, Mr. Wing. Have it your way.” He mumbles something I can’t quite make out, then goes offline. I frown in exasperation as my initial excitement fades away into a sinking disappointment. Maybe I should head home now. It’s time for me to go back and check up on Eden, anyway. What a joke. Chances are he’s probably lying about June’s request in the first place, because if she’d really wanted me to go back to the capital that badly, she—

“Day?”

A new voice comes over my earpiece. I freeze.

Have the hallucinogens from the meds worn off yet? Did I just imagine her voice? Even though I haven’t heard it in almost a year, I would recognize it anywhere, and the sound alone is enough to conjure the image of June standing before me, as if I’d run across her by chance in this alley. Please, don’t let it be her. Please, let it be her.

Did her voice always have this effect on me?

I have no idea how long I was frozen like this, but it must’ve been a while, because she repeats, “Day, it’s me. June. Are you there?” A shiver runs through me.

This is real. It’s really her.

Her tone is different from what I remember. Hesitant and formal, like she’s speaking to a stranger. I finally manage to compose myself and click my mike back on. “I’m here,” I reply. My own tone is different too—just as hesitant, just as for­mal. I hope she doesn’t hear the slight tremor in it.

There’s a short pause on the other side before June con­tinues. “Hi.” Then a long silence, followed by, “How are you?”

Suddenly I feel a storm of words building up inside me, threatening to pour out. I want to blurt out everything: I’ve thought about you every day since that final farewell between us, I’m sorry for not contacting you, I wish you had contacted me. I miss you. I miss you.

I don’t say any of this. Instead, the only thing I manage is, “Fine. What’s up?”

She pauses. “Oh. That’s good. I apologize for the late call, as I’m sure you’re trying to sleep. But the Senate and the Elector have asked me to send this request to you person­ally. I wouldn’t do it unless I felt it was truly important. Denver is throwing a ball for Independence Day, and during the event, we’ll be having an emergency meeting. We need you in attendance.”

“Why?” Guess I’ve resorted to one-word replies. For some reason, it’s all I can think of with June’s voice on the line.

She exhales, sending a faint burst of static through the earpiece, and then says, “You’ve heard about the peace treaty being drafted between the Republic and the Colonies, right?”

“Yeah, of course.” Everyone in the country knows about that: our precious little Anden’s greatest ambition, to end the war that’s been going on for who knows how long. And so far, things seem to be going in the right direction, well enough that the warfront has been at a quiet stalemate for the past four months. Who knew a day like that could come, just like how we’d never expected to see the Trial stadiums sitting unused across the country. “Seems like the Elector’s on track to becoming the Republic’s hero, yeah?”

“Don’t speak too soon.” June’s words darken, and I feel like I can see her expression through the earpiece. “Yester­day we received an angry transmission from the Colonies. There’s a plague spreading through their warfront cities, and they believe it was caused by some of the biological weapons we’d sent across their borders. They’ve even traced the serial numbers on the shells of the weapons they believe started this plague.”

Her words are turning muffled through the shock in my mind, the fog that’s bringing back memories of Eden and his black, bleeding eyes, of that boy on the train who was being used as a part of the warfare. “Does that mean the peace treaty is off?” I ask.

“Yes.” June’s voice falls. “The Colonies say the plague is an official act of war against them.”

“And what does this have to do with me?”

Another long, ominous pause. It fills me with dread so icy cold that I feel like my fingers are turning numb. The plague. It’s happening. It’s all come full circle.

“I’ll tell you when you get here,” June finally says. “Best not to talk about it over earpieces.”

I despise my first conversation with Day after eight months of no communication. I hate it. When did I become so manipulative? Why must I always use his weak­nesses against him?

Last night at 2306 hours, Anden came to my apartment complex and knocked on my door. Alone. I don’t even think guards were stationed in the hallway for his protection. It was my first warning that whatever he needed to tell me had to be important—and secret.

“I have to ask a favor of you,” he said as I let him in. Anden has almost perfected the art of being a young Elector (calm, cool, collected, a proud chin under stress, an even voice when angered), but this time I could see the deep worry in his eyes. Even my dog, Ollie, could tell that Anden was troubled, and tried reassuring him by pushing his wet nose against Anden’s hand.

I nudged Ollie away before turning back to Anden. “What is it?” I asked.

Anden ran a hand through his dark curls. “I don’t mean to disturb you so late at night,” he said, leaning his head down toward mine in quiet concern. “But I’m afraid this is not a conversation that can wait.” He stood close enough so that if I wanted to, I could tilt my face up and accidentally brush my lips against his. My heartbeat quickened at the thought.

Anden seemed to sense the tension in my pose, because he took an apologetic step away and gave me more room to breathe. I felt a strange mixture of relief and disappointment. “The peace treaty is over,” he whispered. “The Colonies are preparing to declare war against us once again.”

“What?” I whispered back. “Why? What’s happened?”

“Word from my generals is that a couple of weeks ago, a deadly virus started sweeping through the Colonies’ warfront like wildfire.” When he saw my eyes widen in understanding, he nodded. He looked so weary, burdened with the weight of an entire nation’s safety. “Apparently I was too late in with­drawing our biological weapons from the warfront.”

Eden. The experimental viruses that Anden’s father had used in attempts to cause a plague in the Colonies. For months, I’d tried to push that to the back of my mind—after all, Eden was safe now, under the care of Day and, last I heard, slowly adjust­ing to semblances of a normal life. For the last few months, the warfront had stood silent while Anden attempted to hash out a peace treaty with the Colonies. I’d thought that we would be lucky, that nothing would come out of that biological warfare. Wishful thinking.

“Do the Senators know?” I asked after a while. “Or the other Princeps-Elects? Why are you telling me this? I’m hardly your closest advisor.”

Anden sighed and squeezed the bridge of his nose. “Forgive me. I wish I didn’t have to involve you in this. The Colonies believe that we have the cure to this virus in our laboratories and are simply withholding it. They demand we share it, or else they put all of their strength behind a full-scale invasion of the Republic. And this time, it won’t be a return to our old war. The Colonies have secured an ally. They struck a trade deal with Africa—the Colonies get military help, and in return, Africa gets half our land.”

A feeling of foreboding crept over me. Even without him saying it, I could tell where this was going. “We don’t have a cure, do we?”

“No. But we do know which former patients have the potential to help us find that cure.”

I started shaking my head. When Anden reached out to touch my elbow, I jerked away. “Absolutely not,” I said. “You can’t ask this of me. I won’t do it.”

Anden looked pained. “I have called for a private banquet tomorrow night to gather all of our Senators. We have no choice if we want to put a stop to this and find a way to secure peace with the Colonies.” His tone grew firmer. “You know this as well as I do. I want him to attend this banquet and hear us out. We need his permission if we’re going to get to Eden.”

He’s serious, I realized in shock. “You’ll never get him to do it. You realize that, don’t you? The country’s support for you is still soft, and Day’s alliance with you is hesitant at best. What do you think he’ll say to this? What if you anger him enough for him to call the people to action, to tell them to rebel against you? Or worse—what if he asks them to support the Colonies?”

“I know. I’ve thought through all of this.” Anden rubs his temples in exhaustion. “If there was a better option, I’d take it.”

“So you want me to make him agree to this,” I added. My irritation was too strong to bother hiding. “I won’t do it. Get the other Senators to convince Day, or try convincing him yourself. Or find a way to apologize to the Colonies’ Chancel­lor—ask him to negotiate new terms.”

You are Day’s weakness, June. He’ll listen to you.” Anden winced even as he said this, as if he didn’t want to admit it. “I know how this makes me sound. I don’t want to be cruel—I don’t want Day to see us as the enemy. But I will do what it takes to protect the Republic’s people. Otherwise, the Colo­nies will attack, and if that happens, you know it’s likely the virus will spread here as well.”

It was worse than that, even though Anden didn’t say it aloud. If the Colonies attack us with Africa at their side, then our military might not be strong enough to hold them back. This time, they might win. He’ll listen to you. I closed my eyes and bowed my head. I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew that Anden was right.

So I did as he requested. I called Day and asked him to return to the capital. Just the thought of seeing him again leaves my heart pounding, aching from his absence in my life over these past months. I haven’t seen or spoken to him for so long . . . and this is going to be how we reunite? What will he think of me now?

What will he think of the Republic when he finds out what they want with his little brother?

1201 Hours.Denver County Court of Federal Crime.72°F indoors. Six hours until I see Day at the evening ball.289 days and 12 hours since Metias’s death.

Thomas and Commander Jameson are on trial today.

I’m so tired of trials. In the past four months, a dozen for­mer Senators have been tried and convicted of participating in the plan to assassinate Anden, the plan that Day and I had barely managed to stop. Those Senators have all been executed. Razor has already been executed. Sometimes I feel like some­one new is convicted each week.

But today’s trial is different. I know exactly who is being sentenced today, and why.

I sit in a balcony overlooking the courtroom’s round stage, my hands restless in their white silk gloves, my body constantly shifting in my vest and black ruffled coat, my boots quietly tap­ping against the balcony pillars. My chair is made out of syn­thetic oak and cushioned with soft, scarlet velvet, but somehow I just can’t make myself comfortable. To keep myself calm and occupied, I’m carefully entwining four straightened paper clips in my lap to form a small ring. Two guards stand behind me. Three circular rows of the country’s twenty-six Senators sur­round the stage, uniform in their matching scarlet-and-black suits, their silver epaulettes reflecting the chamber’s light, their voices echoing along the arched ceilings. They sound largely indifferent, as if they’re meeting about trade routes instead of people’s fates. Many are new faces that have replaced the traitor Senators, who Anden has already cleaned out. I’m the one who sticks out with my black-and-gold outfit (even the seventy-six soldiers standing guard here are clad in scarlet; two for each Senator, two for me, two for each of the other Princeps-Elects, four for Anden, and fourteen at the chamber’s front and back entrances, which means the defendants—Thomas and Com­mander Jameson—are considered fairly high risk and could possibly make a sudden move).

I’m no Senator, clearly. I am a Princeps-Elect and need to be distinguished as such.

Two others in the chamber wear the same black-and-gold uniform that I do. My eyes wander over to them now, where they sit on other balconies. After Anden tapped me to train for the Princeps position, Congress urged him to select several others. After all, you cannot have only one per­son preparing to become the leader of the Senate, especially when that person is a sixteen-year-old girl without a shred of political experience. So Anden agreed. He picked out two more Princeps-Elects, both of them already Senators. One is named Mariana Dupree. My gaze settles on her, her nose turned up and her eyes heavy with sternness. Thirty-seven years old, Senator for ten years. She hated me the instant she laid eyes on me. I look away from her and toward the balcony where the second Princeps-Elect sits. Serge Carmichael, a jumpy thirty-two-year-old Senator and great political mind, who wasted no time showing me that he doesn’t appreciate my youth and inexperience.

Serge and Mariana. My two rivals for the Princeps title. I feel exhausted just thinking about it.

On a balcony several dozen yards away, sitting flanked by his guards, Anden seems calm, reviewing something with one of the soldiers. He’s wearing a handsome gray military coat with bright silver buttons, silver epaulettes, and silver sleeve insignias. He occasionally glances down toward the prisoners standing in the chamber’s circle. I watch him for a moment, admiring his appearance of calm.

Thomas and Commander Jameson are going to receive their sentences for crimes against the nation.

Thomas looks tidier than usual—if that’s possible. His hair is slicked back, and I can tell that he must’ve emptied an entire can of shoe polish onto each of his boots. He stands at attention in the center of the chamber and stares straight ahead with an intensity that would make any Republic com­mander proud. I wonder what’s going through his mind. Is he picturing that night in the hospital alley, when he mur­dered my brother? Is he thinking of the many conversations he had with Metias, the moments when he had taken down his guard? Or the fateful night when he had chosen to betray Metias instead of help him?

Commander Jameson, on the other hand, looks slightly disheveled. Her cold, emotionless eyes are fixed on me. She has been watching me unflinchingly for the past twelve minutes. I stare back for a moment, trying to see some hint of a soul in her eyes, but nothing exists there except for an icy hatred, an absolute lack of conscience.

I look away, take deep, slow breaths, and try to focus on something else. My thoughts return to Day.

It’s been 241 days since he visited my apartment and bid me good-bye. Sometimes I wish Day could hold me in his arms again and kiss me the way he did on that last night, so close that we could barely breathe, his lips soft against mine. But then I take back that wish. The thought is useless. It reminds me of loss, just like how sitting here and looking down on the people who killed my family reminds me of all the things I used to have; it reminds me too of my guilt, of all the things Day used to have that I took from him.

Besides, Day will probably never want to kiss me again. Not after he finds out why I’ve asked him to return to Denver.

Anden’s looking in my direction now. When I catch his gaze, he nods once, excuses himself from his balcony, and a minute later he steps into my balcony. I rise and, along with my guards, snap to a salute. Anden waves a hand impatiently. “Sit, please,” he says. When I’ve relaxed back into my chair, he bends down to my eye level and adds, “How are you holding up, June?”

I fight the blush as it spreads across my cheeks. After eight months without Day in my life, I find myself smiling at Anden, enjoying the attention, occasionally even hoping for it. “Doing fine, thanks. I’ve been looking forward to this day.”

“Of course.” Anden nods. “Don’t worry—it won’t be long before both of them are out of your life forever.” He gives my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. Then he leaves as swiftly as he arrived, vanishing with the faint clink of medals and epaulettes, then reappearing moments later in his own balcony.

I lift my head in a vain attempt at bravery, knowing that Commander Jameson’s icy eyes must still be upon me. As each of the Senators rises to cast aloud his vote on her verdict, I hold my breath and carefully push away each memory I have of her eyes staring me down, folding them into a neat com­partment at the back of my mind. The voting seems to take forever, even though the Senators are all quick to say what they think will please the Elector. No one has the courage to risk crossing Anden after watching so many others convicted and executed. By the time my turn comes, my throat is parched. I swallow a few times, then speak up.

“Guilty,” I say, my voice clear and calm.

Serge and Mariana cast their votes after me. We run through another round of voting for Thomas, and then we’re done. Three minutes later, a man (bald, with a round, wrinkled face and scarlet floor-length robes he’s clutching with his left hand) hurries into Anden’s balcony and gives him a rushed bow. Anden leans toward the man and whispers in his ear. I watch their interaction in quiet curiosity, wondering whether I can predict the final verdict by their gestures. After a short deliberation, Anden and the messenger both nod. Then the messenger raises his voice to the entire assembly.

“We are now ready to announce the verdicts for Captain Thomas Alexander Bryant and Commander Natasha Jame­son of Los Angeles City Patrol Eight. All rise for the glorious Elector!”

The Senators and I stand with a uniform clatter, while Commander Jameson simply turns to face Anden with a look of utter disdain. Thomas snaps to a sharp salute in Anden’s direction. He holds the position as Anden stands up, straight­ens, and puts his hands behind his back. There’s a moment of silence as we wait for his final verdict, the one vote that really matters. I fight back a rising urge to cough. My eyes dart instinctively to the other Princeps-Elects, something I now do all the time; Mariana has a satisfied frown on her face, while Serge just looks bored. One of my fists clenches tightly around the paper clip ring I’m working on. I already know it will leave deep grooves in my palm.

“The Senators of the Republic have submitted their indi­vidual verdicts,” Anden announces to the courtroom, his words bearing all the formality of a traditions-old speech. I marvel at the way his voice can sound so soft, yet carry so well at the same time. “I have taken their joint decision into account, and now I give my own.” Anden pauses to turn his eyes down toward where both of them are waiting. Thomas is still in full salute, still staring intently at the empty air in front of him. “Captain Thomas Alexander Bryant of Los Angeles City Patrol Eight,” he says, “the Republic of America finds you guilty . . .”

The room stays silent. I fight to keep my breathing even. Think about something. Anything. What about all the politi­cal books I’ve been reading this week? I try to recite some of the facts I’ve learned, but suddenly I can’t remember any of it. Most uncharacteristic.

“. . . of the death of Captain Metias Iparis on the night of November thirtieth—of the death of civilian Grace Wing without the warrants necessary for execution—of the single-handed execution of twelve protesters in Batalla Square on the afternoon of—”

His voice comes in and out of the blur of noise in my head. I lean a hand against my chair’s armrest, let out a slow breath, and try to prevent myself from swaying. Guilty. Thomas has been found guilty of killing both my brother and Day’s mother. My hands shake.

“—and thereby sentenced to death by firing squad two days from today, at seventeen hundred hours. Commander Natasha Jameson of Los Angeles City Patrol Eight, the Republic of America finds you guilty . . .”

Anden’s voice fades away into a dull, unrecognizable hum. Everything around me seems so slow, as if I’m living too quickly for it all and leaving the world behind.

A year ago I’d been standing outside Batalla Hall on a dif­ferent sort of court stage, looking on with a huge crowd as a judge gave Day the exact same sentence. Now Day is alive, and a Republic celebrity. I open my eyes again. Commander Jameson’s lips are set in a tight line as Anden reads out her death penalty. Thomas looks expressionless. Is he expression­less? I’m too far away to tell, but his eyebrows seem furrowed into a strange sort of tragedy. I should feel good about this, I remind myself. Both Day and I should be rejoicing. Thomas killed Metias. He shot Day’s mother in cold blood, without a second’s hesitation.

But now the courtroom falls away and all I can see are memories of Thomas as a teenager, back when he and Metias and I used to eat pork edame inside a warm first-floor street stand, with the rain pouring down all around us. I remem­ber Thomas showing off his first assigned gun to me. I even remember the time Metias brought me to his afternoon drills. I was twelve and had just begun my courses at Drake for a week—how innocent everything seemed back then. Metias picked me up after my classes that afternoon, right on time, and we headed over to the Tanagashi sector, where he was run­ning his patrol through drills. I can still feel the warmth of the sun beating down on my hair, still see the swoosh of Metias’s black half cape, the gleam of his silver epaulettes, and still hear the sharp clicks of his shining boots on the cement. While I settled down on a corner bench and turned my comp on to (pretend to) do some advance reading, Metias lined up his soldiers for inspection. He paused before each soldier to point out flaws in their uniforms.

“Cadet Rin,” he barked at one of the newer soldiers. The soldier jumped at the steel in my brother’s voice, then hung her head in shame as Metias tapped the lone medal pinned on the cadet’s coat. “If I wore my medal like this, Commander Jame­son would strip me of my title. Do you want to be removed from this patrol, soldier?”

“N-no, sir,” the cadet stammered.

Metias kept his gloved hands tucked behind his back and moved on. He criticized three more soldiers before he reached Thomas, who stood at attention near the end of the line. Metias looked over his uniform with a stern, careful eye. Of course, Thomas’s outfit was absolutely spotless—not a single thread out of place, every medal and epaulette groove polished to a bright shine, boots so flawless that I could probably see my reflection in them. A long pause. I put my comp down and leaned forward to watch more closely. Finally, my brother nodded. “Well done, soldier,” he said to Thomas. “Keep up the good work, and I’ll see that Commander Jameson promotes you before the end of this year.”

Thomas’s expression never changed, but I saw him lift his chin with pride. “Thank you, sir,” he replied. Metias’s eyes lin­gered on him for a second, and then he moved on.

When he finally finished inspecting everyone, my brother turned to face his entire patrol. “A disappointing inspection, soldiers,” he called out to them. “You’re under my watch now, and that means you’re under Commander Jameson’s watch. She expects a higher caliber from this lot, so you’d do well to try harder. Understood?”

Sharp salutes answered him. “Yes, sir!”

Metias’s eyes returned to Thomas. I saw respect on my brother’s face, even admiration. “If each of you paid attention to detail the way Cadet Bryant does, we’d be the greatest patrol in the country. Let him serve as an example to you all.” He joined them in a final salute. “Long live the Republic!” The cadets echoed him in unison.

The memory slowly fades from my thoughts, and Metias’s clear voice turns into a ghost’s whisper, leaving me weak and exhausted in my sadness.

Metias had always talked about Thomas’s fixation on being the perfect soldier. I remember the blind devotion Thomas gave to Commander Jameson, the same blind devotion he now gives to his new Elector. Then I see Thomas and me sitting across from each other in an interrogation room—I remember the anguish in his eyes. How he’d told me that he wanted to protect me. What happened to that shy, awkward boy from Los Angeles’s poor sectors, the boy who used to train with Metias every afternoon? Something blurs my vision and I quickly wipe a hand across my eyes.

I could be compassionate. I could ask Anden to spare his life and let him live out his years in prison, and give him a chance to redeem himself. But instead I just stand there with my closed lips and unwavering posture, my heart hard as stone. Metias would be more merciful in my position.

But I was never as good a person as my brother.

“This concludes the trial for Captain Thomas Alexander Bryant and Commander Natasha Jameson,” Anden finishes. He holds a hand out in Thomas’s direction and nods once. “Captain, do you have any words for the Senate?”

Thomas doesn’t flinch in the slightest, doesn’t show a sin­gle hint of fear or remorse or anger on his face. I watch him closely. After a heartbeat, he turns his eyes up to where Anden stands, then bows low. “My glorious Elector,” he replies in a clear, unwavering voice. “I have disgraced the Republic by act­ing in a way that has both displeased and disappointed you. I humbly accept my verdict.” He rises from his bow, then returns to his salute. “Long live the Republic.”

He glances up at me when the Senators all voice their agreement with Anden’s final verdict. For an instant, our eyes meet. Then I look down. After a while, I look back up and he’s staring straight ahead again.

Anden turns his attention to Commander Jameson. “Com­mander,” he says, extending his gloved hand in her direction. His chin lifts in a regal gesture. “Do you have any words for the Senate?”

She doesn’t flinch from looking at the young Elector. Her eyes are cold, dark slates. After a pause, she finally nods. “Yes, Elector,” she says, her tone harsh and mocking, a stark con­trast to Thomas’s. The Senators and soldiers shift uneasily, but Anden raises a hand for silence. “I do have some words for you. I was not the first to hope for your death, and I won’t be the last. You are the Elector, but you are still just a boy. You don’t know who you are.” She narrows her eyes . . . and smiles. “But I know. I have seen far more than you have—I’ve drained the blood from prisoners twice your age, I’ve killed men with twice your strength, I’ve left prisoners shaking in their broken bodies who probably have twice your courage. You think you’re this country’s savior, don’t you? But I know better. You’re just your father’s boy, and like father, like son. He failed, and so will you.” Her smile widens, but it never touches her eyes. “This country will go down in flames with you at the helm, and my ghost will be laughing at you all the way from hell.”

Anden’s expression never changes. His eyes stay clear and unafraid, and in this moment, I am drawn to him like a bird to an open sky. He meets her stare coolly. “This concludes today’s trial,” he replies, his voice echoing throughout the chamber. “Commander, I suggest you save your threats for the firing squad.” Then he folds his hands behind his back and nods at his soldiers. “Remove them from my sight.”

I don’t know how Anden can show so little fear in front of Commander Jameson. I envy it. Because as I watch the sol­diers lead her away, all I can feel is a deep, ice-cold pit of terror. Like she’s not done with us yet. Like she’s warning us to watch our backs.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 202 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 202 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Finally!

    Its always hard when a good series comes to its end, but harder still when the ending is not what we had in mind. Ive read plenty of stories where the end is too sappy or even too tragic, meaning it leaves you feeling like the story is unresolved. I was a little skeptical about champion because of the ending for allegiant, wondering if all good series where to end so despairingly. Finally though an author has come through! All through this book i felt that one of the main characters were going to die, marie lu made sure my heart stoped about fifteen times. Thankfully that didnt happen but still Day and June did lose something and that did contribute to that bittersweet ending. All in all you dont get what you want as an ending, but you do get an ending worthy of this series. Fantastic job Marie Lu, hopefully Veroinca Roth can takes some pointers.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Hiiiiii

    **SPOILER ALERT** hey did anyone notice what i did in the ending? Day got what he asked for in prodigy. He said that what if the just saw each other on the street and he said "im daniel" idk if the auther meant for it to happen but i thought it was a bitter sweet ending. (P.s wouldnt eden recognize june? Now that i think about it dont you think that sometime in those ten years he would've mentioned her? Talked about her? At least wonder what happend to her?)

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    So good!

    Probably the most emotional of the series for me. That ending... man, that ending. Very well-written cap on the series. I'll be thinking about this one for days.

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I do love it when a good story comes along and tosses you around

    I do love it when a good story comes along and tosses you around a bit, making you feel all sorts of emotions, and then leaves you feeling changed, maybe a little beaten and bruised, but stronger for it, too.

    The book is still told from the points-of-view of both Day and Jane, which has been consistent with the series, which I did like. After reading so many series', it's nice to find cohesion and continuance all the way up to the final book, which some authors don't grant us. Marie does that here, though, and I appreciate that.

    That's also with the characters. Sometimes you see that characters might change from one book to the next without much explanation. Day and June are still Day and June. They still have the traits and fierceness and vulnerability that they've had in the beginning, and the side characters do as well. There might be the slight lack of change-of-heart for some characters that you may want to change, but the reasons for that are simple enough - people don't change their way of thinking as quickly in real life.

    The introduction of some new characters and areas are not too expansive to where you feel lost. The focus is still maintained on the characters that we know and love as well as the situations that we're familiar with already. That's not saying there isn't growth in the world that Marie has created, because there certainly is, but she just doesn't overwhelm, or basically tease, you with what else is going outside of June and Day's perspective. She gives you enough glimpses of life outside of the Rebuplic and the Colonies to make it interesting for you, but still manages to contain the world enough to where you don't get confused.

    The war and the politics and how this future is really makes sense to me. There's a lot of devices and things in there that we are familiar with and I can see how the future that Marie has created can be conceived from the politics and the technology and military of today's culture. What I like the most about this part is that there is not really one area or city or territory that is vastly superior to the others, although a case could be made about one certain territory in particular, but still, I'm sure there are flaws there as well. That might be one thing that the young adults could really learn from this book as far as countries go. Neither the Republic nor the Colonies are favored in the way the people are being treated in either society, and there's much to learn about that that could be seen in today's society.

    Day and June. Oh, my dear Day and my dear June. There was nothing that they said or did that strayed away from what we already knew of them. They both harbor very strong feelings for each other. They both harbor strong doubts about the other and they both are challenged with the thought of whether they can even be together if they really wanted to. There was the established consequences of their past actions towards each other and their families, so of course, there's always that "elephant in the room" for these two. How Marie deals with that in this book is pretty amazing - both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

    I ended the book with tears in my eyes, from both sorrow and joy. Sorrow for what was lost, and joy for what was to come. I found hope again, too. It was earned in one of the most sacrificial ways possible. Deservedly so, I think. So, yes, I can see hope for a future that would fill in those losses with love and fulfillment.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Bddt Best book ever!

    I cant even say how good this book is! It blew me away. I was crying and screaming by the end. Totally unexpected. But absolutely beautiful also. I recommend this series to everyone!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Amazing book but sad ending

    I love the series, absolutely love it. I could not put this book down! SPOILER ALERT!!!! The ending though left me crying! Made me so upset ad i still am. I couldnt sleep. I literally saw the sun come up. I think the ending would have been much better if we actually learned that day eventually remembered june. That would have been much sweeter and i would be a whole lot happier. Mary Lu, if you are reading this, please please please write a short book that ends with june and day together and back to normal. That would be very much appreciated

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    I just finished Champion today and it blew me away! I was a litt

    I just finished Champion today and it blew me away! I was a little disappointed on the ending at first, but then I realized it was the perfect way to end the series. The book was nerve-racking, sad, exciting, and thrilling! Everything that I hoped would be within the pages definitely exceeded my expectations. You should definitely read this last book in the Legend Series!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Warning: Spoilers! ! ! ! The whole trilogy did nothing bet kee

    Warning: Spoilers! ! ! !


    The whole trilogy did nothing bet keep you wanting for more. However, now that the series has come to a halt, Champion did a spectacular job at ending what many have devoted themselves  to. I especially appreciate that Lu made sure both of the 2 main characters didn't die, but the loss of Day's memory REALLY hit me hard. Even after 3 months of first finishing Champion, every thought of the ending leaves me with a pounding pain in the chest. When an author leaves you in a physical panic, that's when you know her work is worthwhile. Marie Lu is easily on the top of  my list of favorite authors, which includes John Green, Rick Riordan, and Veronica Roth. 

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Love this series!!!!

    If you love Hunger Games, you will love the Legend series!!!! Action, action, action! It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I read it! Champion was great!!!! I thought I would be disappointed at the end but it turned out super! Got to read this!!!!!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Incredible series!

    Incredible series!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Blew me away

    Now, i usually don't write reviews, but this book is seriously one of the best i've ever read. What an ending!!! Almost made me cry. Highly recomend new readers of this series to try out the first book. This is one of the few books that left an ending i was actually content with. :3

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Fave book

    This is deffinitly my absolute favorite book series! Pretty good ending and the whole series just kept me connected.and.interested! I hope she write mor eon this series, if not a fourth book, more short stories! Great series, I highly recomend it!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    I loved this book. I really did. Words cannot describe my love.

    I loved this book. I really did. Words cannot describe my love.

    After reading another ending to another trilogy that shall remain nameless, I was a little hesitant to pick this one up. The hype of the last one promised me a good book, but failed to deliver. This one had started getting a build up of devotion by the same people. (Well, most of the same people.) One major let down in a month is enough. But my book club girls said read or die. (paraphrasing here) So really, I couldn't say no.

    From page one of this book, I curled up into the story and refused to put the book down. To me, one of the best things about this series is the time they spend apart. They get to learn and grow. It's not all 'lovey dovy b.s.' or 'can't think/live/act without ____ by my side' like in some YA books. They get to experience life, and the day they still love one another. I rather enjoyed that. It makes you feel like they have a chance at having a real relationship rather than one simply formed under the stress of death and danger.

    Day stole the show for me in this one again. I love him. During book one, I wasn't so keen on either of our heroes, but during book two, something changed. They grew up some. Yes they both had more growing to do to become great characters, but at that point I started liking them just a bit more. During Champion, they continued on their mainly separate paths. They had people relying on them, they had their own decisions to make, and some of those we at odds with their romantic relationship. Honor and Duty vs Love. Not only did the author handle that very well and make it all interesting, but she made me care about their struggling relationship. Was this the end? Were they growing apart? I just had to know.

    June has never been my favorite character, and she never will be. But I liked her the best in this book. She lost some of her 'I am greater than thou' attitude as she worked in her new position and got a greater understanding of politics. Her experience seemed to humble her, and I was pleased by that turn of events. And, just maybe, by the end, I actually liked her character.

    Story wise, I loved this series. At the very beginning I had questions. I payed attention to all the details the author tossed at us. I harbored a fear that nothing would end up making sense and the world would be garbage tossed together. But I was wrong. Marie Lu created such a detailed and believable world that I could look back on the previous books and see how they all tie together. Things that seemed pointless, had bases in this fictional world. Even if I hated the characters and loathed their struggles, I would love these books for that one thing alone.

    And the very ending? Bittersweet. But I'm really glad the author chose the path she did. It stayed true to the story and still seemed real for them and their world.


    My last words: About a certain story plot -as my bookclub girls and I spend hours talking about from the last book- I SO CALLED IT. *dances on the table* Is it strange to feel proud of something so silly as being right about a book plot? Nope, I didn't think so. And in case you are curious, I'll simply say this: plague.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Such a great closing for the trilogy

    This is a great book, with the suspense I need from fictional stories like this. Recommended for Hunger Games trilogy fans!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Ending woes

    What the crap went on in the end?!?! Tat was a horrid way to end an entire series. Well i hope u r all happy! This book was accualey fairly good but it sucked overall.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Amazing

    This series was amazing. Marie is a gifted writer who is able to take you into a world you never want to leave. I loved June and Day. All of her characters were unique and well defined. The passion and romance that was tastefully done. What ever else she writes I will certainly read. Wonderful.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Champion *Spoilers*

    I do not think that this ending was very good. Day has been shot twice and has had surgery that could have killed him because he wasn't ready for it. Oh, and yeah, its been five months since he had the surgery and was shot and the doctors don't know if he will ever wake up. After those five months, June is at the hospital and a doctor has news, and there is just a little complication. June finds out that Day is awake. Then she finds out that for her, the little complication isn't so little. Day has amnesia. From about the past year. So to him, June is just another girl. After reading all this, I felt a few different things. First, admiration for how Marie Lu made this whole series so great. Then, I felt curiosity for how will this end, will he ever remember her? Next, I honestly felt digust for how June and Day probably wouldn't get the happily ever after that they deserved after dealing with the boatload of crap that comes with saving your country, and going through war.(I hadn't finished the book yet) Lastly, felt sad about how Day just had to get shot and nearly die at the hands of the sadist Commander Jameson, because he has really gone through enough already. After that, what happens is Day and Eden go to Antsrctica and work there. 10 years later, June and Anden have dated, and broken up. However, Day and Tess aren't really friends anymore, but Tess becomes friends with June. June sees a headline for Eden working in LA(or wherever June is). As she is walking to meet Tess for dinner in the Ruby sector, June spots two blond headed men. Eden notices her, but June walks by. She hears footsteps behind her, and it's Day, or Daniel as he introduces himself. He goes through the whole "this is weird but I remember you from somewhere" speech and they shake hands. Then, June finds out that Day-sorry, Daniel-is going over to an old friends house for dinner. And that friend just so happens to be a girl named Tess. I give this book three stars becuase the writing and the plot was good, but I took away two stars for how weak the ending well, ended. I didn't understand or know if June and Day would get back together. Also, there is some closure in this book, so that helped the book get 3 stars from me. Reviewed by Sami g.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    To whom may concern: here my rate and revlew on champion.

    To whom mayy concern:here my rete and review on the last book of legend book series. I really like the book , but i wish it was a happier ending though. best regards.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    I promise I won't give too much away. This book was so amazing!

    I promise I won't give too much away. This book was so amazing! I couldn't stop reading! The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is the ending. The ending SUCKED!! I hate it! Day looses most if his memory and goes to Antarctica. What kind if ending is that?! But I almost cried in some parts. Very emotional book and I wish the ending was different. A lot if the book was should June choose Day or Anden? I wish June and Day had a future together and Day didn't loose most of his memory and almost die.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Wow

    It was incredible, but I am absolutely dying here. I need a short novella describing life after Champion! *spoiler alert* I need to know that Day and June are together! Please Marie Lu.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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