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Book review: 'Champion' caps dynamic dystopian series

By Melissa DeMoux

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 9 2013 3:10 p.m. MST

"CHAMPION," by Marie Lu, G. P. Putnam's Sons, $18.99, 369 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)

In dystopian elegance, “Champion” closes out Marie Lu’s premier adventure series with commanding literary muscle. The final segment of Lu’s trilogy concludes the story she introduced in 2011 when her debut novel, “Legend,” pulled readers into the futuristic world of June and Day.

Following an intense battle to overthrow the disjointed and malevolent government of the Republic, June and Day discover that the leadership of the rebel nation, the Colonies, is just as blighted. As Day reluctantly backs the youthful new Republic head, June is swept up in a leadership role that gives her precarious power.

Day returns to everyday life with a deadly secret that haunts his every waking moment. Plagued by demons born of the Republic’s monstrous past, Day strives to build a life for his ailing brother that can survive even if Day doesn’t.

As tensions between the two volatile nations come to a climax, June is forced to call on Day to play the hero one last time. But with his mind and body crippled and his brother’s life hanging in the balance, Day may not be able to conquer the final revolution.

“Champion,” which was released on Nov. 5, is the apex of a stunning dystopian series. The writing is crisp and fresh and the characters are exquisitely flawed and superbly powerful. Formidable angst winds its way into every corner of the story from the romantic encounters to the lives of the rebels-turned-heroes.

The characters are relatable and engaging, and the tale is set at a fast-paced tempo. There is an astonishing bite to the end of the story that adds a forceful depth and intensity to the climax.

Although it is not graphic or lengthy, there is an intimately sexual scene in the middle of the book. There is also an incident involving a passionate kiss between two men. Neither of these events is a dominant piece of the story, and aside from these episodes, the book is free of crass language, grotesque violence or adult themes.

If you go ...

What: Maire Lu book signing

When: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, marielu.org

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

Also ...

When: Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo City Library Ballroom, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: provolibrary.com, marielu.org

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. Her email is mddemoux@gmail.com and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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