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Captured My Heart – A Review of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

There are very few books I would describe with the phrase “I couldn’t put it down.”

Where do I begin with this book? I guess I should tell you what it’s about first.

Steelheart is the first book of the Reckoners series, which combines action, science fantasy, and dystopia together to create this alternate version of earth. Superhumans known as Epics have taken over the world, each claiming a city or region as theirs to dictate. The one ruling over New Chicago, Steelheart, has killed David’s father, and since then he has devoted his life to working out how to take this epic down. For he’s the only one who knows his weakness. David seeks out to join the Reckoners, a group of underground rebels, their mission aligned with his. They seek out Epics across USA to kill, to give the people hope. If David wants to take Steelheart down, they’ll need to join forces.

A plot and story very reminiscent of Marvel movies, if you ask me. But GOD this was so much greater than them.

First off let’s talk the main character, David. When I first read him, one thing went into my mind. There wasn’t much to him. He started off as a very everyman kind of character, a relatively blank slate. All he had to him was his goal to kill Steelheart. But as I continued to read into the story, that was the point. He was realising how cold his blood had been running. He was so geniusly written! His character arc wound up brilliant as he ultimately became more and realised there was more to the world around him. I wasn’t sure if I would like him initially, but I absolutely did by the end.

Let’s actually take a moment to talk about that world. The way it was politically built felt incredibly real, even when the world is ruled by superhumans. Every aspect of it was shown as it was relevant, barely any information felt forced. From the socio-political status of Newcago’s citizens, to revealing technology and powers, none of it was ever shoved into my face. The way it combined various aspects of fantasy, science fiction, and dystopia into the story felt seamless. I could imagine it so vividly. I guess part of that was the unique imagery of an entire city made of steel, but it had so much more character than that.

I could also imagine the action scenes so vividly. Not only was everything so clear and vivid in my mind without having to write stage directions out like a script, but the emotions and sensations felt so real too. This is what I live to create in my own fight scenes! Seeing it through David’s thoughts, emotions, and logical ways of thinking made it feel very real and personal in my eyes. Not to mention the backdrops they were placed upon felt very cinematic and thematic.

So much of this book was engaging. Honourable mentions go to the first quarter of the book and the last third. That’s not to say this book had a sagging middle, it was still very entertaining. But I read the first quarter and the last third in one sitting. Each. Now that’s what I call engaging. There are very few books that can do that to me outside of the climax alone. And there are very few books where I get close to crying. I won’t say what made me get there, I’m kind like that, but I will say well done for cracking my emotional core.

And yes, this book is now one of my all time favourites. Also I heard that there’s a freaking board game based on this book. HELL yes.

Steelheart gets a score of 5/5. A book that’s impossible to put down will forever be a winner.

Yours in writing

Amy

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Ten Spoonfuls of PSAs – a review of Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

This review will be very different considering I can’t really critique narrative values of myths. I feel like a lot of the content talk will either be me hating on or praising the Greek Gods.

Regardless, Percy Jackson was the series that got me seriously considering writing my own books. I loved it to no end as a 10 year old, binged the whole series in half a year. Thanks to my Year 5 teacher for sparking the fandom inside our classroom!

Anyway, everybody’s favourite son of Poseidon is telling us a new set of stories. This time, he’s exposing the Greek Gods, from the tale of creation to every last Olympian on a throne. And of course, it’s in Young Adult jargon. Though it was published in 2014. So… millennial jargon? American millennial jargon.

I’m just going to get my overall thoughts about the Greek gods first. A lot of them would be arrested in modern society. When I first read Percy Jackson I really liked Zeus, but his godly portrayal is disgusting! The king of the gods was a rapist. And a major player. And heavily tempered. All I read in the books initially was that he had a temper. This makes me look at a lot of the content that the gods do very differently and it makes me question the morals of ancient Greek society.

Leading off of that, I’m surprised this book was still appropriate for it’s age group of 10+. There were some dark things being mentioned, but they were done in a way that was appropriate. Somehow. Maybe it’s just because it’s been years since I read the original Percy Jackson series. Regardless, I didn’t gasp out loud too much. I’d call that age group appropriate.

That being said, you could tell this was for their age group because there was a PSA on every five pages about not cheating on your partners, not having a relative as a partner, and condoning underage drinking. In literally every scene that contains it. This was one aspect that felt first off, very distracting, and secondly, out of character for our narrator, Percy. Especially to the ridiculous extents that they went to, like saying wine is only drunk by middle aged people. They can hope! I may not drink alcohol much, but I wouldn’t be such a buzzkill for those that do.

Let’s talk more about Percy’s voice. This honestly had some very mixed results with some questionable executions. It is fair that Percy makes a lot of modern references to put the Greek gods into a more relatable perspective. My main issue was how some of them pulled me out of the story. For one, there was the constant comparison of saying Mt. Olympus was an apartment complex? That was one of the worser ones that added nothing to the way each god’s story was told. Some of the others made absolute sense, like setting up the dinner date scene for when Uranus died. But a few really had me question a lot of things.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this read was how Percy’s voice and comparisons humanised the gods. Throughout this I imagined the tales of the Greek gods working just as well as a modern drama series, probably on the Game of Thrones side with the war and bloodshed still going on. These gods were put down as much as they were glorified and it showed them as true of colours as any well written character. The wordings worked wonders too, able to take a mature concept to a younger audience without degrading the stories themselves. For the right moments, Riordan was able to write something serious and beautiful despite the narrator typically not being that way. And it felt natural.

Speaking of realism, what I really appreciated was the moments of ambiguity that related to changing views in classical society and a lack of sources. Having taken history and classics in high school, I approve highly of this. And the way this was explained felt organic to the world, with Percy implying the issues with word of mouth.

I think I reviewed that okay? It’s harder to review something without a typical narrative when that’s your strongest point of study in the writing craft. Hope this review suffices.

Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods gets a score of 4/5. Those PSAs were so frequent and corny that they need to become memes, but the rest of it was literature.

Yours in writing

Amy

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Politics. But it’s Animals! – a review of Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic was this novel’s tame predecessor. And in this case, you can’t beat the original.

Daine returns in Wolf Speaker to save the wolf pack she grew up with. The leaders of a human settlement nearby are driving the wolves out of their home, and Daine, as a voice for the animals, must find a way to give the animals their home back. But it’s more than just greed behind the plights of the royalty and the mages that rule there…

This being the first book that’s a continuation of a series I’ve read being reviewed on this blog, I have a lot of different things to talk about here.

This book didn’t build a lot off of the previous book, Wild Magic. The connections between books one and two felt like an afterthought, with characters previously crucial in the start of the series only appearing, or even being mentioned, at the climax. While realistic, it wasn’t done well in terms of narrative. The only things that felt truly connected were Daine’s magic, the divine badger, and Daine’s anger for Stormwings. This makes these facts only forgiven if the entire series was binged, which it was not. I read the first book at least eight months ago. Despite a majority of the plot from that book not being remembered, I read this book feeling like it was a second beginning to the series. Right from chapter one the link between the two stories felt disjointed.

That being said, the story was good standing alone. These new characters, although many, felt very real and with a strong variety. The magic being built on the world was splendid, as did the building of the monarchy. There was additionally a real, solid villain who didn’t have lines straight out of a Batman TV episode. There wasn’t a character I hated amongst that book at all! They were all very well built with their motivations, too. However, many of the less iconic characters did blend together a lot. Many of the characters talked the same, especially the animals. There were too many wolves to work out who was who aside from two of them.

Whether this is because of my greater knowledge in the craft of writing or not, Wolf Speaker’s use of language and words seemed significantly weaker than in Wild Magic. Odd bits of passive voice, grammar errors, and lines I had to reread came up. This made the reading a lot slower, alongside some strong pacing issues towards the start. It didn’t help that these were lengthy chapters that could have easily been broken down further. The endings of the chapters made me more relieved than wanting more, in all honesty.

However, the second half of the plot was definitely engaging. All writers seems to know how to write a climax effectively in my opinion. Some very topical political and environmental implications built up the plot well. And it didn’t get old, the story still relevant over 15 years on! This was especially well implemented with characters like Maura, oblivious to the harms being done on the nature and learning to care for it and see things a different way. That being said, a few characters felt like they were being swayed a bit too easily. Still, the ending was satisfying even if some of the threads were still left flying in the wind. That will probably lead into book 3, which I’ll be reading later this year.

Wolf Speaker gets a score of 3.5/5. You can’t beat the original if you barely acknowledge it, even when your plot and cast are so good.

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A Distorted Reflection – A review of Dark Mirror by M. J. Putney

This review will contain a massive spoiler for this book that you need to know. I don’t want you to react the same way that I did when I read this.

Dark Mirror has two sides, what the author tells you the book is about vs. what the book is actually about.

This is what they tell you: Dark Mirror follows Lady Victoria Mansfield, who has to have her recently discovered magical abilities oppressed in order for her to regain her birthright. She goes to Lackland Abbey with the intent to get it rid of her and home to a family who will love her again, but instead winds up embracing it in a literal underground group who intend to protect England.

They didn’t tell you that there was also time travel involved. Crucially involved. But not until the novel’s midpoint.

When that happened I encountered a massive “WTF” moment, literally the same three words repeating in my head over and over. It was barely foreshadowed or set up aside from the vague title, which tells us that there will be a Dark Mirror involved but not what it does. This made the book seem like two ideas tacked onto each other with two completely separate stories because thereafter the tension and conflict established in the first half became trivial. Now I see that it may be a setup for the rest of the series, but those ends still wind up waving in the wind while the ties of the second half were all neatly plaited together. They were just abruptly cut. New strings of stories were tied onto those ends.

I feel more comfortable talking about this novel in two halves, so I shall do so.

The first half was a great setup of what I thought would be the story I was about to read. Characters were established well, as well as the direction of Tory’s arc. The stakes were evident and investing. The mood worked incredibly well also. Tory’s emotional depth was explored really well in this section as she fought between the selfish need to oppress her magic and the selfless need to use it for the good of her country. She was great as an insecure character.

When the second half came along it turned it into an entirely different story, and I would have appreciated it more had it not been the second half of a completely different story. More compelling characters were introduced with interesting needs and goals, and the whimsy of Tory in a new environment made her seem different from her counterpart. This would have worked better for her had this been her primary story.

I keep talking down this book from that who two story standpoint, mainly because both tales lost their potential being spliced together. But somehow it kind of worked? I do intend to put the next book in the series on my TBR, only now that I know what the story will be like. With this in mind, the second installment in the trilogy I expect will be far more appealing to me.

Favourite Character

Jack Rainford was charming. I fell for him the instant he was introduced – a teaser and joker with still serious goals. He provided much of the comic relief, but still had great depth. He was even more compelling that Tory’s love interest to the point where I thought they’d get together instead.

Favourite Chapter

Chapter 17 was were the A story stakes were at their highest. It was very investful chapter that really got me hooked into that part of the story.

Favourite Serious Quote

“… All you poor, talented aristocrats are raised to hate yourselves. Only a few have the courage and wit to break out and learn how to be real mages.”

I am all for self acceptance and expression! As simple as this quote is, it really stands by me.

Overall Verdict

The story felt indecisive, but all worked out anyway. Dark Mirror gets a score of 3.5/5.

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Tom and Ashwen are my BroTP- A Review of The Misadventurers: An Almost Epic Tale by Steven Partridge

Well that’s the longest post title on my blog to date.

This book comes from another AuthorTuber, Steven Partridge. I’ve only been watching his content for a couple of months, and he is a saint. The Misadventurers is his debut novel.

This is the review of an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Steven Partridge’s novel. I was given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

In a tale reminiscent of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, a group of adventurers from different walks of life are forced together to complete a quest. They must retrieve the sword of dire power. Emphasis on must. They literally cannot walk out of this until they complete their quest.

This kind of book isn’t usually my cup of tea. But let’s just say I downed it. I didn’t expect to be as hooked into it as I wound up being.

The world was built really well, and we set foot into many communities to show it. Each city felt like their own character, and was a fresh outlook for somebody seeking more than the textbook settings. From the bustle of Greenridge, to the industrial Stonebluff, to the colour of Trundleburg Village, I loved every place the characters dragged me to.

I’m always a sucker for great, diverse characters, and they were absolutely delivered. These were delivered so well that my favourite characters were constantly changing. They mainly swapped between Ashwen, Beryl, and Cole. But that doesn’t mean the others are discredited. Heck, the chemistry between the main five was brilliant as well! I was particularly a sucker for every moment Ashwen and Tom talked, or in Ashwen’s cased bickered, with each other. Their friendship is the most wholesome thing I ever read.

I spotted some references in there to giggle over, which I mainly know from watching a couple of D&D livestreams. I feel I’d find and appreciate a lot more of those references had I been into RPG games a lot longer. Well, it’ll be a happy little hunt for you guys when you read it.

Also, did Tom get his name from the scene where he spies on Beryl? Because he was a peeping Tom?

Character I Loved

This changed way too much, but I think in the end it wound up being Cole. I’m not going to say too much about him due to spoilers, but this was a character with some serious depth. And I’m a sucker for tempered characters.

Character I Loved to Hate

Goddamn Princess Garnet. There were so many times I just wanted to squeeze her head until it burst, but I’d be too weak to do that. Is there anyone who would actually be capable of that to do it on my behalf, please?

Favourite Chapter

I was seriously enticed by Chapter 9 due to the setting and the way it was explored. I’ll leave the magic of reading it up to you guys, but I’ll tell you it’s industrial, communal, and absolutely unique.

Favourite Serious Quote

“Until you see past the illusions of the world, you will remain unable to truly connect with it.”

Damn, that’s deep. Honestly, this whole scene was. But this quote in particular should be the slogan for world peace.

Favourite Not-So-Serious Quote

Curse his insight.

Let me guess, Tom rolled a natural 20?

Overall Verdict

A fantastic adventure lead by brilliant adventurers. The Misadventurers: An Almost Epic Tale gets a score of 4/5.

The Misadventurers: An Almost Epic Tale will be out on August 27th. You can preorder Steven Partridge’s debut here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VR2LKS4

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mis-adventurers-steven-partridge/1132715789

Yours in writing

Amy

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I Did Nazi That Coming – A Review of Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis

I had never thought I’d be using this pun in the title of a review, and here I am.

I picked up Bitter Seeds in a bookshop at the end of January, intrigued by its seemingly unconventional plot. It lived up to its first impressions and was finished in under three weeks.

In case the title of the book didn’t provide insight into this book, it takes place during the second world war. Only that there are some unusual players in the game; the Nazis have young adults with trained psychic abilities on their side, as British government agent Raybould Marsh finds out on a mission in Spain. As the Nazis gain on the Allies in the war, Raybould calls upon Will, a friend from university, to help provide their own supernatural secrets to win the war. That secret is Warlocks.

The premise itself was a hook; I have recently discovered a joy over reading books taking place in the Second World War. But this book was full of surprises. It was not simply battles and blood, although they did feature in it. The explorations of loyalty and morals were done very well in the context of this. And boy, was it dark. If you’re not a fan of dark stuff, this may not be your book. Oh, but it was SO my book! These relationships, these stakes… it was good!

But there was still some bad. I feel like with some characters while they got me engaged their personalities could have gone deeper. In particular, some of their motives get lost. The ending was also a lot calmer than I had anticipated. Without giving spoilers I’d say that the stakes weren’t quite as high as is typically structured at that point of the book, so its final chapters were a deflation of a lot of the mood.

Character I Loved

Gretel outright wins this. Her character is the most intriguing I’ve ever seen. From her thought processes, to her sinister charm, to her relationships I was hooked in. She was as well written as the protagonists, but I love her more than that. While she is totally on the bad side, I kind of want to protect her. Not that she needs it…

Character I Loved To Hate

Reinhart. Oh, the bastard. The things he does combined with his asshole nature just boils my blood! While Gretel did some dark things, some even darker than he did, I hate him more because of that a-word that is used to describe him.

Favourite Chapter

Chapter nine was full of all the emotions, and I drank them right up!

Favourite Serious Quote

‘Ravens everywhere huddled in their nests, to ride out the ice.’

This requires a lot of context and knowledge of its symbolism, but in short it was a beautiful way to describe how the world in the perspective of the ravens had turned to chaos.

Favourite Not So Serious Quote

‘Incoming.’

And that was how Gretel roasted Rudolf and I fell in love with her.

Overall Verdict

A pleasant surprise with engaging content.

Bitter seeds gets a score of 4/5.

Yours in writing

Amy

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Rather Tame – A Review of Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

 

While this book didn’t quite live up to its name, I wouldn’t call it a lullaby.

It still intrigued me even though I took a month to read it.

13 year old Daine is taken up by a horse trainer to help escort horses to the kingdom of Tortall. On this trip, Daine is shown to have a particular knack of animals. Later she learns it is not just a knack, as she gets caught in discoveries that could mean the destruction of the kingdom of Tortall – why she understands animals so well, what the strange demonic creatures are she has been encountering, and who has sent them there.

I picked up the entire Wild Magic series for $10 at a second hand shop to give the four books a read. This first book, while it wouldn’t have the most amazing or in depth plot, was still a surprisingly enjoyable read.

One point that made this so was how well it was written in third person. I typically stay away from the “God’s perspective” point of view as I call it, where you read everyone’s thoughts. In many cases it becomes difficult to track who is thinking what or if their thoughts are even relevant to the story. Pierce, however, wrote this well even without switching the points of view exclusively to scene breaks and chapters. The transitions between people’s minds made sense; perfect sense. Every thought felt like it had a purpose. I could engage with these thoughts easily.

While that was the biggest standout in the quality of this book, it doesn’t stop there. Well thought characters, world building, and the language used were top notch.

If I were to point out an issue, I’ll admit at times the stakes weren’t notable at times. It felt like they would only just get noticed when it was relevant.

But there is a big however to add into the mix. It was crafted well, but I wouldn’t consider myself as engaged with the plot as you might expect considering how well I said it was written. I appreciated it, yes, but I didn’t drool over it or spend five hours in one day reading it; that’s why it took a month to read.

Was this kind of fantasy book just not my taste? Maybe not. It’s like how there’s foods you like, and then foods you love. This book certainly wasn’t the literary version of fires for me.

But I’m not here to put you off.

Character I Loved

Ah, Numair. Charming Numair. He was in such a highly awed position as a mage and later a mentor, but he was so down to earth. I could just imagine thousands of different pleasant conversations I could have with him, and he’d never provide something boring nor something professional.

Character I Loved To Hate

This is probably the one character in the whole book that was written bad. Zhaneh Bitterclaws, the leader of the Stormwings, was revolting. Her existence was corny, and I had trouble believing the characters took her seriously. She was an adequate threat, at best. Her dialogue came out of children’s TV, squawking about karma and suffering. It would have been better if we at least knew her motives, but there was no evidence as to why she was involved in any of the plot instead of just serving as an obstacle.

Favourite Chapter

This goes to Chapter 3: The Hawk. The development in Daine’s character – her dedication and fading optimism – was beautifully written here. She truly shone here.

Favourite Serious Quote

“The person who commits an action is the one responsible for it, not the people he commits the action upon.”

Why am I so drawn to universally relevant quotes?

Favourite Not So Serious Quote

“But you didn’t point, or make circles, or chant anything-“

He shrugged. “Some people need those things. I don’t.”

She gasped at his arrogance. “Well, excuse me for breathing!”

I live for the chemistry between Daine and Numair. Those two make the entire book. And also, this is totally the feeling of living in a shadow, right?

Overall Verdict

A quality work that wasn’t wild, but still magical.

Wild Magic gets a score of 4/5.

Yours in writing

Amy

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Pants Free Fantasy – A Review of The Other Normals by Mark Vizzini

This was not a nudist fantasy book! Don’t let my title fool you – there was just a lot of instances which involved the main character not wearing pants.

That didn’t sound any better.

Loincloths! The MC wore loincloths a lot! There, I made it better.

In the two months I took to read this book, there were a lot of mixed feelings towards this book.

When Perry Eckert is forced to abandon his fantasy role-playing game sanctuary for a summer camp for teens, he hates the environment as soon as he is pushed into it. That was, until, he follows a creature from the game into the World of the Other Normals. He learns that this world is parallel to his own, and must learn the connections between the two to save their world and change his own life.

This was an interesting concept to take on, particularly for me as I enjoy the exploration of multiple universes in fantasy contexts. The world building of the fantasy area was done well. Everything in that world had its place and purpose. I didn’t once have a moment where I thought the information was just to show off the world. The main characters were defined well along with their abilities. Those two components made the entire experience enlightening. The voice and perspective of Perry definitely showed that in the parallel world, and you could feel his wonder of the world too.

However, I found a lot of issues with pacing in this novel. The book was divided into nine parts based on their respective location, and the chapters within those were short and felt unnecessary to be split up the way they were. The entire first part was an absolute drag, and had me not pick the book up again for three weeks solely because I was anticipating the rest of the book to go on slowly. We didn’t even see a character from the parallel world at the end of it. It didn’t feel right for an entire part to be used to show the issues that Perry was having and what the people around him thought of it. This left some of the scenes in the fantasy world feeling somewhat rushed in comparison. Notably, a key piece to the final battle was left to another character explaining what happened in a paragraph.

Character I Loved

This goes out to Ada Ember, the leading female and well deserving of the title! The feminist in me was charmed by her fighting strength. I would call her the best fighter in the book, actually. But, unlike most badass females in fiction, she strayed from the stereotype with her chipper personality. Her first impression was not of innocence or stoicism, but a quirky understanding towards Perry when they meet. It was a fantastic portrayal of the rare combination.

Character I Loved To Hate

This is kind of multiple characters. I hated Perry’s parents the most, if they even deserve that title. Everything about their actions screams their blindness towards everything that Perry experiences. For one thing, both have their own lawyers that interact more with Perry than they do. It barely even feels like they care for him and his brother, making less of a fuss over his alcohol addiction than his brother’s lack of social skills and true masculinity. Their care for their children feels mandatory, like “Hey, we created you so I guess you are kind of a priority for us”. A tip for future parents – lawyers don’t show that too well.

Favourite Chapter

Due to their length, I’m using a part number instead. Part 4, titled Subbenia, takes the prize home. This is our first proper look at the parallel world, and it was orchestrated well along with the tension and the fighting. It was a very thrilling arc to take up.

Favourite Serious Quote

“I picked Ember. After I started working with Mortin.”

“Why?”

“Because embers turn into flames.”

The power! As Ada explains her choice of last name after being taken care of, this was just such a powerful message. This won me over for having Ada as my favourite character.

Favourite Not So Serious Quote

“What are you, racist?”

A running joke used in the context of both worlds. It’s just amusing seeing the assumptions being made everywhere.

Overall Verdict

While a slow start, once you dive into the body of this take on YA fantasy, you’re in for a pleasant swim.

The Other Normals gets a score of 3.5/5.

Yours in writing

Amy

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Prince Flynn of Assville – A Review of The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci

You can usually tell how much I enjoy a book based on how long it takes for me to read it. Even then, life slows down my reading process. Most good books take me about two weeks to a month to read, and some have taken me a year as I’m not as attached to them.

The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci comes into the two week mark. It took me another week to recover from this beauty.

In this dark fantasy novel, twenty men compete in a tournament to win the hand of the holy future queen. However, Tobias Kaya didn’t enter for the “greatest hook up of all time”, he entered for the money which his family desperately needed. Labelled with the “Artist” laurel and pitted up against murderous bastards, a magical underground obstacle course, and his eyes on the wrong prize, the odds of him ever living long enough to see his family again are slim.

The plot in this book was very straightforward, but that can be expected when being based around a tournament. However, Jenna Moreci knew how to make it all very engaging. The stakes were clear and emotions drove the plot forward, whether in decision making or fighting. The events flowed and the story was quite easy to follow, and there was a variance of ways to end the chapters, not just making every chapter one-paragraph cliff-hangers but still making promises of progress. Most books I read a chapter per day, but I went on chapter sprints with this book, reading 3-5 on days where I had plenty of time and squeezing in a few pages where I could on other days. Moreci’s writing, description, and understanding of her protagonist’s mind made this seemingly straight line turn into a rollercoaster.

The characters were clearly developed, and most were distinct in both appearance and personality, save for a few. The diversity of characters and the ability to identify characters with distinct personality aspects or looks was great, but the only downer was those characters that didn’t have as strong of lights shining down on them. Their looks kept changing in my own head, and there wasn’t a distinct quirk or tone of speech to identify those characters by. Not until they particularly mattered. The characters that stood out remained pretty consistent, but if the rest of the cast was it would be further appreciated. This would be the only downfall in the book.

Loved Character

Tobias. I fell in love with him the moment the first chapter ended, and he just became more and more awesome with each interaction he made with others. To sum him up, he’s like Kettle Corn – sweet and salty. And yet this didn’t conflict. Tobias knew where his heart was, though he was often conflicted by it due to surviving the events in the tournament. As a fellow creative, his struggles as an artist right from starting his apprenticeship really resonated within me.  It’s not often that I’d call the lead my favourite character in any kind of story; I’m not fond of the everyman trope, and in many cases the secondary characters charm me more. Tobias is a beautiful exception.

Loved to Hate Character

Flynn. The title probably gave that away. Though his laurel in the tournament was ‘The Prince’, he certainly didn’t have the charm of many other characters.  I rolled my eyes a lot at his narcissistic comments, especially his first words to Cosima. I was at first sceptical of him trying to warm up to Tobias as those two characters clashed a lot, but then I realised he’s an ass. Flynn is a well written ass. I wouldn’t have named the post what I did otherwise.  I’d be happy to paste a picture of Flynn on the punching bag I have yet to buy. I may have even hated him more than the far more antagonizing competitors.

Favourite Chapter

Chapter 15. God, the emotions in this chapter. This certainly defined a moment in the book where the sides amongst the competitors were distinct, and through a moment which had so much anger and love.

Favourite Serious Quote

“And sheep never question tradition. They just follow the flock, same as always.”

Raphael lives up to his intellect laurel in this quote. I found myself resonating with this quote in terms of what Tobias’ circumstances were and my own values.

Favourite Not So Serious Quote

Fucking Flynn.

Need I say more?

The Overall Verdict

An engaging read full of suspense, reward, and consistent main characters. A great example of the dark fantasy genre.

The Savior’s Champion gets a score of 4/5.

I look forward to the second book in the series to be released.

Yours in writing

Amy