The Chosen Review

Title: The Chosen 
Author: Taran Matharu
Series: Contender #1
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: 4 June 2019
Source: Pan Macmillan South Africa
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Rating: DNF - @217 pages 

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a world far from our own, where enemies come in many forms, the ultimate battle for survival is about to begin ... An epic new trilogy from the bestselling author of the Summoner series.


Convicted of a crime he didn't commit, Cade is facing a year in reform school when he finds himself suddenly transported to another realm.


Populated by bloodthirsty prehistoric creatures and fierce warriors, Cade's surroundings are full of danger. Along with his fellow students, Cade is forced to become a contender in a deadly game of the highest stakes, controlled by invisible overlords.

Who are these brutal rulers, and why did they choose Cade? Before he can find answers, Cade must get ready to fight ...


Book Review:
Pre-reading Thoughts:

If you know anything about me, then you know that I am a major nerd. I love old movies like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Star Wars to name a view. This book is advertised as a game with Jurassic Park elements.

Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan South Africa for providing me with a copy of this book. Just a quick disclaimer for those reading this, I have received this book for free. Please note that this does not affect my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own. 

Writing Thoughts:

The writing failed to draw me in and felt as if the format at the beginning did not aid the pace of the book. The author jumped between the present and the past at the beginning which did not help to create a strong enough contrast between the two timelines. I would have preferred if all the events took place chronologically instead of it jumping backwards and forwards. The writing was also fact-heavy which pulled me away from the events of the book. 

Plot Thoughts:

The plot lacked movement. I wasn't able to fully immerse myself in this book because there were not enough events to keep the book moving forward. I found myself being very uninterested in what happened because certain scenes took forever to take place and they were over before the reader could get a grip on what was happening. 

Character Thoughts:

The characters fell flat for me. It seemed as thorough the author relied too heavily on their stock characters and didn't add his own personal spin on them, except for the main character. I did like the aspect that the main character wasn't a typical hero in the sense that he wasn't overly brave or made to be this amazing action character that always does the right thing. To the author's credit, Cade's choices and actions were somewhat realistic. He had these moments where he seemed grounded but these moments were often overshadowed but other elements of the book. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I wasn't a fan of this book. I think the premise holds a lot of promise and it eludes to an action-filled novel. However, I felt as if the execution fell a bit flat. The writing was too wordy and didactic. I didn't want everything to be a history lesson. The action scenes, which started off great, were always interrupted by history facts. The plot was slow-moving and at the point where I stopped, not enough had happened to keep me interested. The characters also felt a bit flat and lacked depth beyond their stock characters. I am sadly not impressed by this book but can see young readers who enjoy learning about history, enjoying this book. Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan South Africa for providing me with a copy of this book. 

Yours in Reading,


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