24 April 2018
I received a free copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
The Savior's Champion by Jenna Moreci
I was sent an ARC of The Savior's Champion by the beautiful Jenna Moreci. I have stayed true to this review, despite my admiration for Jenna.
One month ago, I posted a review on YouTube. It is vague and I promise I will be posting a thorough one within the next few weeks. However, I understand why some were frustrated with that review. Because I had just read TSC, I couldn't properly wrap my head around what had just happened. So, here is the basis for my next review video of TSC!
Jenna asked if I would like an ARC. I said yes! That's just The Beginning...
The Savior's Champion involves a group of men who enter to marry The Savior (and receive money and fame). This majestic woman's bloodline has saved the land from drought and destruction so who wouldn't want to marry her?
Well, our main man, Tobias, surely doesn't. He has no interest in The Savior or the Tournament. His thoughts are solely on working his guts out to provide for his mother and sister.
One night Tobias' sister experiences crippling pain due to her injuries associated with the death of their father and Toby is helpless.
It isn't long before he, too, decides to join the tournament, ready to give away his dreams and life for the Savior in order to be his families savior.
However, the tournament is nothing like Tobias could have imagined. Death and love swarm around him and he realises he must win the tournament. If he doesn't, those he love will be destroyed.
I read Jenna's debut novel EVE a few months ago and unfortunately, it wasn't what I had expected. I couldn't connect with Eve and I hated pretty much everyone Eve encountered. But, unlike the other readers who had issues with Eve, I didn't DNF it. I kept going and I'm glad I did. After chapter 11, I was solely invested. The writing, the characters, the fights, the descriptions, everything was completely engaging and I adored it. This was also where I got to know Percy a bit more. And Percy is still one of my favourite characters of all time. He is sassy, says what he wants and he's just hilarious. This is not to say I didn't care for the events before chapter 11, I appreciated them much more after, as they were a lead up to the bigger events. But that is a discussion for another day.
So...pros and cons. Let's start with the loooooong list of cons... (*sarcasm*)
1. The character's of TSC say "oh my God" but worship The Savior.
Why did I have an issue with this? It threw me off the complete and total worship of The Savior and I kept waiting for this other God to be mentioned OR for The Savior to be called a God. This merely confused me but it is in no way a deflect from the story itself.
And; 2. Swearing.
Jenna has said in practically every post/video/etc., that TSC contains swearing. And a bunch of it. So, I'm just a sook for adding this in. As you can see, this is merely a personal issue, not one with the book, the writing, the author, etc. Before you go into reading this book, IT HAS SWEARING. If I see a bad review because someone didn't like the swearing, I'm literally going to scream.
Now for the pros!
1. The prologue was a great start to TSC. I wanted to know more about the woman running through the streets. I think I might know now, but I can't say for sure...
I also found myself wanting to know more about the woman on the street who cut the baby from the dead Savior. She seems to have some relevance in the tale and I don't know why...
2. Vivid descriptions.
Because I could visualise each scene, my curiosity grew and grew. Jenna has a great knack with setting the scene and explaining what is happening. Instead of dumping information, she left bread crumb trails for her readers to follow. And each morsel was as tantalizing as the last, leading us straight to the cake!
3. Real relationships.
None of this instalove, none of this abusive/submissive duo. It was respect, admiration, adoration, love. Lust barely came into it. And when it did, Tobias and Leila were already smitten with one another. Their love tale was weaved delicately throughout the viciousness of the tournament and served as downtime from the action. It was immensely sweet to read.
The twist at the end...so good. I can't say anything more. I knew something was coming but I could never have guessed it!
But not only this twist. Jenna implemented many of them, letting them develop naturally. My partner generally has no interest in fiction but I had to share each plot twist with him anyway. He loved it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
We all know Jenna writes deaths well. But you'll never be prepared for some of the deaths that happen in TSC. Two in particular totally wrecked me. One happens early on and it was so brutal and unexpected, I had to read it a couple of times. Did that really happen? YES...
The deaths are so real. So thought-out. They each serve a purpose. And, as I've been asked, do not adhere to the "Kill you gays" trope.
TSC has a LOT of characters. The tournament including a huge chunk of them. Yet I was never confused. They are all so different, they have their own quirks. We have secret homosexuals, open homosexuals, flamboyant straight men, brutal beasts, evil dummies, silly goons, beautiful women, sweet girls, respectful men, etc., I could write a review about the character's alone.
YES, THIS BOOK HAS DIVERSITY AND REPRESENTATION. Jenna is a huge fan of diversity in literature and that's what made this book such a fun and fascinating read. This is not a realm of whities, this is a realm of various cultures, a tournament where those from every country can compete.
And it's not just with races, it's also with gender, disablement AND sexuality (among more!).
I don't think my reviews could ever do The Savior's Champion justice. I adored every bit of this book AND read it twice before reviewing. My actual rating is 4.5 stars but this book deserve a round up, hence why it is 5 stars!
If you are interested in fantasy, hot guys, hot girls, danger, plot twists, peaches, anything...this book is for you!