The Chosen by Taran Matharu

Title: The Chosen (Contender #1)
Author: Taran Matharu
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: June 4th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Introducing an epic new trilogy from Taran Matharu, author of the New York Times–bestselling Summoner series.

Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.

Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.

But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

The Chosen was a really interesting story. At first I thought of it as a little Maze Runnerish but then it quickly morphed to really messed up amusement park history ride.

We have a group of boys who are dropped on, what appears to be, another planet. They don’t know why they are there and what they are supposed to do but find themselves grappling with some scary obstacles. Not only that, it appears to be a land of last in time history. I really liked that aspect about it. They find random artifacts and people that had been thought to be long lost. Even dinosaurs make their own appearance. One of the characters mentions Jumanji and I can see that vibe now too. Ha ha.

Cade is the main character. I don’t generally gravitate towards a male lead but I thought Cade’s character was definitely likeable. He’s the character we know the most and even though we get insight into the other characters a little bit through the how Cade has interacted with them. I don’t think we really do more than brush their surfaces. Cade however is smart and resourceful. He might not be the strongest guy on the block but he knows how to use what abilities he has to give him an advantage. I also thought the flashbacks in the beginning to the months leading up to when they are taken was an interesting way to set up his character. You see how some of his actions took him from point A to point B in his character.

I did like the side characters, I don’t really want to get into the ones that I liked the most because I don’t want to give too much away. Also the ending was interesting. Of course I wasn’t sure what I was expecting so it wasn’t disappointing or surprising, it was more like ohhhh that’s what is happening here.

Since the book is shrouded in a little bit of thriller mystery I don’t want to give to much away. I did enjoy it and I have always felt Taran Matharu’s writing is paced well to keep a story moving. Something interesting is always happening.

Taran Matharu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, which has been translated into 15 languages and has sold over a million copies. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for writing during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’ and sharing his work on The shared sample of the story went viral, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months. Taran went on to launch his professional writing career, and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey, Forlaget Forar in Denmark and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

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