Book Review: The Savior's Champion by Jenna Moreci
I discovered Jenna's YouTube channel a few months ago and have really enjoyed her smart, practical writing and publishing advice. This book has been on my radar since then and it always sounded interesting to me, but I was a little hesitant to jump into it because I had such high expectations based on what I knew about the author. And we all know it sucks when a book doesn't actually live up to its reputation or your expectations. That was not this book, however. It met and exceeded my expectations in so many ways, and days after finishing it, I still just cannot stop thinking about the characters and their incredible journey.
The Savior's Champion unfolds through the perspective of protagonist Tobias, an artist forced to give up his passion in order to provide for his family. But his sacrifice still doesn't seem to be enough. A tournament presents Tobias with an opportunity, but it also comes at a huge risk, and Tobias enters knowing he will likely die. What follows is a heart-racing adventure full of danger, death, mystery, death, romance, and suspense. Oh, and death. Did I say death already? Because a lot of people die in this book. Horribly.
Given the fact that so many characters die, it would have been easy for the author to simply gloss over all but the most important ones. And to be fair, some characters get a lot more development than others. But they all felt like they were fully developed for their role in the story, and in some cases even more so. It was interesting to watch the relationships that developed between Tobias and his fellow competitors, as well as those otherwise involved in the tournament. The romance was especially good. I have not been that emotionally invested in a romance between two characters in a book in ages. They are adorable and I ship them forever and ever.
My only complaints about the book came in the last 100 pages or so. Throughout the story, there are hints of significant danger and threat to a certain character's life, and she has several opportunities to tell Tobias what's going on but just doesn't. The suspense drags on forever, but in the end when we do finally get answers, it didn't feel like enough. There was still so much left unresolved and unanswered, to the point that I'm still mildly annoyed because some things didn't quite make sense to me. Since there's going to be a sequel, I'm hopeful those questions will be fully resolved eventually, but I thought things could have been wrapped up a little better here. Because they weren't, the ending felt pretty abrupt. Along with this, the romance started to become a little tedious towards the end. Mostly because I want the characters to actually talk to each other about important things instead of just making out and making sentimental declarations of love for paragraphs and paragraphs. At that point, I cared way more about getting answers to my questions than I did about how cute they were together.
Despite that, I still really enjoyed the story as a whole. It's very well-written and highly engaging. The pacing was excellent and the danger always felt very real and visceral, which kept me turning pages every spare moment I could get. I felt all the feelings while reading this book and I loved the characters so much. It pulled me right in, and that's really the most important thing I'm ever looking for in a story.