It’s been over a week since my last retrospective book review, so I deemed it time for another one. Today, I’m rereviewing The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci.
(If you’re new, or you haven’t read any of my retrospective book reviews before, allow me a very quick explanation before moving into the actual review. You can probably surmise what it is on your own, but I’ll just say that I skim over a book I’ve read in the last few years prior to having a blog, and re-judge it to see if it was as great as I remember.)
Series: The Savior’s Series (Book #1)
Length: 671 pages
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Romance, Fiction
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Tobias Kaya doesn’t care about The Savior. He doesn’t care that She’s the Ruler of the realm or that She purified the land, and he certainly doesn’t care that She’s of age to be married. But when competing for Her hand proves to be his last chance to save his family, he’s forced to make The Savior his priority.
Now Tobias is thrown into the Sovereign’s Tournament with nineteen other men, and each of them is fighting—and killing—for the chance to rule at The Savior’s side. Instantly his world is plagued with violence, treachery, and manipulation, revealing the hidden ugliness of his proud realm. And when his circumstances seem especially dire, he stumbles into an unexpected romance, one that opens him up to unimaginable dangers and darkness.
Trigger warning: this novel contains graphic violence, adult language, and sexual situations.
Then: ★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars
Now: ★★✯☆☆ • 2.5 / 5 stars
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that there’s something a little different with this book review.
If you haven’t, it’s totally the lack of quotes from the novel. I’m telling you now, that there aren’t gonna be any quotes here, if you were looking for them. This is for a very simple reason: I didn’t find anything of this book to be particularly memorable. Like, line wise anyway – I remembered scenes from The Savior’s Champion well enough.
You might also be wondering: why, upon my reflection, there was a drop in stars. That is also something that I will answer here. But not quite yet. First, let’s go over the usual.
(Before doing so, I will acknowledge that my reading tastes may not be in this specific subgenre, so even though I found a lot I didn’t like about for me personally, someone else might really love it. I don’t know who to recommend it to, though.)
The Plot and Its Pacing
Let’s start with the storyline itself. The plot was pretty generic: protag has to save his family in some way, enters deadly tournament in order to get paid, falls in love with a girl. You know, the usual.
There’s nothing inherently wrong right that. Actually, the base plot is actually okay. The problem is, this book is far too long for what its pages contain, and thus is very slow-paced. Almost excruciatingly at times, even. It’s also super overwritten to fluff up the page count – it did not need to be over 600 pages long. (I think it would have been fine being around 400, but nevermind my opinion.)
But yeah, the plot itself is… fine. Most of the problems associated with it have to do with TSC’s pacing, and… other stuff.
The Characters (aka: The “Other Stuff”)
I’m going to be frank here: most of the characters in this novel kind of sucked. Like, they weren’t written very well. Many of them were under-characterized and has little to know motivation, and others didn’t have much of a personality and had motivations that shifted and didn’t make sense.
The main character, Tobias, is very dull. Nothing about him is interesting. Not to mention, he completely transforms into a complete different character around like halfway/two-thirds of the way through the novel. Like, wth?
And his family were complete non-characters. They merely existed as a motivation for Tobias for the first three chapters, and then ceased to exist in his mind for pretty much the rear of the book. And even when they do appear, as brief as it is, they are always “Number Two” in our protagonist’s mind, which they should not be, if he loves them as much as he claims.
“Number One” in Tobias’ mind – after he first encounters her at least – is Leila. Leila is our dueteragonist in this novel, and she’s just about as bland as our hero. She also has a “secret,” but it is something so completely and utterly obvious to the reader that I hesitate to name it as such. (And even then Tobias doesn’t figure it out until the very end of the book and he still has to be told it.)
All of the other characters – much like Tobias’ family – did not matter. Not really, at least. And there were far too many of them and they didn’t feel very distinct from one another. And the villain was just… so evil that it was nearly ridiculous.
The prose wasn’t super good. There was either too much or too little description, and the dialogue never felt very natural. And the text is oversaturated with one word (
cock), to the point that I actually wanted to fling the book across the room both times that I went through it!
Also, the chemistry between all of the different characters just really wasn’t there. And the romance between Tobias and Leila could have – and should have – been much stronger. I dunno, this book might have needed another edit or something – I’m no expert.
Why My Rating Changed So Drastically
Sooo… I discovered this book through the author’s YouTube channel. That’s right, Jenna Moreci is an authortuber, and she makes videos with writing advice. At the time I first read this book, its sequel The Savior’s Sister was releasing.
And, I’m just gonna be real. I liked Jenna and her videos, so I wanted to check out her books. And even though The Savior’s Champion was difficult for me to get through – it took me almost a month to finish it, which is extremely unusual for me – I was really self-conscious about my review. So I didn’t think too much about the book itself when I finished it, and just gave it 4 stars.
But looking back on it after attempting to read the sequel, as well as having since pretty much discontinued with watching Jenna’s videos, I can no longer ignore how I truly felt. So, I went through the book again (skimming at high speed) just to make sure my feelings were true, and then have it my true rating, without any of my bias blocking my vision.
So yeah, that’s why it went down to 2.5 out of 5 stars.
I didn’t really care for The Savior’s Champion too much, but someone else might like it, so as always, I encourage anyone still interested to give it a shot. Everyone has different taste buds when it comes to books, so everyone prefers something different on their pages.
Thank you to those of you who read this
rant review, and have a great day/night!
See ya ~Mar