The Chosen by Taran Matharu | The good type of no action

Posted June 13, 2019 by Sophia

The Chosen by Taran Matharu | The good type of no action

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Content and Trigger Warning: This book contains content that may be triggering to some, which we will try our best provide below the synopsis.
The Chosen by Taran Matharu | The good type of no actionThe Chosen by Taran Matharu
Contender #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on June 4, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Publisher

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.

A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the review.

It’s midnight and apparently, it was a good idea for me to crank out reading a book in the span of 2 days. I don’t know why I’m like this, but anyways, I somehow finished The Chosen?

The first book in Taran Matharu’s Contender series introduces us to Cade, who finds himself in a boarding school after being wrongly accused. But shortly after he settles down, he and his classmates find themselves in another world filled with items and people from various mysteries throughout history. They’re forced into a game controlled by the Strategos as contenders, only knowing if they fail, there will be consequences.

The Chosen is a quick, action-packed read.

At least, in the beginning. Hold that thought for a moment. Matharu captured my attention from the first chapter as Cade finds himself having to fend for his life, not knowing his whereabouts. There’s a lot of action throughout that made me want to know more as Cade made discoveries and his moves.

But there’s nothing much going on.

I am all about characters running and fighting for their lives from pre-historic dinosaurs. The Chosen is practically a survival book, but about 60% through, I realized, there’s not actually anything going on. Cade, his classmates and eventually the people he meets who join the cause — they’re running around with a timer floating around them. (That timer is also a handy dandy floating Google, which is just plain cool if you ask me.)

Then about 90%, everything happens and Cade finds out more information about why they’re on the world. And he finds out both he and his companions got fucked over big time. It’s not a one-time battle, there’s more to come! A massive internal groan from Cade — just when you thought it was over, the entire universe laughs.

The Chosen is engaging, though.

Seriously, I appreciate a good, action-packed book that is engaging enough, I don’t notice the entire book is full of running until I’m in deep. By that time, I’m a little too invested – I want to know the end.

Despite being a somewhat huge cast, it was fun seeing most of them come together. It was also fun seeing the choices Cade makes and how creative he is in implementing them in the game they’ve been forced in. And call me evil, but I’m delighted with the end (we’ll even insert an evil laugh here) and want to see what Matharu will put the characters through in the second book.
the chosen taran matharu review

About Taran Matharu

taran matharu

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.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram

Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

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9 responses to “The Chosen by Taran Matharu | The good type of no action

  1. Fantastic review, Soph! I am impressed that despite not having a plot the book managed to suck you in and be really interesting. It sounds like there is a lot of setup here for future books based on what you’ve described on the pacing, so it will be interesting to see how the second book will shape up. Glad you enjoyed this one!

    • Sophia

      Same! I really struggled a bit after realizing, “wow, there’s nothing going on here” but I’m hoping the second book will be worth the suffer through of this one.

  2. Haley

    I really felt like your review hit the nail on the head, in fact I had to stop myself from looking at it again because I didn’t want mine to be too similar to yours lol but it’s like you just put it perfectly, it was at the same percentage where I realized the same thing as you and yet it really was still so interesting! You and I can chat about that ending though lolol. Honestly, great review and thanks for pinning down what I just couldn’t figure out! *high fives all around*

  3. I remember from his Summoner books that Taran Matharu is good at writing quick, action-packed books, but I had the same problem – that it didn’t feel like much was going on. I did end up finishing the series though because I got invested in what was happening 🙂

    I probably won’t pick up this one because of my experiences with the Summoner series, but I might pick up this one for my classroom library since it sounds just about right to hold my students’ attention.

    • Sophia

      Oof sounds The Summoner is written in a similar style – I’ll probably pass on that one for the experiences in The Chosen.