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The Savior's Champion

The Savior's Series, Book 1
Written by: Jenna Moreci
Narrated by: Nick Denton
Length: 20 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Romance, Paranormal
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 warnings: this book contains graphic violence, foul language, and sexual situations.

©2017 Jenna Moreci (P)2019 Jenna Moreci

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Predictable but very cute and well written gore

The narrator does an excellent job making memorable voices for each character and really brings the book to life. The writing style works great as an audiobook, it was like watching a very gorey game show. The story was a lot heavier on the romance than expected and not as mystical fantasy as I had hoped but makes for a cute young adult novel. The world wasn't engaging enough for me to want to listen to a sequel but I did enjoy the experience

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SO SO SO AMAZING

I can't think of anything bad to say about this book other than I wish the next one would come out already .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, AMAZING narrator!!

This is a fun, interesting, fast paced and intense fantasy story that I LOVE!!!!!! I never listen to an audiobook of a book I’ve already read but fell absolutely in love with Nick’s voice, he nailed the ENTIRE thing!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever listened to someone bring a book to life like this!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Holly Mo
  • 2019-04-15

Story Didn't Have To Be This Long

This is one of those stories in which I found myself sighing in exasperation, because the lead female character has an obvious secret--and if she had revealed it earlier on in the book, a lot of people would not have suffered and/or died. She doesn't reveal the secret until the very end, and her reasoning for being secretive is pretty weak, when compared to the loses that result from the secret.

The reader can figure out her secret pretty early in the book, which makes the lead male character look a little dim witted, since he somehow keeps missing all the clues.

I think I'd have a more positive impression, had the book been shorter. It was one thing to be annoyed by the lengthy reveal, but it was definitely exacerbated by the multiple teaser scenes. She'd announce that she has a secret, he'd, say, "what is it?" But instead of revealing it, she'd waver about how she was worried about his reaction... then they'd get distracted, and I'd yell, "AW, COME ON! NOT AGAIN! JUST TELL HIM YOUR DAMN SECRET!"

The story isn't bad, I just felt that it dragged on further than it needed to.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • jayde
  • 2019-07-17

A Struggle..... For the listener

So........ I wanted to like this book, I really did. The author is an amazing youtuber with great advice, but this book didn't live up. It has a great concept, great ideas, but it was very poorly executed. Though the Nerrator was doing great, the rest of the story as well as the concepts explored in this book fell flat.

The characters, though they held some interesting qualities(and only very little at that), I found myself not caring about them, including the protagonist. I found myself wanting scenes to be over so that maybe, just maybe, the next one would be good. I've owned this book for some time and struggled with every step along the reading process. Not due to any complexity, but due to the lack of drive, the boring "action" scenes, and the dragging plot. She seemed to choose to tell rather than to show.

The story has a soft magic system, which is perfectly fine, however it produces several ex machina throughout the book, resolving any and all tension without any payoff.

As good as the authors writing advice is, this book makes me question the authenticity of her tips and advice, for she didn't seem to follow any of her own tricks.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rachael Hernandez
  • 2019-07-13

"The Bachelorette" for newer readers

*Spoiler Free*

At first, the worst thing I could say about this book is that it was adequate....until I got to the half way point. I love romance books, and I love stories that get "dark", but this felt like it was written by someone who has only a shallow understanding of what makes each of those ideas great.

Let's start with the main character, Tobias. In the beginning, he's fairly proactive, and there's a lot to like about him. He's hard working, has a good relationship with family, etc. He joins the death game style tournament willingly, and seems poised to lead us on a harrowing journey to survive. Unfortunately, his goal is already met as soon as he enters the tournament. Whether he lives or dies doesn't matter anymore outside of him being the audience surrogate, so the stakes are non-existent outside of surviving for his own sake.

That wouldn't be a problem, except that the book never frames his survival as result of his choices. The challenges are essentially a stick that get used over and over to prod him into action, and it robs him of his agency. Several times it's mentioned how the competitors have "had their humanity robbed of them", and its true in all the worst ways. What started as a promising protagonist has slowly been beaten into a handbag whose only purpose is to be carried all the way to the finals. It's not fun, entertaining, or even suspenseful, since we know he'll survive everything anyways.

It's not just Tobias either. A majority of the supporting cast are underdeveloped, reduced down to their archetypes. "Nice hunter guy", "Horny nobleman", "Honorable but stupid dude". They're all fairly one note for the majority of the story, except later on when the author starts telegraphing that its their turn to die soon in an attempt to get you more attached before the "shocking reveal". Anyone we're not meant to get attached to gets a limited vocabulary that revolves around "cock", "cunt", and "fuck", and exist as puppets to show that Tobias is clearly the contestant to root for by comparison.

The antagonists are particularly disappointing. Over the book, there are four primary forces that try to get in Tobias's way, or outright kill them. Except, they don't nearly as often as you think they would in a death match. While there's a later explanation about why there aren't any assassination attempts on Tobias between matches, you'd think there would be a lot more...direct effort from people who have killed other competitors without a thought earlier on.

Perhaps its because the villains are just dumb muscle. None of them have a personality beyond "I am big, tough, and clearly better than you." Imagine having three copies of "The Mountain" from "Game of Thrones", and they all say more or less the same three sentences. As intimidating as the man's supposed to be, it gets boring, repetitive, and kills any chance at satisfaction since he beats them all the same way.

But even with all of that, the book was still passable if bland. The real trouble starts in the second half, once all of the competitors finally leave the tunnel.

Throughout the book, there's a running sub-plot about Tobias falling in love with a secretive and tight-lipped woman. They're early interactions are cute, and it was nice to see them slowly getting to know each other. But once they're out of the cave, the slow and nicely paced romance gets thrown out the window for desperate proclamations of love, despite having known each other for only a few weeks, and still feeling each other out as people. Tobias's emotional IQ drops several points in order to stir up lazy drama between him and his partner. It frames him as an emotionally abusive/manipulative asshole that isn't worth our investment.

One scene is particularly hair screechingly frustrating because Tobias's partner is begging him to let her share his secret. But Tobias is so far up his ass that he refuses to hear her out. Later, when the secret is revealed, he starts biting her head off about how "she lied", about how she was "using him", despite the fact that he was the one shutting her up and refusing to listen. There are at least two or three more scenes like this, and it is so frustrating to see such lazy and artificial conflict ruin what could have been a serviceable relationship.

Speaking of twists and secrets (I won't give spoilers), but the book burns all of its good ones within the first act. There are ~3 deaths to start, and the book makes it very clear that everyone WILL die eventually, so why bother getting emotionally attached to any of them? One character's "twist secret" can be figured out with her introduction, and makes dragging out the reveal incredibly frustrating and unsatisfying. While there is a massive backstory to explore, this book hasn't given me any reason to care about it.

Older teens and new adults who haven't explored books like this may get to enjoy this title, and more power to them. For someone who actively reads books in the "dark", "fantasy", & "romance" genres, however, all of the above represent tired, overused tropes that serve as crutches for writers that aren't willing/able to come up with better solutions.

Overall, this book isn't worth your time. It's a chore to get through and you'd be better served spending your money/credits on another title. Personally, I will not be buying any of the author's other titles in the future because, as this book so poignantly says, "Fuck the Savior".

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn Shaw-Case
  • 2019-06-16

Oh boy

Genuinely shocked at the positive reviews for this work. I'm not one to write reviews normally, but if someone could find this which is in contention with the outrageous four stars, and this saves them some money, then it was worth writing. I feel bad for the voice actor, who wasn't quite as awful, although the random accent changes were extremely confusing.

First, its a romance novel. Don't allow the advertising and author to convince you otherwise. That doesn't automatically make it a bad book, don't get me wrong. Not all romance novels are awful. This just happens to be one that is not only a bad romance book, it is one marketed as an adventure fantasy. The political intrigue and power dynamics are as shallow as a high school teen flick. Nothing makes sense and everyone is dumb. The cliches are murderous. From ceaseless and casual phrases, such as "in another time, you and I could have been friends," to entire characters that start to meld together into bizarre caricatures. The main characters are depicted in such a strangely "aren't they so perfect" way they become completely unlikable. Add in hefty exposition, poor and weak world-building, confusing contradictions, absent descriptions that result in characters seemingly acting as floating heads arguing on a white stage, and bizarre dialogue that will make you cry "who even talks like this??"

There is so much wrong with this book, it's hard to even summarize.

The entire conceit begs so many unanswered questions. How could our Mary Sue Savior, who banished all the bad in the world just by virtue of being born, have a competition to the death for her hand in marriage? The book will hand-wave this with "isn't tradition so bad and sad? We should challenge tradition!" This is, of course, without an examination into how traditions are formed or sustained. It is what it is and isn't it bad? Our main character, Tobias, enters the competition because of his sister, who is positioned as a burden and not a person, despite being vehemently opposed to it and after literally a single night of thinking about it. We're never told why he is so exceptional as to question this tradition and think it is stupid, other than that the author herself holds that point of view.

In all the men in all the areas who tried out for the competition, wouldn't you know that Tobias' best friend and neighbor, who convinced him to join in a single night, also makes it in! What are the chances? It makes the world seem incredibly small, despite another Champion claiming to be from another kingdom ruled by another Queen, and a scene near the end where a bunch of foreign rulers show up for apparently no reason other than to bet and give Tobias a reason to talk smack. These sort of convenient set ups are continuous, making little sense and receiving little explanation. The Evil Dudes are evil for no reason, even when it would be in their self-interests to be "good." (The black and white morality of this book is also a huge point of contention for me.)

Even after reading, I have so many questions. Not "ohhh whats going to happen next" questions. No. Questions like: Why all the "cock," Moreci? Why did the main character have a scene touching himself? Why do they speak like teenagers, except the near constant and maddening "apologies?" Why do the characters use the word "God" in a world with a walking Goddess, is this in line with their religions, what are their religions?? Why?

Basically, this reads as a first draft. It is a first draft that needs hard editing, from the world to the writing. There was a concept here that might have worked, given the time and effort and editing required, and the removal of the Mary Sue Savior who cures the world of all Bad Things. Adult concepts are clumsily handled in the style of a middle grade fiction, with characters straight out of a sexist nightmare. There are just so many times a good editor would have gone, "yo, what, dude?"

Such as when a character explains its okay his wife died in childbirth, as she was destined to be with him.

Or when the love interest comforts the main character that, even though his sister's life must be the worst ever because she can't walk, she has him and he is "good."

Or how the quasi-Roman crowd expose their chests to flash the main character in a way that reads like a bad concert fic.

Or how the only other women allowed to exist are either mentally disabled, related to the main character, lesbian, or Evil. Other than the perfect love interest, of course. Which serves to make her exist in a vacuum where she is free of sexual competition, which is bizarre. We are gifted entire conversations between male characters which revolve around how superior love interest is to the Evil female character, who only has "shallow beauty."

That's before we even touch on the sexualized "more girl than woman" who is only added at the end to discuss how she wants to sleep with the Champions. This child is also Evil and begs her much older husband to purchase one (with the biggest cock) for the night for him to watch uh yeah, something he apparently enjoys. Again, what?

Oh, and Tobias' first kiss was with a much older girl who sexually assaulted him??

Clearly Moreci has a big issue with women.

She also positions sexual promiscuity as going hand in hand with being morally evil, and being sexually chaste with morally good. She reinforces this over and over. It's so outdated and strange, I didn't even catch it at first. But there it was, all along. This character is good because she has restraint and won't sleep with Tobias, this character is bad because she wants to sleep with Tobias. Ironically, this traditional message is inherent in the text despite Moreci constantly going "isn't tradition bad??" The cognitive dissonance is so prevalent. It's also prevalent when Tobias' superiority complex rears its head and he laments on "how anyone could love this character they've had one conversation with." All the while, he's willing to die for someone he's had a handful of (often antagonistic) exchanges with. All the conflict between the love interests, which spans pages and pages of fighting and hurt feelings, is entirely because of a failure to communicate.

Wow this review is long. I could go on. I have gone on, already, but this is just touching the surface of the issues within the book. It would take a review exponentially longer than this one to properly go through how awful it is. In sum, what, dude?

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennipher Bishop
  • 2019-05-15

Premise was nice but was pretty basic.

The overall idea was pretty solid, but the execution could have been so much better.

I'll give credit where credit is due. The author worked her butt off for this book, as evident with her YouTube channel. I applaud her for this. Even the narrator was pretty decent, and he did his best.

But the plot twist was evident the entire time. Maybe that was the author's intention, maybe not. The other plot twists didn't exactly appear evident, but they weren't hinted enough either. One was mentioned earlier on in the book, but another one, not so much. The information wasn't given in a consistent manner.

The main character did not seem to evolve, at least to me. He remained relatively the same, other than falling in love. He had a lot of things spelled out for him when it could have been used as a great plot point for suspense.

** Mild spoiler ahead**

The biggest example was one of the best scenes of the book, in my opinion. Before the competition moved to the palace, Leila told Tobias to not look at the statues. So much suspense and terror could have been implemented in the garden when the statues came to life, trying to kill everyone. It would have been such an amazing scene if he didn't know something was wrong with looking at the statues and telling everyone beforehand.

I get it, it was written this way to expose Tobias's kind nature as a reflection from earlier when he saved Flynn, but in my opinion, he shouldn't have been given this ONE thing like he had been given everything else.

I feel this book could have been so much better. Maybe the second book will answer many of the questions that I still have.

It reads like a YA novel, although it's classified, at least by the author, as an adult dark fantasy/romance. So if you haven't really read a ton of adult novels, but you want to read adult words like "cock" a lot, then this book is for you.

Overall, it was an alright story. I've seen a lot of people enjoy this book, and I've also seen others who were not as charmed. I'm of the latter group.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Poeros
  • Mesa, AZ
  • 2019-07-01

DNFed because of story

The narrator was great, but that really doesn't make up for a predictable story with a poor setting and bad characters. I had a lot of hope for this book, but between the dialogue and Gary Due characters, I'm just disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-10

Story isn't worth it

The reading of the book was great. The narrator was able to deliver it well, but the story wasn't good. It was too cliche, at some point I got tired of hearing the words, something and apologies...The plot was also predictable... early on I was able to predict the main twist of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-05-07

Awful Narration

I was very excited to listen to this audiobook since I actually follow the author on social media, but as soon as pressed play I immediately got a headache from just listening to the narrator. Soon after I decided to just exchange it for another book that sparked my interest. I may or may not give this book a second chance later on since I know that I didn't give it a fair shot, but for now I think I'll just wait until I get myself a physical copy of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Tamar
  • Virginia, USA
  • 2019-04-15

Don't waste your credit/money

The story is long winded and pointless. There is no reason for ANY of the things that happen and they are described in such detail it was painful. I bout this because of the 4.8 rating but I don't know how it got that. The tasks were pointless and the characters were vapid. I kept thinking it would get better but it never did. There's 20 hours of my life I won't get back. Such a waste.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Baldwin
  • 2019-09-24

everything I expected and more

I was so excited for this book. I've been following Jenna on YouTube and couldn't wait to get into this. I was not disappointed.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cheerioh
  • 2019-06-14

une histoire très sympa et très bien lue, marrant

The Savior's Champion est une histoire avec des gens qui n'ont pas envie d'être où ils sont ou ce qu'ils sont. Alors l'ayant écoutée, je ne sais pas comment écrire tous les noms de cette histoire mais en gros dans cet univers toute la culture dépend de l'existence d'un être magique: the Savior.

C'est toujours une femme et à sa majorité lors d'un tournoi auquel tout homme peut s'inscrire, des candidats luttent pour devenir le champion du Savior, celui qui l'épousera. Tobias n'a pas du tout l'intention de s'inscrire mais sa famille en a besoin. Il est sélectionné évidemment et se retrouve en compétition mortelle face à tout un tas d'autres bonhommes.

Entre action et intrigues de cour, je dois avouer que l'écoute était assez amusante. J'ai découvert l'auteure par ses vidéos sur Youtube et elle avait la langue sacrément pendue alors j'ai décidé de lui donner sa chance bien qu'elle soit en auto édition. Et aucun regret, c'est du bon.

On suit les journées de Tobias d'abord dans les tunnels avec des épreuves teintées de magie, puis au palais du Savior. Les relations entre les personnages deviennnent de plus en plus complexes. Les échanges sont souvent rigolos entre eux.

Bref, je recommande sans aucun souci ce récit assez long mais heureusement fort bien lu de fantasy (sauf si vous n'aimez pas les récits qui ne développent pas trop les univers).

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marine C
  • 2019-05-07

A true journey !

I read the book as soon as it came out and HAD to listen to the audiobook ! I never though I'd enjoy that format but Nick Denton's way of reading completely convinced me ! It was already my favorite book, and I'm so happy the audio experience was goof too. I'll be listening to it over and over again !