Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Contender: The Chosen (Contender # 1) – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four Stars


RELEASED: 11 June 2019

Publisher:  Hachette Australia

Format: Paperback

Pages: 345

RRP:  AU$19.99



Cade Cater is lost

Convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, Cade is facing a year in reform school when he finds himself suddenly transported to another realm.

But this new world is no escape

Populated by bloodthirsty prehistoric creatures and fierce warriors, Cade’s surroundings are full of danger. Along with his fellow students, Cade is forces to become a contender in a deadly game of the highest stakes, controlled by invisible overlords.

Who are these brutal rulers, and why did they choose Cade? Before he can find answers, Cade must get ready to fight…

Because in this game, failure is not an option




Thankyou to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Contender: The Chosen, in exchange for an honest review.

After being falsely accused of stealing, Cade is expelled from his boarding school and sent to reform school.  Suddenly he finds himself transported to another world, a world full of monsters and prehistoric beasts.  When he discovers others from his school have also arrived, they set out to find out where they are, and more importantly, why.

The Chosen was a fun adventure style book with an engaging plot.  I was definitely drawn in by the hint of dinosaurs in the synopsis, and was not disappointed.  I appreciated the descriptions including the more up to date knowledge about how dinosaurs would have looked and acted too.  The inclusion of lots of different artefacts and even people from different centuries was a bit confusing, until the very end, and at times I felt like there was maybe a bit too much information – almost like multiple history lessons were being forced upon me.  It’s not that it wasn’t interesting information, it was, it just seemed a little superfluous to the style of story.

The action and suspense while Cade made his way through the jungle, and the scenes at the end were really well done.  I didn’t want to put the book down and was pretty desperate to find out what on Earth (or off Earth) was going on.  Part of that was due to the amount of “somehow this happened” and “Cade had no idea how it had happened”, with no attempt to find out, though.  I’m not a big fan of seeing those type of sentences too often in a book.  It sometimes feels like a bit of a cop out, so nothing has to be properly explained.  Admittedly, a lot of it WAS explained in the end though and definitely finished in a way that had me absolutely looking forward to the next book in the series!

In all, I actually really loved the story in this one, the writing was just a little off at times for me, but the plot line was great.  If you enjoyed The Hunter Games, Lord of the Flies and anything dinosaur related, definitely give this one a try!




Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl

2 thoughts on “Contender: The Chosen (Contender # 1) – ARC Review”

  1. I get where you’re coming from about the overload of information, it was a lot to process at times! but you know what’s funny – I went to Hachette’s site to copy the link for my review and I totally forgot their blurb referenced a main character that wasn’t even in the book! “Cade, a misunderstood juvenile delinquent, and Harriet, a Victorian cat-burglar, live in two different eras – until they’re both transported to another world.” Harriet the cat-burglar was mainly why I requested this, lol, but I forgot about her existence by the time I got the book!

    Liked by 1 person

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