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The stakes are higher than ever in The Challenger, the second book in the Contender YA trilogy by the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, Taran Matharu. The first battle is over, but the Game is just beginning... Cade Carter and his friends have survived the qualifying round of the mysterious overlords' twisted games, decimated by the loss of so many of The stakes are higher than ever in The Challenger, the second book in the Contender YA trilogy by the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, Taran Matharu. The first battle is over, but the Game is just beginning... Cade Carter and his friends have survived the qualifying round of the mysterious overlords' twisted games, decimated by the loss of so many of their comrades during the fight. But they have no time to mourn, for the next round of trials is about to begin. When the group discovers that their next foe will be even more ferocious than the last, Cade leads them on a quest out into their strange new world to find anything that might give them an edge. But what they find in the wilds could prove to be even more dangerous than the impending battle... The stakes are higher than ever in this thrilling sequel to The Chosen.


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The stakes are higher than ever in The Challenger, the second book in the Contender YA trilogy by the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, Taran Matharu. The first battle is over, but the Game is just beginning... Cade Carter and his friends have survived the qualifying round of the mysterious overlords' twisted games, decimated by the loss of so many of The stakes are higher than ever in The Challenger, the second book in the Contender YA trilogy by the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, Taran Matharu. The first battle is over, but the Game is just beginning... Cade Carter and his friends have survived the qualifying round of the mysterious overlords' twisted games, decimated by the loss of so many of their comrades during the fight. But they have no time to mourn, for the next round of trials is about to begin. When the group discovers that their next foe will be even more ferocious than the last, Cade leads them on a quest out into their strange new world to find anything that might give them an edge. But what they find in the wilds could prove to be even more dangerous than the impending battle... The stakes are higher than ever in this thrilling sequel to The Chosen.

30 review for The Challenger

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    The Challenger is a fast-paced and awesome sequel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    Fierce battles to the death for entertainment, teens forced to kill or be killed and it all takes place on a strange new world where monsters really do live and survival is paramount. THE CHALLENGER by Taran Matharu continues his Contender Trilogy and book two shines like a beacon of Young Adult fantasy reading as Cade and his group must face both the loss of their friends and an impending battle designed to leave no survivors. Taran Matharu is back and he has once again nailed action, adventure, Fierce battles to the death for entertainment, teens forced to kill or be killed and it all takes place on a strange new world where monsters really do live and survival is paramount. THE CHALLENGER by Taran Matharu continues his Contender Trilogy and book two shines like a beacon of Young Adult fantasy reading as Cade and his group must face both the loss of their friends and an impending battle designed to leave no survivors. Taran Matharu is back and he has once again nailed action, adventure, loss and heroics as one young man must lead his group, come of age and reach beyond anything he could have imagined himself capable of. Dark, brilliantly choreographed action, epic battles, and a group of teens who are forced to adapt to the unimaginable. THIS is what will make young readers lifelong readers! Positive examples of what a person can do when backed against the wall, concern for others, and inner strengths beyond the imagination! Cover to cover, this one is a keeper as it thrusts readers into a dark and twisted world! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Feiwel & Friends! This is my honest and voluntary review. Series: Contender - Book 2 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (August 11, 2020) Publication Date: August 11, 2020 Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure Print Length: 400 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As much as I loved book one in the Contender trilogy, book two was even better- and that's not something that I get to say often! You're not being lied to when people say that the stakes are higher in The Challenger! You can expect to see more character development in this one- as well as the introduction to some exciting new characters, the exploration of the world that this story takes place in, and the prehistoric 5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As much as I loved book one in the Contender trilogy, book two was even better- and that's not something that I get to say often! You're not being lied to when people say that the stakes are higher in The Challenger! You can expect to see more character development in this one- as well as the introduction to some exciting new characters, the exploration of the world that this story takes place in, and the prehistoric beasts that inhabit it!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Bookbookowl)

    Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of Contender: The Challenger, in exchange for an honest review! ***As The Challenger is book 2 in the series, there may be spoilers for book 1, The Chosen, in my review!*** There are some things I am all the way there for in books, and prehistoric creatures is firmly in that box.  I really enjoyed the first book, The Chosen, but I absolutely LOVED The Challenger! I think I said it before in my review of the first book, but an author who Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of Contender: The Challenger, in exchange for an honest review! ***As The Challenger is book 2 in the series, there may be spoilers for book 1, The Chosen, in my review!*** There are some things I am all the way there for in books, and prehistoric creatures is firmly in that box.  I really enjoyed the first book, The Chosen, but I absolutely LOVED The Challenger! I think I said it before in my review of the first book, but an author who not only includes dinosaurs in their book, but actually writes about more than just a T-Rex, has my whole heart (not that there's anything wrong with T-Rexes, of course, just that we rarely get to see some of my other favourites, such as Megalodon and Kronosaurus - this book had both of those and more!) But, before I get totally sidetracked just fangirling over dinosaurs, let me also say that this book had a brilliant story line with non stop action and adventure.  Where book one felt a little like information overload at times, The Challenger threw us directly into the action.  After the last battle at the end of book one, the remaining characters are trying to recover and find out what they are supposed to do next.  When they discover one of them will need to engage in a terrifying battle, they set out to find armour to give them some advantage. With friendships now firmly formed, I was much more invested in the characters and their fate too.   Once again there were plenty of really interesting history tidbits (I don't often pause to look things up while reading a novel, but I did a few times here, simply because my interest was piqued over some subjects and I wanted to know more).  With some truly epic battles and more than a few heart pounding moments, I'd recommend picking this series up if you're looking for something a little different (or simply need a dinosaur fix, like me ) MY BLOG ~ INSTAGRAM

  5. 5 out of 5

    donna

    Thank you for MacMillan the free arc via edelweiss. I really enjoyed this book. Think of a cross between The Hunger Games and The Maze. There were so many distractions in the book I did not think we were really going to get to the main objective, but we did. Excited to see what happens next as I am not ready for this to end. Not much romance but surprisingly I did not care. That tells me how engaging the story is.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Challenger is the second book in Matharu's The Contender series and it does not disappoint. Cade finds his precarious situation quickly becoming even more tenuous, The challenges the characters face become even more complex and deadly with increasingly higher stakes. The characters themselves continue to evolve and mature, in an impressively realistic manner. The ever evolving relationships betwe I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Challenger is the second book in Matharu's The Contender series and it does not disappoint. Cade finds his precarious situation quickly becoming even more tenuous, The challenges the characters face become even more complex and deadly with increasingly higher stakes. The characters themselves continue to evolve and mature, in an impressively realistic manner. The ever evolving relationships between the characters is what drew me in the most however. As the characters figure out how to face new challenges, it is their relationships with one another that help determine their success or failure. You find yourself emotionally invested in these characters and the decisions they make.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bo0kSLoth

    Get ready for more action, thrilling entertainment and a return to this strange, wonderful world. Monsters and survival is paramount for Cade and his group. They will encounter loss and so much more. There is a lot going on in this book and it has much to offer. There are times will it will seem predictable, but overall it is a great addition to this trology

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dreximgirl

    I didnt love this as much as the first one. I think it struggled a bit being the middle book. The characters were still good and some of the new ones were amazing but the plot was a bit messy and too much time spent in one area and not enough in others. Also that ending was a massive cliffhanger!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Beth Mendelsohn

    Thank you to NetGalley and McMillan Children’s Publishing Group for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was sooo excited to see this sequel pop up on NetGalley! I really enjoyed the first book. The Challenger picks up shortly after the events of The Chosen. Cade and his friends have just survived their battle when Abaddon, their keeper, informs them that there is more to come. It is a competition among the immortal beings using the intelligent life forms from v Thank you to NetGalley and McMillan Children’s Publishing Group for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was sooo excited to see this sequel pop up on NetGalley! I really enjoyed the first book. The Challenger picks up shortly after the events of The Chosen. Cade and his friends have just survived their battle when Abaddon, their keeper, informs them that there is more to come. It is a competition among the immortal beings using the intelligent life forms from various planets to battle each other and move up the leaderboard, like a lethal form of soccer or tennis. To prepare, Cade, Scott, Quintus, Amber, and Grace go into the jungle looking for useful remnants, like armor. They are soon captured by slavers and taken to New Rome and trained as gladiators, fighting other “moderns” to the death. The winners get their freedom. As I mentioned before, I was super excited to read this and Matharu did not disappoint. The slow spots were quickly transformed by the action and the ending, of course, will leave you hanging as this is a trilogy. I would definitely recommend this for readers grade 7 and up. #TheChallenger #NetGalley

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anais (atrailofpages)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received this ARC from a giveaway I won on Goodreads. Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book! This is more of a 3.5 star rating for me. I would say I enjoyed it more than the first. Mostly because the kids didn’t bother me as much as the first one. They kind of irritated me in the first book. It did take an odd and random turn when they get caught and have to fight in a coliseum. I just thought it was out of line of the story, but in the end, it did make sense why the story when the I received this ARC from a giveaway I won on Goodreads. Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book! This is more of a 3.5 star rating for me. I would say I enjoyed it more than the first. Mostly because the kids didn’t bother me as much as the first one. They kind of irritated me in the first book. It did take an odd and random turn when they get caught and have to fight in a coliseum. I just thought it was out of line of the story, but in the end, it did make sense why the story when the route it did. The kids definitely grew up in this book. I think they really realized after the end of the first book that this was real, they were stuck, and had to actually start taking things more seriously. They learned to work together, be a team, and help each other get through the situation. The ending was very fast. I was actually really surprised in the end when it just ended. I thought the point of this book was a build up for the next book for the next battle Cade had to face as contender, but it happened and finished at the end of this book. So, makes me wonder what happens in the next book then 😅

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Talk about leaving you hanging! A frustrating (yet fitting) end to a cracking story. Picking up not long after the events of Book One, Cade learns that he is to act as the representative in a much bigger battle. It’s a threat he is ill-equipped to deal with, so the priority for the group at the start is to find armour. Unfortunately, while searching for what they need the group are taken by slavers. Cade has to barter for his freedom - resulting in them being forced to participate in the emperor’s Talk about leaving you hanging! A frustrating (yet fitting) end to a cracking story. Picking up not long after the events of Book One, Cade learns that he is to act as the representative in a much bigger battle. It’s a threat he is ill-equipped to deal with, so the priority for the group at the start is to find armour. Unfortunately, while searching for what they need the group are taken by slavers. Cade has to barter for his freedom - resulting in them being forced to participate in the emperor’s gladiatorial games. What follows is fraught with danger, but wholly believable. Seen from Cade’s perspective we are made to witness a number of awful battles as he strives to complete the tasks put in front of him to secure what he needs to have a chance of success. We get a lot of awful scenes, but Cade’s honest reactions to these mean we never see them as anything other than a very necessary step towards what he needs to do to get home (or be in with a chance to). There’s hints of romance, which you could see coming a mile off. There’s deepening bonds of friendship and there’s a clear sense that these characters we come to care about are mere pawns in a much bigger game. I am so grateful to NetGalley for granting me access to this in exchange for my thoughts. Now I need to dig a little and see what the plans for part three are...I have questions that I’m really hoping will be answered!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Challenger Author: Taran Matharu Book Series: Contender book 2 Diversity: Middle Eastern main character and deaf/hard of hearing side character Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: Adventure, male lead, History facts Publication Date: August 11, 2020 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Pages: 400 Recommended Age: 16+ (slavery tw, death, violence, gore) Synopsis: Cade Carter and his friends have survived the qualifying round of Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Challenger Author: Taran Matharu Book Series: Contender book 2 Diversity: Middle Eastern main character and deaf/hard of hearing side character Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: Adventure, male lead, History facts Publication Date: August 11, 2020 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Pages: 400 Recommended Age: 16+ (slavery tw, death, violence, gore) Synopsis: Cade Carter and his friends have survived the qualifying round of the mysterious overlords' twisted games, decimated by the loss of so many of their comrades during the fight. But they have no time to mourn, for the next round of trials is about to begin. When the group discovers that their next foe will be even more ferocious than the last, Cade leads them on a quest out into their strange new world to find anything that might give them an edge. But what they find in the wilds could prove to be even more dangerous than the impending battle... Review: For the most part I thought this was a well done book! I loved the concept and the plot kept me intrigued throughout the whole book. The world building was marvelous and I felt that the action scenes were well scripted. Overall, I loved this sequel. However, I don't think the author did as well for character development as he did in the first book. The book also had a little less history than the first book. Verdict: Solid sequel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Look. Of all the books? This is one where the MC (Cade) should not have ever asked or thought- "What fresh horror could they have prepared?" But he did. And I screamed- NO DON'T ASK THAT. And Taran Matharu cackled. And I thought... DAMN IT, CADE. link: Full Review at Novel Lives Look. Of all the books? This is one where the MC (Cade) should not have ever asked or thought- "What fresh horror could they have prepared?" But he did. And I screamed- NO DON'T ASK THAT. And Taran Matharu cackled. And I thought... DAMN IT, CADE. link: Full Review at Novel Lives

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren loves llamas

    Content warnings: (view spoiler)[slavery, death and gladiatorial-style fighting and injuries, grief (hide spoiler)] This series is straight-forward history-geek action adventure, and I am all here for it. This is the second book in a series, and I wouldn’t recommend reading it before the first. Still grieving the deaths of his friends in the last battle, Cade and the other teens on the planet Acies have been given even worse news. Cade’s been chosen to battle one-on-one with another world’s conten Content warnings: (view spoiler)[slavery, death and gladiatorial-style fighting and injuries, grief (hide spoiler)] This series is straight-forward history-geek action adventure, and I am all here for it. This is the second book in a series, and I wouldn’t recommend reading it before the first. Still grieving the deaths of his friends in the last battle, Cade and the other teens on the planet Acies have been given even worse news. Cade’s been chosen to battle one-on-one with another world’s contender, and losing will mean that the Earth will be destroyed. But what can one half-starved and injured teenager hope to do against an alien race armed with tentacles and claws? Cade decides their only hope is to find some sort of relic for himself, so he, Quintus, Scott, Grace and Amber leave the keep to explore, leaving behind Yoshi and the twins Bea and Trix. But there’s more danger outside the keep than just dinosaurs, and they soon find themselves taken captive. Will Cade and the others survive, escape and make it back to the keep in time…. only to lose their chance at returning home to Earth forever? “I’m sorry,” Cade said. “It all happened so fast. I didn’t ask to be the one who makes decisions. Trust me.” Amber’s look softened. “It’s done now,” she said. “Just . . . try to keep us in mind next time.” But he had. Every choice he made weighed heavy on his soul. But he didn’t begrudge their frustration. He knew what it felt like to have his fate decided by others. Perhaps more than most.” Even before being chosen as the contender, Cade’s been the de factor leader of the group. For the most part, I think Cade acts exactly like a real teen would in his circumstances – he gets angry and makes stupid mistakes sometimes, but he’s also very aware of the consequences of his actions. He’s weighed down by guilt and the knowledge that the fate of not just his friends but the whole world basically rests on him. The smaller group means more time spent on the dynamics between the five of them. There’s especially a lot of time on Cade’s relationship with Quintus and also his budding romance with Amber. It’s a sweet but very tame romance – nothing more than a kiss – but it did add a little more dimension to their characters. There’s new characters as well, and I especially loved Tsuru and her story. There’s less exploration in this book than the first, but that doesn’t mean less action. The story is non-stop from the moment they decide to leave the keep until the end of the book. Given the cover, I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that the teens end up being trained as gladiators. I found the bits of actual history (how the ludus works, the weapons, the other characters’ backstories) intriguing and well-integrated into Cade’s story. “You’re allowed to feel sorry for yourself. You’re allowed to be scared. But I won’t let you take their deaths on your shoulders.” Her finger jabbed out at the dark jungle. “You think we’d have lasted this long out there?” Cade shrugged, and wiped his face a second time. “I’m alive right now because of what you did. Me and the others. Not to mention countless souls back on Earth. Leaders make hard choices. Sometimes you don’t get to save everyone.” There are several unanswered questions from the last book – who were those people who had captured the girls and Cade? what happened to Finch? – that are explored more in depth here, though more are also raised. Why does Abaddon seem to favor taking teenagers? What does he have planned next? The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’m absolutely desperate for the next one. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one! I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    4/5 stars While the series still does not live up to the love I had for Matharu's other series, I found this book much more enjoyable. The plot started much sooner and the cast of characters was kept limited, which made me somewhat attached to them. Not an awful lot, but more so. I wished that the plot had taken a slightly different turn since the goal now felt like the means to an end. The second challenge the kids had to face was only a minor part of the story, yet it starts the book and it end 4/5 stars While the series still does not live up to the love I had for Matharu's other series, I found this book much more enjoyable. The plot started much sooner and the cast of characters was kept limited, which made me somewhat attached to them. Not an awful lot, but more so. I wished that the plot had taken a slightly different turn since the goal now felt like the means to an end. The second challenge the kids had to face was only a minor part of the story, yet it starts the book and it ends it. Also, I wished that there was a little more conclusion at the end. The amount of history was, at times, a little too much. At times, it felt like I was reading Wikipedia pages. But I love the historical vibe of the book and the way the characters interacted with one another. While I don't adore Cade as an mc, I loved most of the supporting cast. I was terrified of their safety since they technically were disposable. I'm happy that the female characters weren't considered weak and that they fought as well as the rest. Only the romance made me go 'why'? Admittedly, I'm not big on romance. I like the possible side paring (view spoiler)[Grace and Scott??? (hide spoiler)] but I'm not to keen on the main romance, especially since it serves little purpose. I don't feel like the characters are all that close for romance in such a situation. Overall, I liked the plot and characters better, but I couldn't find the 'spark'. But I at least want to read the last book in this series to see how it ends. After all, there is only one more book left and in the past two books, they only managed the qualify themselves and stay in the top six. There are still two major battles to go, probably.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Loreon Mosher

    Have I mentioned how much I love Taran Matharu's work? Truly I love it. BUT... His writing can be slow going at times, but it is ALWAYS worth it. He doesn't usually disappoint. They're strong and entertaining..... But the delivery can be slow at times. If you can muscle through the slow parts, The Challenger was worth every page in the book! The Challenger kept you engaged and wanting to know more. There were times that you were like "did this really need to be put in there" But there weren't many Have I mentioned how much I love Taran Matharu's work? Truly I love it. BUT... His writing can be slow going at times, but it is ALWAYS worth it. He doesn't usually disappoint. They're strong and entertaining..... But the delivery can be slow at times. If you can muscle through the slow parts, The Challenger was worth every page in the book! The Challenger kept you engaged and wanting to know more. There were times that you were like "did this really need to be put in there" But there weren't many of those times and they we over quickly. I like the whole world and idea of taking remnants from earth. The entire concept is enough to keep me wanting more. The one thing I didn't care for is the end. It was a little lack luster. After a strong end to the first book, I was expecting more to this ending. Honestly, it could have been so much more. So much time and energy was put into this book and the story throughout it, that I thought the end was going to pack a punch... because ya know, if you have such a strong story in the middle of the book then your ending had to pack a punch. Unfortunately, The Challenger didn't pack a punch, but there is always book three to redeem!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bluey Galaxy

    I have always loved Taran matharu’s books. This series was the second on my list because it has our history in it. The polish Kings armor, the spoken Latin (which isn’t a language anymore but some speak it through Europe. Even in our schools), the girls are from Europe anyhow. How the pirates slash slavers found out that Cade and his friends are 21st moderns. New Rome is Rome from Italy with their coliseum of death. I love the weapons they used in the games. Old time weapons are cool and neat. T I have always loved Taran matharu’s books. This series was the second on my list because it has our history in it. The polish Kings armor, the spoken Latin (which isn’t a language anymore but some speak it through Europe. Even in our schools), the girls are from Europe anyhow. How the pirates slash slavers found out that Cade and his friends are 21st moderns. New Rome is Rome from Italy with their coliseum of death. I love the weapons they used in the games. Old time weapons are cool and neat. There are some gore moments but there are not bad. I laughed a lot in the middle of the book. Cade is funny I think and I like quintus the best. A relationship is going on in here... codex, abaddon, sounds like Luna lovegood from Harry Potter or nebula, gamora’s sister from the guardians of the galaxy. Like Scott, snoutlot from how to train your dragon. Only his books are doable like this any other I would put down and not read. Well, holly black did good too. Near the end of contenders, it made me shudder at the though of how huge these dinosaurs are. Zeeb is different though. How gruesome these vicious Dino’s are, I would not meet one. The end of the trials... Taran matharu done so great on this book, thank you.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joe Boenzi

    In this second volume of the trilogy "Contender", author Taran Matharu re-presents the teens and young adults that fought against almost impossible odds to survive in the first volume of the trilogy. The main character is Cade, whom we met at the beginning of the story: a teen who was neglected and abused as a child, somehow framed for an impossible theft at his school and sent to a reform school where he endures more abuse. But Cade has an acute sense of justice. He learns to defend those whom In this second volume of the trilogy "Contender", author Taran Matharu re-presents the teens and young adults that fought against almost impossible odds to survive in the first volume of the trilogy. The main character is Cade, whom we met at the beginning of the story: a teen who was neglected and abused as a child, somehow framed for an impossible theft at his school and sent to a reform school where he endures more abuse. But Cade has an acute sense of justice. He learns to defend those whom he had abandoned out of fear in the past. In "The Challenger", Cade discovers that he and his friends must fight off monsters in order to save the Earth. They are unsure how they can do this but the challenge draws them closer. They discover that sorely needed weapons are hidden near their encampment, but when they set out to secure these weapons, they are captured by slavers who soon sell them to political leaders of the central city, a place called New Rome. They must first gain their freedom and then return to fight the monsters that surround their original encampment. This is a story about friendship, of facing shortcomings and enemies, and coming of age.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    Trapped on an alien world, Cade and his friends have been waiting for the next round of the life or death Contest to begin. When they leave their safe haven to train for it, their paths diverge wildly... I'll be honest; I went into this expecting more of what we had in the first book. I'd have been perfectly happy with that! It was good, exciting fun. This one has a completely different type of story line and adds several layers to what's going on, though. I still think these are a shade below Tar Trapped on an alien world, Cade and his friends have been waiting for the next round of the life or death Contest to begin. When they leave their safe haven to train for it, their paths diverge wildly... I'll be honest; I went into this expecting more of what we had in the first book. I'd have been perfectly happy with that! It was good, exciting fun. This one has a completely different type of story line and adds several layers to what's going on, though. I still think these are a shade below Taran's Summoner books, but only a shade below. This one is more complex than the first, with a lot of things going on on various levels. Taran is able to keep a lot of things going while only following one character, which is very clever. I was expecting things to stop a couple of chapters before they did, and now I'm really worried about what might happen in the third book! I don't know where things can go from here, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Bartoszek

    Oh my word, I just devoured this book in a couple of days. I was totally engrossed from beginning to end. Reading these books, you can see just how much research Taran Matharu has put into this. There is so much knowledge of so many eras, primarily with the dinosaurs and the Roman era, but he has put so much work into all of it. As for the story itself, it is gripping and well-paced. There is not a moment when nothing is happening, and yet it's paced enough that you just catch your breath before y Oh my word, I just devoured this book in a couple of days. I was totally engrossed from beginning to end. Reading these books, you can see just how much research Taran Matharu has put into this. There is so much knowledge of so many eras, primarily with the dinosaurs and the Roman era, but he has put so much work into all of it. As for the story itself, it is gripping and well-paced. There is not a moment when nothing is happening, and yet it's paced enough that you just catch your breath before you're plunged into the next thing. It's hard to comment on the characters without giving spoilers, but it is great to see Cade growing as he is. As a contender, and as an individual. Seeing him at the end, you can truly see how he has grown. I'm still curious to see just why Abaddon chose him, and just what Abaddon's actual motives for the future are. It is a series well worth reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Alyesa

    Like the first it was a good story and an interesting concept that was developed even further, but although alot happened...I felt like it was not even half the way there. It felt like a quarter of a book. If it had been classed as a middle grae book I would have said different; the plotline and where it went is perfect for this age to read in one book. As a young adult book....I was losing depth, and I swear that scene with in the arena (not enough to be a spoiler) is exactly the same as anothe Like the first it was a good story and an interesting concept that was developed even further, but although alot happened...I felt like it was not even half the way there. It felt like a quarter of a book. If it had been classed as a middle grae book I would have said different; the plotline and where it went is perfect for this age to read in one book. As a young adult book....I was losing depth, and I swear that scene with in the arena (not enough to be a spoiler) is exactly the same as another book I have read. I was literally reading it thinking to myself 'am I sure I have not read this book before and just forgotten'. It was that much of a de-ja-vu! Switch this to middle grade and it would be a 4 or 4.5 star...maybe even a 5, but as a young adult book.....a solid 3 star unfortunately. Meaning; it was a good story and I enjoyed it enough to maybe see what happens next....but it is not going on my to be read list.

  22. 4 out of 5

    KB

    The Challenger is the fast-paced, action-packed sequel to The Chosen. Dinosaurs. Gladiators. Aliens. What's not to love? The Challenger begins shortly after where The Chosen left off. With a few less contenders to fight for Earth's survival, Cade and the remainder of his group are healing and recuperating, but the clock is ticking. They are feeling the urgency to start planning for the next battle. With few supplies, they need to search for more remnants to gear up, but Abaddon has other plans in The Challenger is the fast-paced, action-packed sequel to The Chosen. Dinosaurs. Gladiators. Aliens. What's not to love? The Challenger begins shortly after where The Chosen left off. With a few less contenders to fight for Earth's survival, Cade and the remainder of his group are healing and recuperating, but the clock is ticking. They are feeling the urgency to start planning for the next battle. With few supplies, they need to search for more remnants to gear up, but Abaddon has other plans in mind for these young humans. Their next adventure brings them to New Rome and the gladiatorial arena where they face both new and old enemies. I love this series. I cannot wait to read the next book and find out what Abaddon has in store for Cade.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Curtis Grove

    I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the first book, since it felt a little rushed - the writing felt a little... stilted? and the story didn’t progress as much as I’d have liked it to (and the ending also felt pretty rushed), and I preferred the dual timeline in book 1, with Cade talking about his time spent in Reform School interspersed with the main storyline, but I am definitely loving reading more about this world and these characters, and I cannot wait for the next instalment in this serie I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the first book, since it felt a little rushed - the writing felt a little... stilted? and the story didn’t progress as much as I’d have liked it to (and the ending also felt pretty rushed), and I preferred the dual timeline in book 1, with Cade talking about his time spent in Reform School interspersed with the main storyline, but I am definitely loving reading more about this world and these characters, and I cannot wait for the next instalment in this series!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Silviano

    Taran Matharu has put in so much work into his books and it shows. All of the historical data is so expertly mixed with the narrative being told. I am glad to have picked up his books because this novel is quite the ride. I went into this expecting one thing and was completely caught off guard by where the story went...in the best possible way. I am quite eager to see where how this series will end and I enjoy the history/sci-fi mixture which isn’t something I normally read. Taran Matharu is quite Taran Matharu has put in so much work into his books and it shows. All of the historical data is so expertly mixed with the narrative being told. I am glad to have picked up his books because this novel is quite the ride. I went into this expecting one thing and was completely caught off guard by where the story went...in the best possible way. I am quite eager to see where how this series will end and I enjoy the history/sci-fi mixture which isn’t something I normally read. Taran Matharu is quite adept at his craft.

  25. 5 out of 5

    CR

    This book picked up after book one and man I could not put it down. I loved the story and this authors stories never disappoint. This book was wonderful from the characters to the fast-paced plot. I love how the demons are incorporated in the story and I think that if you are a fan of Matharu's writing then this one is going to be right up your ally. But man that ending killed me!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Wow! Book 2 really surpasses the first book (and I liked book 1). Lots more character development, interesting history trivia, and plenty of action. I appreciated the diverse characters and some of the "deeper/theological" moments. Very interesting concept.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dannie Smith

    I have to five this book only 4*s on the basis that I gave the 1st one 5 and whilst this was good it wasn't as good :(. However still a very enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing where the series goes :)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Better More interesting than the first book that's for sure. Still not as good as the author's other series but a nice mix of action and intrigue

  29. 4 out of 5

    Em

    Great sequel! I love this series. Super fast paced and action packed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Dillinger

    Crazy fast paced and exciting, a fantastic sequel that leaves you begging for the next book.

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