Parents' Guide to

The Champion: Contender, Book 3

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Cade fights aliens galore in action-stuffed finale.

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The battles and aliens keep coming in this finale that will certainly satisfy action-adventure fans, but maybe not the sci-fi fans looking for a deeper connection to the story and characters. The very best part of The Champion is the twist that comes after their first big alien battle. Cade is thrown into a trajectory he didn't expect and has serious intell can't share with anyone -- the Codex will always be listening. Cade is forced to go it alone and make decisions his friends don't like, and he can never explain why.

Of course, Cade doesn't need to go it alone for every task in The Champion. Some of his friends could have helped with his chemistry experiments.They could have also dealt with the Romans, anything. Author Taran Matharu makes most of Cade's friends throw-away characters by Book 3. Even Cade's girlfriend Amber has little to do beyond kissing Cade or pouting in a corner. It doesn't feel fair considering how far they've all come together. The big sci-fi fan reader is also cheated near the end when so much more is revealed about Abaddon. The descriptions go by so fast to serve an actiony ending. It was worth slowing down there and really showing all the alien overlords' fascinating secrets. All that said, the ending does thrill and readers will be wondering until the very last how Cade can possibly survive his final big contest.

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