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Champions #1

Champions: At fire's end

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Seventeen-year-old best friends, April and Kyle, are thrown into the final battle of the Titan and Olympian war. Locked into an endless struggle, the Immortals have finally reached a solution - bestow mortal Champions with control over the elements to wage their final campaign.

Bestowed with control over fire and water, April and Kyle were raised by Immortals with a single purpose - win the war. After finally uncovering the remaining Champions' identities, April and Kyle must launch themselves into their final battle for survival. Winner takes all. But the Immortals are growing restless, and time is running out.

350 pages, Paperback

First published August 21, 2014

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About the author

Charlotte Jain

8 books97 followers
Hi, thanks for stopping by! I'm Charlotte Jain, a YA author from Melbourne.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 78 reviews
Profile Image for Lena.
360 reviews258 followers
July 12, 2017
**I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks again to the author for contacting me.**

"Champion: At Fire's End" is a YA debut novel by the Australian author Charlotte Jain. The plot follows April and Kyle, two 17-year olds who've been chosen as two of the four Champions to wage the war for the Olympians against the Titans on earth. Both of them were raised and trained by Immortals, and both were given special powers at birth which allows them to control fire and water along with several other abilities including telepathy and teleportation. April and Kyle are on a quest to find the remaining two Champions - as they only come in pairs of two - whom they’re supposed to train and then destroy. As both of them struggle to control their abilities that slowly but surely wear them down, the war moves closer and closer...

First of all, I went into this book without any expectations so I'd be able to write a neutral review at the end of it. And I really liked how Charlotte's story played out. I especially enjoyed the way she put her words into vivid descriptions which allowed me to effortlessly imagine an entire setting. I found that remarkable, considering how I myself seem to struggle a lot with them, haha. Both the main characters AND the side characters were well developed and that's also what kept me going. The plot itself wasn't as exciting as I thought it’d be, but was easy for me to ignore bc of how well written the characters were. And you all know how much I love well developed characters ;P
I wished the Immortals had played more into the plot as part of the story, but at least we got an epic showdown between

The only true issue I had with this book were the parts that didn’t really feel logical to me. For example, Or Kyle immediately getting to his feet with a confirmed concussion, but that’s probably just me being picky and the experienced reader talking here xD

I for one will definitely be continuing with this series, as I am curious as to how things are going to wrap up in the next two books.

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology and Percy Jackson, you may wanna give this one a go :)
Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,641 reviews404 followers
April 3, 2022
This book is hard for me to review. I LOVE the concept of it. The delivery fell flat for me. A lot of polish needs to happen to make this story come across to the readers as Charlotte Jain (the author) envisions within her mind.

I can grasp the pieces, but there are a lot of confusing parts in the book right from the beginning. April and Kyle are seemingly thrust (possibly at random) to save the world when they can kill themselves with their powers, especially April. April is especially bitter about her predicament.

It was hard to get a good grasp of the characters because, as the story sits right now, it just didn't come alive for me. I can see that this story has all of the potential to be unique, especially with my affinity for mythology.

Charlotte has excellent potential as an author, and I would love to see her paired up with an editor that could help connect the dots between her story and the reading audience.

3 stars for me.
Profile Image for Carla Simoes.
394 reviews16 followers
June 29, 2016
* I received this book in exchange of a honest review *

I have always a especial interest in mythology, and when i see this book is about a battle between Titans and Olympians, and four humans champions, chosen to decide the final battle i thought i have to read it.

The idea for this book was brilliant but i think something fail in the execution of that idea, in the beginning of the book i didn't seem to comprehend the MC's and all the twists of the story, and in the final chapters it got even worse... Ok, let me explain a little better.

The Mc's, Kyle and April, i can't feel connected with any of them (but if i have to choose i probably will choose April) and i think the parts of the chapter's where they don't know what they are doing or where they lost touch of the reality, are a bit confusing to the book.
But i understand them better at the end of the book,
Kim..... hell i don't know nothing about her.... i can't see if she is a good person a bad one.... i can't understand her or her feelings or her opinions....
Noah, there has to be a big secret in here.... what about Claire Alexander? who is she? what happens? and why the hell is he always running? i get it, he doesn't want to be part of this world ( in their right mind, who wants?) but if all the world's fate rest in your shoulders you have to at least try...
After the Mc's we have the gods.... and again, confusion. i can't understand which side certain god's are and certain actions of them..... and what about Yuuya?

There is no god or bad sides in this one, and i think it was part of the reason that makes me feel so awkward about this book. i am used to the story's where we know what side to choose and cheers on, but in this one.... i don't know, because i don't want any of them to lose!

Well and after the finish of the book i think.... hell this one is really confusing and i can't seem to connect with any of the Mc (maybe a little with April in the end) So why i want to know more?
The true is the book is written that way, if it was any other way i think i would have drop it in the middle, but i couldn't do that and i probably will read all the other books from the series because in the end, we end up with an immense curiosity to know more about what will happen to them, and how is the war going to finish.
The Author's achieve to capture our interest and the characters confusing as they are makes you want to read and know more about them, maybe to understand them better.

So in general, it was nothing that i was hopping for but i end up liking it, however i only go with 3* because for the first book in a series i think it should have explain better certain parts.
I hope the next one can clarify some aspects and answer some of the questions that i am left with...
Profile Image for Melissa Souza.
185 reviews50 followers
June 20, 2016
**I received a copy of this book from the For Love of a Book's Read & Review Opportunity Program

2.5 - 2.75 stars!!!

I had a real hard time rating this book. I loved the concept of the novel. I'm a huge fan of Roman/Greek mythology. So, the blurb really drew me in. I liked the idea of there being this war between the immortals (Olympians) and the Titans and where each side chooses a pair champions to help them win the battle on their behalf. If that faction's champions win then peace is secured and the winning team rules the world. But that's where it ended for me at least.

The major issue of this book was pacing. I felt like I was thrown into the middle of an ongoing plot and had a hard time catching up to what was happening. There were times where I was wondering "What on Earth is going on here?" and by the time, I figured that out, something else was thrown my way and I was lost all over again. This was very frustrating for me and it went on for 40% of the book. I actually felt like DNFing it at one point.

Because of this, the characters were also sadly underdeveloped. The story is told from 2 POVs. Kyle and April. I preferred April's character a bit more than Kyle's because later on in the story, most plot holes were cleared up through her POV. However, I couldn't relate to Kyle at all. When I read a book, I want to be able to empathize with the characters but I couldn't do so over here because I got no backstory. Their emotions and conversations came across as very stilted. This also resulted in their so called friendship coming across as very artificial. With regards to Noah and Kim, I don't really know what to say about them because I hardly got to know them throughout the story. There were also other characters that filtered in and out but were easily forgotten. I still don't know who Yuuya is, even now.

However, I can say the story seemed to pick up a bit around the 50% mark. I really liked the battle scenes. That definitely kept my interest going so as to finish the book. So, I guess that pushed me to give 2.5 stars.

I really wish I could have given more stars for this book. I can definitely see the potential. I'm sure if the story had been executed better, I would have rated it higher.

Profile Image for Veronica ⭐️.
969 reviews194 followers
December 11, 2014
Champions: At Fires End, the debut novel of Australian author Charlotte Jain, is a fast paced Young Adult read suitable for the younger end of the Young Adult genre.

April and Kyle have been raised knowing that one day they must battle to save humankind. However the final battle will be between four champions. So April and Kyle must find the remaining two humans who have also been bestowed with special powers before the battle can commence.

I loved the magic in this book and how the elements of fire, water, air and earth were brought into the story. All the magic scenes were well described and there were some epic battle scenes.
The story is strongly linked to the Gods of Olympus and I am not really up on all that so at times the story became a little confusing. I wasn’t sure what would happen if the four didn’t battle or what the outcome would be if one or the other won.
I loved when I don’t see a twist coming and this one took me by surprise and put a whole new slant on the entire story.
Although we get to know both Kyle and April through the switching POV’s I felt more connected to April’s vulnerability and openness.
Looking forward to the next in the series, Champions: Into Shattered Ice.

Thank you to First Reads and Charlotte Jain for my copy to read and review.

June 23, 2017
This is post originally on Vivian's Book Pavilion

I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. What am I reading? I was so excited to read a new book about Greek Myths…you know how much I love a good mythology story. But then…I don’t really understand what the book is about…and I can’t feel connected to the characters. The only two characters I love died in the end…which I don’t know why and I can’t imagine what the sequel will be. Although among my ARC reading process…I did read some good books, and some…not that good. 2.5 stars. This book was the most disappointed of them all.

The story was written in the POV of Kyle and April, two of the chosen champions from the Olympian and Titans God. (Which never make sense…although the author did write in the note that those gods might be only using the name rather than the characteristic. But how can Cronus and Zeus sat in the same place? That is utterly impossible!) Nevertheless, it’s not the relationship of gods that concerned me…but the plot. I don’t get it! The entire story seems useless to me!!!! The only interesting character is April, she got emotions, she got the nerve to do something…she basically light the entire story. As for Kyle…he is a nice guy…but he is a jerk when it comes to relationship and friendship. Damn!!!! How can he do all those thing to April!!!! I’m not over with that!!! And Kim…how my dear Kim. She is a bitch! Sorry…I know she appeared all kind and sweet…but she is a bitch to me. I hate her. I don’t know why, but I despise her whenever she appeared. As for Noah…he was probably the other interesting character…but…I still…don’t know what the hell was he doing. It’s a mess. If there isn’t the last arena scene in the end of the book…I’ll probably give it one star. The last arena was thrilling and great in description…but I hate how twisted the gods and goddess are, especially Apollo to Kyle and April. Nevertheless, all those actions save this book…a little bit. I hate to give a book such a low rate…but that’s truth.

I receive the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Asia.
515 reviews26 followers
July 12, 2017
The ebook copy of this book was provided by the author Charlotte Jain, in exchange for an honest review

I really like mythology, so I was excited to read this book and it was OK. Honestly, I'd say my favourite character in this book is April and maybe Ares (even if he showed up like only two times), the rest I'm either meh or I don't like them.

I'm curious to see how this series will end and what's going to happen next.
Profile Image for Barb Taub.
Author 9 books62 followers
May 7, 2016
Teens and Ancient Greek Gods. The setup is almost irresistible for an urban fantasy writer. You take a bunch of (immature, narcissistic, ego-tripping, power-obsessed, borderline moronic) gods and put the future of the world in their hands. And then somehow you have them agreeing to let thousands of years of dispute be settled by a pair of (only marginally less immature, narcissistic, ego-tripping, power-obsessed, slightly more intelligent) teenagers.

The story is told from the alternating points of view of view of two best friends, Kyle and April. As we piece together their backstories, it is revealed that they were raised to fight a battle that will once and for all settle the conflict between the Titans and their offspring, the Olympians.

The stakes are end-of-the-world high, but the costs are even higher. As old betrayals and new secrets are revealed only to spawn newer ones, both Kyle and April each realize that their friendship could mean their deaths. But they also have to come to terms with betrayal on every level. The only rules the gods follow are “don’t get caught”, as everything Kyle and April think they know about themselves, their families, and each other is systematically revealed in layers of deception and betrayal.

There was so much that I loved in this book. The premise of two best friends, each fighting for those they love but forced to face what they have become—literally mortal enemies—was fantastic. The gods who are shown with huge power and even bigger egos are a nice touch too.

But there were things I found frustrating as well. First and foremost, is the pace. There is absolutely no way that this story is one book. The fragments slipped in as backstory were WAY too miniscule to build up a picture of what brought these two teens to this point. People developed convenient new abilities at a dazzling pace but with very little explanation. I kept getting the feeling that the entire story was a movie which had played in the author’s head in many rich scenes, but we only get a two second flashback. Frankly, I was confused. For most of the book, I just had no idea about all the pieces, all the supporting characters, and all the backstory that brought Kyle and April to their confrontations.

On top of that, I literally couldn’t tell the difference in the character’s voices. I had to keep turning back to the beginning of each chapter to see which one was speaking. Plus there were a couple of spots where the author just didn’t play fair. Somehow April and/or Kyle just realize or know things. Yup. The problem with that is that if an action happens on their point of view watch, then it’s cheating for the reader not to be told what that is or how that conclusion was reached, instead of the character making a smug announcement as they display or utilize that hidden piece.

[quote] Ares whispered, urgent. “There is a way to achieve what I think you’re looking for. But you’re not going to like it.”


Ares smiled, then leaned closer to whisper in my ear. He leaned away to once again send his attention to the shadowed ruins around us. “You should take appropriate steps,” he added. “Should you both wish to survive this.” [end quote]

There are lots of unresolved questions. Why would Greek gods choose middle-class non-Greek teenagers to decide the fate of the world? Of course, they’d been messing up the lives of human champions for eons, and that made a mess of Troy and set Odysseus return back a decade, but the gods just carried on with same old/same old for millennia afterward. And why now, if they did choose them as their champions, did the gods take absolutely every possible opportunity to undermine them, even to sewing the seeds of their destruction along with their gifts of powers?

I will definitely look for the other books in this series. Charlotte Jain has everything it takes to be a terrific writer. She just needs to slow down enough to let her readers catch up to her story. When she does, she’ll be a writer to watch.

***I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
7 reviews
October 5, 2014
Thank you to the author for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

I have mixed feelings about Champions because of it's confusing chapters, but intriguing plot. So the book starts off with no explanation and hits the ground running with mystery. While I do like that it immediately goes into action, I have to piece together what's going on as I read which is a bit disorienting and distracting. I am disoriented because there is so much short sentences I don't know what's happening. There are snippets of description that make a picture, but it's not clear which has me asking 'What just happened?' and it's not until I finish a couple paragraphs that I understand. I wouldn't mind the short sentences so much if it would at least make sense. There's also the fact that the point of view switches between the main characters usually every chapter, but sometimes it switches inside of a chapter. Although it gets confusing as to who's eyes I'm looking through, I like the characters and their personalities. They're each strong in their own way and compliment each other.
There are two main characters that know their goal and two new characters that have no idea what's going on. Because of the new characters, readers learn their story as it progresses and I like that, but it also leaves me asking questions like 'What happened to that character/event?' or something along those lines. The plot is interesting because we don't know the whole story, but the explanations to what we do know need to be explained in a clearer way. I'm looking forward to the plot and unraveling more of the mystery in the next book.
May 22, 2017
At Fire’s End promises us a fresh take on Greek and Roman mythology with modern heroes. The book however already starts with a paragraph by the author who says she took some liberties with the mythology. That is one thing that made me a little hesitant. While I understand changing some small things you shouldn’t feel the need to say this at the start of the story. It already taints my idea of the book.

If you are looking for a book about Greek and Roman mythology however this is not a book I would recommend. There is actually hardly any in there. I feel like the overall idea of the Olympians and the Titans was used and the guardians got slapped on a name of a God and that was it really. Any of the real mythology isn’t here. They could’ve been replaced my made up Gods and honestly, I think that might even have worked better.

The paragraph by the author promises us also that we would be able to easily start this book as we discover what is going on alongside the characters. Yet I was thrust into action from the first moment without little idea of what was going on. Our two main characters, Kyle and April, know precisely what is going on but little of it is conveyed to us readers. Not until they find the other two champions does the confusion settle entirely. The champions get their explanation as do we. After 50% of the book it does pick up. There is more action and interaction between the foursome. The twist at the end was easy to guess though.

I have no draw to any of the characters. The book is told through first point of view, changing between Kyle and April every few chapters. It is that their names were above the chapters because their voices are not very different from each other. They also feel underdeveloped. Not vibrant. April for instance is said to be the strongest, ruthless etc. But throughout the book it is not entirely seen in her actions at all. There is also a bit that two years ago apparently she was a bright and happy girl and now she isn’t. While I get an idea of what has happened I don’t think the book conveys to us clearly how that change happened. It is left more so in the middle.

Having said that, I did like some bits. Clearly they have been given powers but there are limits to that. And that is something that April and Kyle are struggling with. Our other two champions also don’t easily learn their powers. April and Kyle have been training with their guardians for years but Kim and Noah have not. They only recently discovered their powers and it shows. That portion was realistic and one I could appreciate a lot.

Overall the author does write engaging to a point. If she would stop saying things and show in action some things with the characters I think that it would become more engaging as a whole.
Profile Image for Angela (Books of a Shy Girl).
94 reviews5 followers
August 31, 2017
Review originally posted on: https://booksofashygirl.wordpress.com...

Champion’s: At Fire’s End by Charlotte Jain is a Young Adult urban fantasy book. The Immortals have decided that their war will be fought by four Champions, and each one of them has a Flame that grants them powers.

The story is really interesting and it’s told by the point-of-view of two of the Champions: Kyle and Alice. They all live in Caria, a Greek city that was destroyed and they are best friends. However, Alice couldn’t control her own powers ad was sent away to learn to wield them, leaving Kyle alone. When she returns, many things have changed and she has her own secrets.

In a year can happen many things. Alice is different from who she was before. Kyle is still the same, he’s caring and friendly with everyone, while Alice is a lone person, hotheaded, and wants to protect Caria and everyone from the war among the Immortals.

Plus, every Champion has been hurt before and I liked the dynamics among them.

I liked this dual-POV story. The book was full of twists, though I had predicted a few of them, and it has a good writing style. The only problem I had were the names. If most of the characters are Greeks, why do almost all the characters have English names?

I recommend it to Percy Jackson’s fans and Greek mythology lovers.
Profile Image for Angela Cuéllar.
901 reviews96 followers
May 6, 2017
pooled ink Reviews:
3.5 Stars

Fiery, startling, thrilling, and fun, At Fire’s End begins a series of champions with a long journey ahead. A recommended read for any who enjoy mythology-inspired stories merged into our mere mortal world.

An exciting read for sure, I enjoyed reading this tale of gods and humans. I admit that there were times that I felt a bit confused or I didn’t quite connect with the characters, but I think the author has a very vivd imagination and that can be difficult to capture on the page. Regardless, it was an interesting story.

Read my FULL review here: https://pooledink.com/2017/05/06/cham...
Profile Image for Becca Edney.
Author 5 books8 followers
January 19, 2017
I was given a free electronic copy of this book by the author, in accordance with the terms of For Love of a Book's Advance Reader Opportunity Program.

The main impression I carry away from reading this book is "meh". It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, I don't regret reading it, but at the same time I don't really remember it very well, even though I only just finished it.

I spent most of the book feeling like I was missing something. This is the first book in a series, but it opens right in the middle of the action and seems to assume that we already know everything we need to know about the characters and their world. As a result, I spent the whole book thinking "Oh, OK... sure." without actually understanding what was happening. I kept checking that I wasn't coming in in the middle of a series.

This also led to a problem with the main characters: Kyle and April, especially April. I kept being assured that she hadn't always been so ruthless, but all I was seeing at present was that she was borderline sociopathic. She came across to me as a genuinely horrifying person, and yet the book seemed to think she was highly sympathetic. That made it very difficult to get into the story. For example, in one scene April makes a big speech to Kim about how they're not damsels in distress and they can fight back together, but it falls flat because April's consciously manipulating Kim into fighting to protect her. This was after spending a good chunk of the book thinking that she would of course kill Kim without a moment's hesitation.

Also, I had to go and look up Kim's name. She really didn't leave that much impression on me as a character.

The book also suffered badly from false climaxes. Multiple times I thought we were coming to the final battle, but each time the sides parted again and we went back to... drama that would have meant more if I had the faintest idea of the background to the characters and their setting. The last chapter was especially egregious for this; we had a couple of fights and were clearly ramping up for the last battle... but then the book ended. It felt like there really couldn't be that much story left.

Speaking of the fights near the end, for one thing they didn't feel climactic because we'd already had several battles which had had the same stakes and a similar feel. Secondly, there were a few places where there seemed to be continuity problems: April had dried herself off and time had passed, but apparently she couldn't use her powers because her skin was still completely soaked. She can apparently see in the dark, but the whole scene up to that point had been written as if she couldn't see anything. It was disorienting.

Finally, a bit of praise: I did like the twist that April and Kyle weren't actually partners. I had kind of hoped that was where it was going, but I was surprised and delighted when it was shown. So props for that.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Brit McCarthy.
751 reviews49 followers
September 8, 2014
Thank you to the author for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

First things first, the cover pictured above is a draft cover and has since been updated. Being a draft copy of an indie author, I slugged through quite a bit of poor spelling and grammar to get to what lay underneath. This is to be expected and I can only assume that since there is a finished copy, all those little things will be cleared up. I tried hard not to dwell on it too much but I’m a bit of a stickler for things like that!

So what’s it about? Champions: at fire’s end is the first book in a series following 17 year old best friends April and Kyle who live in the fictional town of Caria. They go to their local high school, Kyle swims on the swim team, they seem like average teenagers. But they’re not. They have been chosen to settle the score for two immortal factions who had been at war for eternity. Bestowed with control over fire and water, April and Kyle must seek out the remaining two champions for the ultimate battle. And the immortals are getting restless. The fight is on.

I’ve had a lot of trouble deciding my star rating for this book. By the end I was pretty hooked on it. But there were moments getting there where I had massive ‘what on Earth is going on?’ moments. There were times when I just could not follow the story and had to jump back a page or a chapter to double check what was going on. The writing was jerky and jolted me as a reader from one place to another with little to no explanation and it didn’t flow well. One second we’re here, the next we’re there and then somewhere else again when I’m still trying to work out when we left the first place. This makes for a frustrating reading experience as you can imagine!

I really cared about the two main characters, April and Kyle, but I couldn’t muster up any feeling at all for Noah or Kim. I thought it was unrealistic that they could come into their abilities so quickly without the years of training that April and Kyle had, and I also don’t understand why April and Kyle were given guides and Noah and Kim weren’t – this was never explained. I did however enjoy the fight scenes and also April and Kyle’s friendship throughout the book. I thought the change in him didn’t fit the way he came across at the end of the book so I’m wondering if not all is as it seems there. I don’t particularly want them to get together but I do want to see their friendship healed and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to get around the circumstances. I still believe in their friendship even if I turn out to be completely wrong! However, I was increasingly frustrated with the inconstant changes in first person POV. Without labels on the chapters to indicate who is speaking, I had no idea I was even in for a dual first person POV and had to wait until the person speaking mentioned the other’s name before I knew who was, and as the POV alternated randomly and not just with every second chapter I didn’t even know who to expect. There were also times the POV was changed during the chapter, while I don’t think this was deliberate it was very annoying to read and I hope that’s something that got fixed up in the editing stages.

A character of whose purpose I’m not sure of is Yuuya. I assume he has something to do with when April spent time in Japan but I didn’t see his relevance to the story at hand. He just randomly showed up and they would hang out and of course his true identity was revealed, but I still don’t know his role in the story. If this is an introduction for further books then that’s fine, but it just feels like it wasn’t done very well. I also don’t understand the reference to a character named Charlotte because I don’t understand who or what she is, or why the author would add a character with their own name? Is the author a character in this story? I’ve seen that done in the I Am Number Four series and honestly I don’t really like it. But no further explanation was given save for a cryptic mention in the epilogue.

By the time I reached the end I was racing through this novel, quite hung up on the story and enjoying the action scenes. I had even somewhat adjusted to Jain’s way of writing and had less ‘wtf’ moments as I carried on. But it’s not the best book I ever read. It’s also not the worst. I’ve read worse books with no spelling or grammar errors. I’ve read better, too, of course. I just felt a bit unsatisfied but I guess that is supposed to drive me to buy a copy of book 2? I’m pretty curious about where it goes from here so that is a definite possibility. So I will give this book a working rating of 2.75 - 3 stars noting that I am probably being slightly generous but optimistic as to where the story heads from here.
Profile Image for Danielle (Arabbitinwonderland).
43 reviews2 followers
May 25, 2017
I love my Greek mythology books so of course this instantly jumped out to me and even better the author was kind enough to provide an ebook for review.

Champions is a great concept, with the Titans and the Greeks choosing mortal champions to finally end their war which I don't think I've seen such a story line before.

However while I liked the concept of this story the execution could have been better.
The book is written in first person point of view which isn't my cup of tea but what annoyed me about this one is it jumps from POV between characters which to me just felt disjointed at times.
The characters aren't very well described, while little tidbits of of information are given here and there, I just couldn't picture what the characters look like.

Generally it was a good enough book and concept that I'll no doubt read the second one.
252 reviews2 followers
May 13, 2016
This is not a very good book, although the author shows some promise. “Champions” would have benefited significantly from the advice of a brutal but honest critiquing group, or a tough and experienced editor, or both. I suspect it had neither.

It is the first of a series, in which two seventeen year old friends, April and Kyle, are asked to stage the final battle of the war between the Titans and the Olympians. They are two of four champions, and are tasked with finding the other two champions and then battling them to the death. They have been bestowed with magic powers; each teenager has different powers and anticipate that their opponents will have different skills again.

And here’s the first problem with the novel: there are gaping holes that simply don’t make sense. At no point are we told why the champions come in pairs. At no point are we clearly told why only two of the champions have been raised with Immortal guides, and two have not (two thirds of the way through the novel we’re finally given a half a reason, but it doesn’t really make sense. The actual reason seemed to be that Jain couldn’t write the story she wanted unless it happened that way, and she didn’t bother to think about the why). Although it is a fight to the death, when April and Kyle discover the other two champions – and find that they are untrained and ignorant of their destiny – instead of simply killing them, they start training them. That doesn’t make sense. I could make a decent sized list of problems like this.

I suspect that Jain knows the answer to many of the gaping holes, but simply doesn’t know how to plot a story that will effectively convey that information to her audience. The result is a confused novel in which things seem to happen either because Jain needs them to in order to get to the next stage, or because she had a really great scene in mind that she desperately wanted to jam in somewhere. She has no skill in foreshadowing; many things are thrown at the reader that make little sense in the context of what’s already happened.

Similarly, Jain is not good at characterisation. All the characters sound the same, and it’s hard to tell them apart. This is particularly problematic as the novel is told in the first person, alternating between Kyle and April. Although each chapter starts with a reminder of who is “speaking”, they’re so alike that it’s still difficult to remember which one it is. I had to keep stopping to remind myself lest I get confused; that made it very hard to fully lose myself in the story.

She often tells us things about her characters which simply aren’t borne out by their behaviour. We are told more than once that April is very ruthless, but there is not a shred of evidence of this in her behaviour; quite the opposite. It doesn’t seem that Jain is playing with perceptions. I really got the sense that she thought saying April was ruthless was enough.

Another significant difficulty with the novel is that it doesn’t seem to have a strong sense of time or place. The first descriptions of the town April and Kyle live in seemed to me to suggest a somewhat medieval society. Yet, later in the novel Jain needs a car for a scene, so a car it is. Similarly, mobile phones appear when needed for a scene but don’t seem to be used for much else. A melding like this could be done successfully; here it comes across as Jain just not knowing her setting very well.

As I noted earlier, I suspect that Jain herself has a strong sense of some of these things – her plot, her characters, her world. However, she hasn’t conveyed them to the reader with any degree of success.

There are positives about this novel. Jain can write clearly and in an engaging manner. She uses the English language effectively. The central idea, while executed clumsily, is original and interesting. If pushed by an editor or critical reader who would ask questions like “but why?”, she could probably write a much better novel. Although I cannot recommend this novel, I wouldn’t write Jain off.

Disclosure: I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.
Profile Image for Wendy.
2,322 reviews41 followers
February 14, 2016
In "Champions: At Fire's End" Charlotte Jain's sets the stage for her first book with a war between the Titans and Olympians that spawned havoc and death in the human world countless years before. To stem the tide of chaos and destruction a deal was forged in the heat of the fight; that the flame of battle would be passed to four mortal Champions, two battle partners for each side who would control the power of a natural element; air, fire, earth or water. After the final clash the victorious would reclaim their mortal life, while on Mount Olympus the feud would end leaving the winning side to rule and the losers in the dark depths of Tartarus.

As the story opens best friends April Fall and Kyle Brown both raised by Immortals to win the war have finally discovered their battle partners' identities. In a race against time as some of the Immortals grow restless and the truce more tenuous, April and Kyle accelerate the novices' training while their flames begin to wreck havoc on their bodies and the final campaign draws closer.

Blending mythology and fantasy in a contemporary setting the story twists and turns as lies and secrets are unravelled. Alternating between April and Kyle's perspectives the story moves quickly as tension and suspense escalates with changing allegiances and Immortals who are becoming more involved in moving the final campaign forward. Although background details are sparse especially in the case of April and Kyle's rivalry, friendship and relationships in high school the plot is captivating and action-packed when mortals and immortals collide.

In this novel Charlotte Jain creates complex, realistic characters that add power, passion and drama to the events as they unfold. Seventeen year old April Fall who's facing physical and emotional changes because of the fire she wields is a formidable warrior. She calls herself "a monster" because of her ruthlessness and cunning yet is willing to sacrifice herself to protect Noah or Kyle. Angry, scarred from burns, and suffering loss in her life, she's seems more like a heroine looking for redemption. Similarly overconfident and calculating Kyle Brown whose power is water is also conflicted although he masks deceit and betrayal behind a charming, friendly facade. Of their two battle partners Noah Alexander bullied by the students at school is insecure and pragmatic, running when the danger's too intense even though he has an earthly power while Kim, frightening when she controls the air is enthusiastic, sincere and compassionate but also naive, and vulnerable to the whispers in her past.

Of the Immortals I liked the Japanese exchange student Yuuya who appears protective and supportive, selflessly providing April with a mysterious book which may help her find a different path to ending the war. Themis her guide disguises a tough and cunning spirit in her delicate and kindly nature, while Hermes hides a twisted and perverse nature promising hope to Noah and almost killing Kyle in his effort to straddle both sides.

I liked "Champions: At Fire's End" the first book in this captivating series and expect the writing and storytelling will get even better with the sequel.
Profile Image for readingwithpapillons.
159 reviews1 follower
April 1, 2016
3.5 stars

I won this book in a giveaway sometime in December, I have only gotten around to reading it now because of this one series I wanted to finish and also because of school, I can’t read much while school is on, but it’s getting better so I will probably be starting to read more. So that is also why it took me like a moth to get through this book, because I was just so busy with school, I had like no time to read. This book also almost got me into a reading slump at one stage but I pulled through and finished the book.
I had a few issues with this book. I am not sure if the copy I have is a finished copy or an advanced readers copy, but from what I saw there where quite a few spelling and punctuation errors. If you read this book all the way through, you would at least pick up one of the mistakes. Another thing I didn’t really like was how the character perspective changed. Both the main characters, April and Kyle, seemed to speak the same. So when you come to a new chapter you sometimes have to keep looking up the top of the page to see whose perspective you are on. I am not against the perspective changes, but I would like them to be done right and not all the characters speak the same. Parts of the book I feel went to fast, but then other parts I feel went to slow. Like when things were being described, it was over descripted and it just went on for too long. A lot of the time while I was reading, I just thought to myself “What the hell is going on?”. Because something was happening and then it randomly changed sometimes, and it was just so weird. The characters to me weren’t all the best, I feel as if they could have been better. Sometimes they would just say the weirdest things that did not match what was going on at the time at all. And I think there was meant to be some sort of jokes or sarcasm in there somewhere but it didn’t really work out in my opinion... other people may think otherwise.
The only good thing I could really say is that sometimes when you were reading you just couldn’t put it down because you just had to know what was going to happen. Some parts of the book where good, you could actually understand what was going on, and it was enjoyable to read.
Overall I think that maybe if you are into the Olympian and Titan type books, then maybe you could try this book out. Like maybe that’s why I didn’t like it so much, because I have never read anything to do with Olympians or Titans, so some stuff didn’t make sense to me. So if you were planning on reading this book, please do so. Don’t let MY opinion change your mind. This whole thing is just what I thought, other people think differently.
Profile Image for Kayla.
173 reviews
June 26, 2016
RATING: 3.75 stars

*Won in a Goodreads Giveaway. My thanks to the author, Charlotte Jain*

Okay, I had lots of different emotions while reading this book. I can see where the author is going with this story and I think it is a brilliant plot and concept; however, I felt like it was getting lost at times in the pages of this book.

At times, the book was confusing and all over the place, leaving me thinking 'what the hell did I miss?', while other times it had me like 'OMG! This is brilliant! What's going to happen next?'. The author's descriptive words were great and her world building was great, however, sometimes too many descriptions got overwhelming. I felt like there was too much going on in a single sentence, like too many adjectives or descriptive words, if that makes sense - it made the sentences a bit confusing to read.

When I first started reading the book, I have to admit, I felt a bit lost, because the reader is literally thrown straight into the story. I thought at first maybe it would skip back in time, like a couple of months, just to show the reader what was happening, but it didn't and I still felt kind of lost. it did begin to come clearer as the story went though, with the author interjecting history and the information not given at the start at crucial points or emotional points.

The characters, I thought, were great. They weren't the strong, hero type characters that people would think when beginning this story and even the Immortals were privy to emotional torment and different personalities. I liked that as it kept the story interesting, however I felt that some of the characters changed 'who' they were. April mentions Hermes in evil and deranged and Kyle agrees; but then Hermes turns all lovy- dovy. And when April and Kyle change their emotions towards each together in like a chapter - it felt wrong and not real - like, I thought they were friends; you don't just turn immediately cold towards someone you've been with for most of your life. I could understand it progressively happening with Kyle, especially with what April sent him through; but I couldn't see April doing it really. My favourite character would have to Noah - I have no idea what happened to Kim at the end of the book.

all this ^ isn't to say I didn't enjoy the story. I really did; I tried to discover how they would over come their flames and the prospect of fighting each other - I didn't expect it to end like that! An enjoyable read to say the least. :)
Profile Image for Kristyn - Reading to Unwind.
252 reviews19 followers
February 24, 2016
The story follows two Champions April and Kyle who have had the special abilities since they were younger. They received there special abilities from the Immortals so that they can fight in pairs to determine who will rule the Immortals. April and Kyle are challenged with not only learning to manage their special abilities, but also finding the other two Champions who they will pair off with.

I was a little confused when I first started reading I was not 100% sure what was going on with the memories. Once I got into the book I was able to follow a lot easier in between April and Kyle and what was going on. By the end of the book I was able to fully understand everything that was going on and I feel April cleared up so many questions I had at the very end of the book and also left a nice cliff hanger.

The character development of April and Kyle is very detailed. As a reader you get a true feeling of what their friendship is like and what their family life was like. I also liked the relationship that developed between Themis, Hermes, Kim and Noah. Having Themis and Hermes being the guides for April and Kyle you got to see the sense of family between all of them.

I remember reviewing Greek mythology in school when I was younger, but I didn't remember all of the Gods names or what their specialties where. I think if I had somehow remembered all of this information the book would have been a lot more interesting, some of those parts got confusing to me and I needed to reread who was who of the Immortal world.

Another section of the book that I loved was how their powers evolved from necessity. I felt this detail was important from the writer since it was mentioned a few times not only in training, but how April and Kyle got additional powers. I loved reading on how their powers evolved because life does always through you curve balls and you as a person evolve out of necessity as well.

I suggest reading this as a nighttime book before bed. Once you get going it is very easy to follow the story along. This is a book you could put down and pickup at any time, although once the action gets going there are few chapters you will need to read all at once. The chapters are nicely divided as well for easy breaks in reading.

I received a copy of this book from YA Bound Book Tours for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book.
Profile Image for Jody Ellis.
247 reviews9 followers
June 2, 2016
Very early on I found I couldn't finish the book. I found issue with the following.

The characters were confusing, flat, bland, identical and really contradictory.

Kyle made out like he loved April. But he's in a relationship with the other, a competitor. They are meant to fight and kill their competitor champions. Then April wants to train her competitors so it's a fair fight but she's meant to be cunning and ruthless and we know right from the start neither of these main characters want to be in this immortal game. They both want out. So why not just kill them?

Their 17 but it's hard to tell.

The history part that retold the Titans was pretty twisted into the authors interpretation. I looked for her version but couldn't find any trace of it. It disappointed me that it would be twisted like that.

It was hard to follow and whilst I tend to enjoy books that leave enough detail out for my imagination to take over, giving me my own interpretation of the book, this one was so devoid that I had no idea what was going on.

The concept was fantastic, and it had so much potential to be a fabulous story. I'm sad that it was lost in translation. To be fair also, I think this target audience is young, but also I've read lots for young readers that have done marvellous jobs.

I thank the author for the chance to review through GoodReads giveaway. I'm sorry I couldn't rate it better.
Profile Image for Brittany.
Author 9 books61 followers
April 23, 2016
I received this book from Goodreads/author in exchange for an honest review. So I was very excited when I found out I won this book off of a Goodreads giveaway. Everything about this book lured me in from the captivating cover to the summary. Unfortunately, I was majorly let down stopping at page 87. I was going to stop sooner around page 50, but I told myself to keep going and hopefully it would get better. It didn't. The very beginning is exciting and dives you head first into the story and it's world. After that the book's flame slowly fizzles out. I really didn't like the characters either. They would try to be funny or act a certain way and the emotions they had felt forced. Kyle and April are apparently best friends, but after April's ordeal in the beginning of the book it seems like they hardly have a good relationship. I'm not saying they hate each other or anything, but they feel more like coworkers than they do friends. I actually do kind of like Kim. She's a different character and you wouldn't expect a character like her to show up in a YA book. YA tends to not talk about overweight characters, but I like that this book had one. And she stuck up for others and stuck by her true friends. I may try this book again one day 'cause it really did seem interesting, but it just lacked for me in certain areas.
Profile Image for Emmaleah.
84 reviews19 followers
February 12, 2017
Creative and fun with a great concept and plot.
Champions: At fires end was a fun, fantasy filled novel. The plot was creative and the concept was unique and adventurous. Although, I have to say that it was flat at some points and a bit confusing, but that is what comes with new writers and I am sure that as the story continues both the novel and writer will grow and I am looking forward to what comes next. I will most definitely continue with this series as I have hope that as each book comes, the story will just get better and better.

5 reviews
November 12, 2014
*Received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads*

Champions: At Fire's End, the first book of the Champions series. I would say I quite liked this book.

The characters are very deep. They all have a fitting back-story to all their personalities. I just loved the fact that, unlike other books, Champions: At Fire's End switches from one character's point of view to another character's point of view every few chapters. It gives us, as readers, a chance to explore the minds and thoughts of each of the protagonists.

The setting and how the book is very fast-paced makes it really interesting. This is so as when it's so fast-paced I can pay more attention and not get so distracted. The fact that Greek gods are involved in this truly pleases me as I am a massive fan of Greek mythology.

Without giving any spoilers I must say Champions: Into Shattered Ice, the second book, is definitely something I will keep an eye out for. I would certainly say the author did an exceptional job in creating this book.
Profile Image for Kathy.
315 reviews9 followers
March 2, 2020
Champions: At Fire's End is an interesting read. It starts off disjointed - it felt like I had missed a lot of back story, and had to check that it is, indeed, the first book in the series. There was just too much information that you didn't know, and it made it a bit hard to get into. However, by hanging in there I got the feel of the story and enjoyed it enough that I'm actively looking for hard copies of the next books to follow what happens.

The basic plot of the story is that, as per Greek mythology, the Titans and Olympians have been fighting for millenia. After reaching a stalemate, they agree to bestow their elemental powers on four mortal children and let them fight it out instead. The first part of the book sees the youth trying to find each other, and the action comes in the second half, with shifting loyalties and major revelations. I'm interested to see where this goes.

I received this book as a Goodreads first read in exchange for honest feedback.
Profile Image for Joseph.
22 reviews1 follower
September 8, 2014
*I received a free copy to review, this has nothing to do with my opinion on the book.*

After an eternity of impossible battles between two immortal warring factions, an uneasy truce was reached. Their solution? Send out pairs of mortal champions for one final battle. Winner takes all.

Sounds epic, right? Well it is.

I really enjoyed Champions: At fire's end. It has interesting characters, fast-paced action, an intriguing setting, and a plot that keeps you hooked until the end. I liked discovering all the abilities the different characters have, such as controlling fire, earth, air, and water. Not to mention a strong-minded protagonist faced with betrayal, and afraid of her own power, that will do whatever it takes to survive. Just read it, there's much more to the story that I'm trying not to mention since I don't want to spoil anything.
29 reviews
February 16, 2016
I won this book as a Giveaway on Goodreads. The synopsis sounded interesting, especially with my interest in Greek Mythology. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get past some of the organizational errors. Sure, I've read books where the editors forgot to catch a mistake, but this book has so many within the first 50 pages, it detracts from the story. For me, a good book creates a world and story that draw me in. The missing words hamper that for me.

On page 46, for example, "I smiled back, trying to here and now and not to let the strain filter through." This was not the first error, though in retrospect it's a little telling that I picked that one: the strain of the errors keeps the book from being cohesive and enjoyable.

Profile Image for Sasha.
664 reviews27 followers
March 11, 2016
First I would like to state that I have received this book through the Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book. When I received this book I began reading it at once. I really enjoy the authors writing style. This book was a very interesting read. The authors writing style kept you interested from the first chapter to the very last. It pulls you in quickly and keeps you hooked wanting to read and find out more of what is happening. The Characters were refreshing and yet are practical at the same time. I have never read a book by this author but I will. I would recommend this book it is a great read!
129 reviews
January 1, 2018
I won this book as part of a Goodread Giveaway. This book is listed as part one of a series. However it is obvious that there is a back story that the reader needs to know to truly relate to the characters. The author may have addressed this issue in another book which is a 0.5. ( Personal hat of mine are 0.5, 1.5 etc novels). However, I did not have access to this novel so I do not know if this would have helped me get more engaged with the characters. The way the blurb read the story would finish in this novel but this is not the case. This novel only sets up a for a series of books. I found this frustrating. It took me a long time to get into the story and I put it down and didn't restart for over twelve months.
Profile Image for Tracey.
255 reviews22 followers
February 11, 2015
This was one of the most interesting and unique concepts I've ever reading YA Fantasy. Charlotte Jain takes on Greek Mythology with a modern twist, although I didn't realise that whilst I was reading the plot description. What drew me in were the elements at war and how two teenagers hold the responsibility to fight an immortal war.

Despite my initial interest, I found my reading experience to be marred by confusion.

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