Book: At Fire’s End (Champions 1) by Charlotte Jain
Release Date: August 21st 2014
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Seventeen-year-old best friends, April and Kyle, are thrown into the final battle of the Titan and Olympian war. The immortal Titans and Olympians have been at war for millennia, locked into a struggle for which no end can be seen on the horizon. Unable to overcome their immortality, the Olympians and Titans form an uneasy truce that sees all immortals withdraw from the battlefield. The battlefield being earth, and the homes and lands of everyday humans whose lives the immortals’ battle has wreaked havoc on.
Their solution is to send forth pairs of mortal champions to wage their final battle. Without being bound by immortality, the mortal champions are in a position that the immortals have never known – the ability to defeat each other once and for all.
To aid their champions, the Titans and Olympians gifted each with magic that lets them control the elements. April and Kyle were bestowed with control over fire and water, and were raised by immortals with a single purpose – win the war. But, when Kyle and April finally uncover the remaining two champions’ identities, they must launch themselves headfirst into their final battle for survival. Winner takes all. But the immortals are growing restless, and time is running out.
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.