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Review: The Chosen Box Set

The Chosen Box Set
The Chosen Box Set by Denise Grover Swank
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adore the Chosen series. Out of all of Denise’s books, this have always been a stand-out for me. I LOVE the world she created with Emma, Jake, Will, and the other elementals. I have a running fan-fic in my head which seems eerliy similar to the new continuation series Denise recently announced.

For just $10 this collection is a steal. If you’ve read the first one (which is permanently free) and enjoyed it enough to stick with the series, then just buy the whole collection!

CHOSEN:
This series is thrilling, to say the least! I came into the series well after it was completed, so I was able to binge read through all of it this past spring. I’ve since read the entire series again! Out of all of Denise’s books, my mind is always floating around in this universe the most.

The protagonists of this series are people who have got a lot of growth ahead of them. Emma Thompson, not to be confused with the actress, is such a strong woman, and her son, Jake, is an angel. (My best friend’s oldest child shares the same name, so I may be biased!) That kid is probably the WISEST character in the series. He’s so so so so young, and goes through so much, but somehow he stays strong and has wisdom well beyond his years. I immediately became invested in their well-being. From the start I did not trust Will Davenport, and with good reason. With that said, Will is NOT a bad guy. He’s fiercely protective. And plays a HUGE role in the series. Don’t ever count him out.

The story of Chosen is one about an epic fight of good versus evil. It really is that simple. You’ve got multiple players in a game who all want the same prize. At times in Chosen, just the first in the series, it’s not exactly clear WHY Emma and Jake are running, but you have to hang in there to learn it all. The journey is worth it and it’s a fun ride. By the end of this novel, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be begging for more! The good news is that there are three more novels and three accompanying short stories. Happy reading! *****FIVE STARS*****

HUNTED:
Hunt or be hunted

I love this series, but I initially found Hunted lacking the spark of Chosen. That doesn’t matter to me because it serves as a perfect transition for the series into a few short stories and two more novels. The story does pick up rather quickly, as there’s a lot going on.

Emma was infuriating in this part of the story as well, but it’s justified because of all the insanity she’s dealing with. Her son taken by a mad man, she’s traveling with a man she barely knows, two factions are hunting her down, and a creeper dude showing up when she least expects it wherever she goes. Try dealing with that yourself. Will’s bestie, James, is pretty awesome. He seems like a typical insecure guy who talks a lot of crap. He’ll get no hate from me.

Now let’s talk about Raphael… I really liked him in my first read through even though I was sure he wasn’t at all trustworthy. His creep factor was OFF THE CHARTS. But he also has this essence about him that’s alluring. He’s the perfect new character for the story. Right through the end. My opinion on him definitely changed by the end of the series, but here he’s kind of wonderful. Unlike Alex.

Hunted is a great transitional novel and well worth the read. I love this series, so I’m obviously biased. ****4.5 STARS****

SACRIFICE:
Sacrifice and surprises
Where Hunted was lacking, Sacrifice brings a lot more to the table. In terms of scale, mythology, and character development.

A battle between the elements is boiling over. It has become not only a threat to our beloved characters of Emma, Jake, and Will, but the collateral damage caused by Aiden, Alex, and Raphael is affecting the world at large. Aiden proves to be fully despicable and malevolent (my favorite word!), Jake is used as a pawn, Raphael appears to be unhinging, and Alex is a different sort of maniac. And then there’s Will. Hints of the “big reveal” were there alllllll along and I quite literally cheered through the last few of pages of Sacrifice.

I loved every moment of Sacrifice. I’d give it more than five stars if I could!!! *****FIVE STARS*****

REDEMPTION:
Redeemed

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THE SERIES

I’ve made it no secret that the Chosen series is my favorite out of all of Denise Grover Swank’s work. What she does with Redemption is bring everything together in a way that’s explosive and satisfying. She never gives her characters easy wins, and sometimes they lose.

I’m happy with how Aiden was eliminated (perfection… killing him with love!). I was actually saddened for Raphael… he seemed so lost. Placing him with Emmanuella in the “afterlife” was fair. Alex can go eff himself for all eternity (let’s face it… he was a rapist. No rapist deserves absolution and his ending wasn’t brutal enough if you ask me. I’m a little biased on that subject.) Marcus’ departure was bittersweet. I wanted to get to know more about him.

I love how Will embraced his new-found abilities. He, Emma, and Jake are one heck of a superhero family! James is absolutely awesome and I knew he wasn’t going to fail his bestie. I volunteer my name has his baby mama, LOL! I won’t lie… the ending of this series left me wanting more. I wanted something more finite than literally flying away into happily ever after.

I loved this series. It’s a mish-mash of genres. It’s expansive. It’s mythological. The writing definitely improves with each installment, and it was definitely fun to watch Denise’s work evolve even if I was a couple years behind the original publishing. I’ll always read what she writes! **********TEN STARS**********

EMERGENCE:
Run, Emma, run!
I didn’t discover the Chosen short stories until I finished the series. It was actually very nice to be given a different perspective after the fact!

Here we get a glimpse at what Emma was dealing with as she and Jake began to be hunted down. It was definitely scary to read someone reporting a situation and not being taken seriously by the police. This definitely set in motion her chaotic plan of living on the run with Jake.

You don’t HAVE to read this short story to read the series, but it wouldn’t hurt! I don’t have any criticisms of this installment as it is a perfect companion to the series. *****FIVE STARS*****

MIDDLE GROUND:
Stranger Danger

I didn’t discover the Chosen short stories until I finished the series. It was actually very nice to be given a different perspective after the fact!

I want so bad to mention some spoilers, but I won’t! I loved seeing Will’s family. James, of course, is a bad-a bestie. Finally, the mysterious fella at the bar. It makes SO MUCH SENSE! Ugh… I want to know so much more about this guy, but I guess I’ll never get it. 🙂 That’s okay because ****** wasn’t a main character. Oh, and Will’s “dad”… What. A. Jerk.

You don’t HAVE to read this short story to read the series, but it wouldn’t hurt! I don’t have any criticisms of this installment as it is a perfect companion to the series. *****FIVE STARS*****

HOMECOMING:
The Courier?

I didn’t discover the Chosen short stories until I finished the series. It was actually very nice to be given a different perspective after the fact!

It was great to get ANOTHER glimpse into Will’s life before meeting Emma. I understand the situation in which he was discharged, but his father’s approach was despicable. I’d take Aiden over that guy… really… mabybe… no, not really. But he’s a terrible father. Now James’ work is obviously shady, and I understand that Will is dealing with some major issues, but he needs therapy and not a less than legal job. However, this job is what takes him directly. And that ties up the trilogy of shorts in a nice little bow. I loved it and wanted to see more from other characters! That may be because I’m just a greedy reader, lol.

You don’t HAVE to read this short story to read the series, but it wouldn’t hurt! I don’t have any criticisms of this installment as it is a perfect companion to the series. *****FIVE STARS*****

View all my reviews

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