ARENA by Holly Jennings had me talking about it weeks after I completed it. ARENA was one of those books I was dying to post my review about, so I could discuss it with anyone that would listen. This book makes you think. But, it’s thrilling and different and has a bit of romance, a flushed out plot, so you’re thinking while being entertained. My kind of book!

The gaming world of Jennings’ future is a virtual reality existence where gamers have become the NFL players of our time. Athletes compete in virtual arenas where they fight to the death in the virtual world. They plug in and battle it out in what is called the RAGE tournaments. Violent, bloody and set-up like the gladiatorial games of the past, they are the most watched broadcasts of the day. The gamers are celebs, worshipped by the masses, but treated like cattle by the owners.

The main character is asian, a female named Kali Ling. She’s the first female captain in the tournaments and the weight of the world is on her back. She lost her teammate and lover to an overdose, right after they lost horribly to an unknown team. She’s expected to get over her friends death, train a new teammate, win and do PR all while battling depression, addiction and whole lot of self-doubt about her life choices.

The plot was intricate and it wove within it a lot of issues and ideas. The treatment of professional athletes, addiction, taoist principals, our materialistic society, and a future that seems all too inevitable. ARENA is a surprise find and a must read. If you want something different, something bold, with diverse characters and interesting topics– check this one out.

About_the_book Arena by Holly Jennings

Arena by Holly Jennings

Published by ACE on April 5th 2016
ISBN: 1101988762
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
5 Stars

A fast-paced and gripping near-future science fiction debut about the gritty world of competitive gaming...

Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV.
She’s died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier...

The RAGE tournaments—the Virtual Gaming League’s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a no-holds-barred fight to the digital death. Every bloody kill is broadcast to millions. Every player is a modern gladiator—leading a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.

And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.

Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world—until one of her teammates overdoses. Now, she must confront the truth about the tournament. Because it is much more than a game—and even in the real world, not everything is as it seems.

The VGL hides dark secrets. And the only way to change the rules is to fight from the inside...

1 Comment

  1. Shari

    While I tend to like romance only, this does look interesting. Since my husband is into gaming so much, I can see this becoming one type of future.