December 3, 2016

Review: Arena by Holly Jennings

Review:  Arena by Holly Jennings

Now in trade paperback, the thrilling (New York Times bestselling author Jason M. Hough) near-future science fiction debut about the action-packed 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 fight to the digital death. Every kill is broadcast to millions. Every player leads 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 s stuck trying to work with a hostile new teammate who s far more distracting than he should be.
Between internal tensions and external pressures, Kali is on the brink of breaking. To change her life, she ll need to change the game. And the only way to revolutionize an industry as shadowy as the VGL is to fight from the inside "

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Arena by Holly Jennings
Published by: Penguin Random House  on November 1, 2016


This title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).


I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!

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MaryAnn-2015Fast-paced and gripping is right! I totally devoured this book. It totally called out, no, screamed out to the gamer in me. For all you gamers out there, Arena by Holly Jennings is definitely a book you need to check out!
Set in the (near-ish) future (2054), gaming is on a whole new level. Gamers are not just those who sit in front of their computer/console with a headset on screaming at their team mates to heal them, cover them, provide more dps, be stealthier (I could go on). This is a whole new generation of gamers…they are buff gladiators who are totally and completely immersed into the game. Placed into a pod, wires seek out the flesh to connect these pro-gamers into a virtual reality where they fight to the death.

The book opens up with a death match (hells yaaaas). I was pulled straight into the game and was treated with what exactly these gamers see, hear, feel… And it’s here where we meet the members of Team Defiance, and all are likeable in their own way. Tough ass Kali Ling shows us her skill and strength from the get go. And in all honestly, it was the first chapter that had me reading on.

This book showed the way in which Kali rises and falls, hitting rock bottom, and we then watch her (cheesy line coming up) rise from the ashes and become greatness. Seriously! She is a force to be reckoned with. And as much as I really enjoyed her character, I was really loving the newest addition to the Defiance team, Rooke.

Sure, sure…he was a real douche in the beginning…not being a full team player, his moodiness, his difficult ways…but as you read on, you find out why he was the way he was. And when he finally gets out of his funk and we see the real Rooke, oh my gosh, he is dreamy, and funny, and yummy…

I think it would be so cool if the gaming world became something described in Arena by Holly Jennings…think Tron mixed with Hunger Games. I’m not sure how I would feel watching all the carnage as described in the pages, but man…it’s something to think about!

If your looking for a read that’s different from the same old same old out there right now, you definitely need to check Arena by Holly Jennings. Sex, drugs, gaming, blood, death, gore…it’s got it all, and it will most likely get your adrenaline pumping like it did mine.

A solid start to an entertaining series, I can’t wait to see what the next book (Gauntlet) has in store!

About Holly Jennings

Holly Jennings is a self-proclaimed nerd and lover of all things geeky and weird. As the firstborn to a sports enthusiast, it was soon discovered that the only games she'd ever learn to master involved consoles and controllers. Her childhood was spent crushing virtual foes, racing on simulated tracks, and rescuing digital princesses. As a young adult, she fell in love with English class, speculative novels, and comic books, which inspired her to create stories of her own. Eventually, her passions converged and she started writing about the future of video games.

She lives in Canada.


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