Arena by Holly Jennings

ARENA by Holly Jennings

Arena by Holly Jennings
Ace Series: Arena
On Sale Date: April 5, 2016
Fiction \ Science Fiction
Ace,  336 Pages
Source: Publisher
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
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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.


ARENA is first in a new series featuring a futuristic version of virtual gaming where the best gamers in the world compete, taking on avatars and battling it out in a no-holds-barred fight in an arena where the more bloodshed, the better. Like Gladiators who battle with weapons and armor, each player feels each stab and each thrust in this new sensory game where digital deaths are the acceptable norm. 

The Arena - Where Virtual Gaming, Avatars and Epic Battles are the new super sport

Each week, Kali Ling fights in the RAGE tournaments - the Virtual Gaming League's elite competition, one that broadcasts to millions and whose fans have rocketed team members into unimaginable fame. When the team loses an epic battle and Kali's teammate dies as the results of an overdose of a cocktail drugs, her world begins to spin out of control. Made the team's new captain, a first in RAGE history, can Kali bring the team back together while fighting off her own demons and those hidden in the VGL world?

Action-Packed Battles, Classic Gaming References, and a Kick-butt Heroine make Arena an entertaining read

As a gamer, I could not resist read Holly Jennings debut Arena. There's a lot to offer in this action-packed story. Gamers are going to smile at all the classic references and the sci-fi element of a futuristic gladiator-style competition definitely notches up the tension. Kali is one those heroines easy to relate to, a kick-butt warrior in the arena, but in the real world where the demands of fans and competition take their toll, she's compellingly flawed and believable. 

Real Issues and Romance Balance out the Kick-Butt Action

The book touches on the real issues such as drug abuse and the behind-the-scenes sponsorship's demands. Although a lot of it was only lightly touched on and easily wrapped up, I applaud Jennings for including the darker side of the gaming as well as the near godship fandom can launch these players into. As most of you know, I'm a fan of romance and Arena has a touch of one as well that added a softer side that I really enjoyed. 

If you have the ability to battle it out in a virtual arena setting, you need to make it as kick-ass as your warriors

My main disappointment with Arena is the actual virtual world of RAGE. I wanted much more variety and vivid description. If you have the ability to battle it out in a virtual arena setting, you need to make it as kick-ass as your warriors. Still, is was great fun and the adrenaline was all there making it a fast and fun read.