• $7.99

Publisher Description

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...

GENRE
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
RELEASED
2016
April 5
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
336
Pages
PUBLISHER
Penguin Publishing Group
SELLER
PENGUIN GROUP USA, INC.
SIZE
1.6
MB

Customer Reviews

susu707 ,

Amazing First Book

Arena is the first book by Holly Jennings so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a storyline that was a combination of fantasy and a future look at "reality" tv. This book will be especially appealing to video gamers. This is a standalone but there is a soft cliffhanger and it's clearly not the end of the story. There is violence though it is in the virtual world.

The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat that all of that info here. If you like an Alpha kick butt female lead character that is also conflicted and dealing with her own issues, then you will enjoy this book. The author did a good job of setting the stage for Arena as well as any future books in this series. It is like Oz and we get a glimpse behind the curtain.

The characters are multi-dimensional and well written with vivid imagery of both the character descriptions as well as the settings in the real and virtual worlds. In the Virtual Gaming World and RAGE tournament, just like with celebrities and pro sports players of today, there are a lot of things that go on off field or off camera that the public knows nothing about. As usual not everything, or everyone, are as they appear.

I am looking forward to reading more about Kali, Rooke, and the rest of Team Defiance. I was given an opportunity to read this book from NetGalley and chose to review it.

Isisunit ,

Engaging, Entertaining, & Educational All in One Great Read

I would like to thank Ace & NetGalley for a copy of this e-ARC to review. Though I received this ebook for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review.

Goodreads Teaser: "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 them from the inside..."

A captivating story about personal issues played out in the media, the stresses of living a life dictated by team owners and sponsors, and the massive cover ups that allow the image to remain king. Kali Ling is an incredible character who takes us on a journey of deep introspection and self discovery, all framed in a futuristic, but realistic, world of professional gaming. Virtual gaming is the new hot kid on the scene, and 20 year old Kali is right in the thick of it, living her dream and not really paying to much attention to all that's wrong in the industry. The way all players drug tests are falsified, and how all the drugs they could ever want are supplied by the team owners, players brainwashed into parroting, if not believing, that "image is everything."

This story is a fascinating mix of personal and public, showing the fault lines that run through pro sports and the damage it does to each successive generation of players. Everyone toes the line in fear of losing sponsors, or getting dropped from teams; Kali follows this path until her teammate Nathan overdoses. That event begins the unraveling of Kali's belief in the industry; though it had begun some time prior, it took Nathan's death to bring it to the fore for her.

This story is both exhilarating and saddening, as though it is fiction it is so easy to see how close to reality it likely is for most industries that rely on public fans and private sponsors. But Kali's journey, and that of her friends and teammates is refreshing, and feels oh so authentic. The characters are well crafted, with Kali and Rooke the two central players, surrounded by two empathetic and enjoyably strong young women as well as a young man with more depth than one would expect. Between their budding friendship and growing dependence upon each other to struggle through the challenges they face they move the story ever forward. Their lives and challenges both propel the plot and are the plot. This is a refreshing journey of a very realistic character, one who faces tough challenges, especially at the very young age of 20, and yet learns to rediscover herself. In doing so she also learns how to lead, far better than she'd ever imagined possible.

Not only is this a great book for anyone who would be in the entertainment industry, be it as professional athletes, models, actors, etc. but also for those who support those various industries by following them. It's also simply a wonderful story of reaffirmation, self discovery, and personal growth. And on top of all that it's just a flat out good story, one that will challenge you to put the book down to sleep when all you want to know is what happens next. In Arena Ms. Jennings has done a wonderful job of tackling serious issues, sharing solid life lessons, and still keeping the reader more than engaged.

More Books by Holly Jennings

Other Books in This Series