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Sunday, February 7, 2016

REVIEW: Arena by Holly Jennings

*A big thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!*

Expected publication: April 5, 2016

Arena is a face paced virtual gaming-centric story set in the near future. The RAGE tournaments--the Virtual Gaming League's elite competition, pit highly skilled teams against each other in a no holds barred virtual gaming battle in hopes of gaining international stardom and financial security. 

Kali Ling is the first female captain in history; however, the road to success is littered with unexpected bumps as she and her teammates are forced to endure life in the spotlight and surprising losses in and out of the arena. Kali soon learns that the VGL harbors some secrets of its own and it will take all her strength, cunning and friends to overcome adversity and come out on top.

This is a science fiction release for primarily an new adult/adult audience in mind; however, there is significant crossover appeal for a mature teen reader.  Be advised that there are strong themes of violence, drug use (including an overdose) and sexual situations. This is ideal for fans of Ready Player One and the Hunger Games but who are also fans of gladiators and online gaming.  I breezed through the book in no time and really enjoyed the energetic pacing and characters.  Despite some flaws, this is a strong debut by Jennings.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @HollyN_Jennings

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