Arena by Holly Jennings

Posted April 7, 2016 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 5 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Arena by Holly JenningsArena by Holly Jennings
Published by Ace on April 5, 2016
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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...


  icon rocked my world  icon scifi  icon ARCREVIEW

This is another book I probably never would have read if it weren’t for Ace Roc stars. I would have been missing out!  This is science fiction in the world of virtual reality gaming with a touch of romance and humor, a very light touch.  I appreciate that it is a new adult rather than young adult.

It started a bit slow for me to get into the world and everything was detailed. Then the emotions hit and the characters became real.  The story is from Kali’s point of view and we know her the best. The others are mostly not as well drawn.  That is the only thing lacking for me. And it was getting there by the end of the book.

I love Kali and her story.  She has fascinating background and situations here.  She really works to grow and improve herself.  And she’s awesome.   The philosophical references and team-building are rather inspiring.  

Arena works its way to uplifting and funny.  I recommend it.   I messaged the author on Goodreads to ask if there would be more.  She told me she was writing the sequel!!   *fist pumps*


Giggle worthy quote:   

There are two quotes  I want, badly, to include but sadly they are too much spoilers.


About Holly Jennings

I’m Holly Jennings, author of Arena and professional geek girl.

My love of writing and science fiction began at a young age, when my mother gave me the gift of books and my father gave me the gift of Star Wars.

My debut novel Arena is set in the not-too-distant future and was inspired by a documentary about young adults striving to make it as pro gamers (professional video game players). Tired of so many people looking down on those who enjoy games, I created a future where gamers are the ultimate celebrity athletes. Thanks to fully-immersive virtual reality, pro gamers compete in nationwide tournaments and build their skillsets in the real world by training in weapons and martial arts. I hope that Arena is the first of many set in this world.

Why do I write what I do? Our universe is filled with countless worlds and (for now) writing is the only way to explore them, or even create ones of our own. I hope you enjoy mine.

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Posted April 7, 2016 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 5 Comments

5 responses to “Arena by Holly Jennings

    • leona – thanks so much! I find I’m really enjoying the mix of genres these days. For many years I read only mysteries, which I still love. But sci-fi and fantasy are back in my heart in a BIG way. I’ve been reading romance again for about 5 years but some days, some books, it all seems too much the same. There’s new contemporary romance which is more realistic and that’s wonderful. As for sci-fi, I’m a math and science nerd so it’s not so surprising I like it. Anne

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  1. Sci-fi is often a bit slow for me as well, but I think it’s necessary in order to fully understand the universe the story unfolds in. I haven’t heard of this one at all before, but I think it’s one I’d enjoy too. And I’m so curious about the giggle-worthy quotes you couldn’t include 😉
    Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading.

    • Lexxie – Thanks for reading. I REALLY wanted to include those quotes. Actually, I might go include them on my Goodreads review in a spoiler thingy, so people don’t have to read if they don’t want to be spoiled. ( I won’t be able to do it until late this week because I’m out of town for a few days then taxes to finish up. ) Humor is amazing to me in any genre. So those quotes mean a lot to me. Anne