Book Review | Arena by Holly Jennings

Title: Arena

Author: Holly Jennings

Series: Arena #1

Age: Young Adult

Genres: Sci-Fi, Dystopian

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

Publisher: ACE

Source: Paperback via review

Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Play Store | iBooks 

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

My Rating: 
My Thoughts:
Let me just start by saying that I am NOT a huge sci-fi or dystopian novel fan as they tend to drag on and bore me. This book was pretty good. It did drag in the first couple of chapters, but as I continued to read on it gave me some excitement and piqued my interest more.

Arena is set in the year 2054 where virtual gaming is a competitive, professional sport. Virtual gaming has a dark side. It isn’t all fun and gaming. In order to be a part of the professional world, the gamers must be in peak condition. All sensations are heightened, colors are more vibrant, smells are more pungent and the pain they feel is very real. When they die in the virtual they will feel every ounce until they wake back up in the real world once. Now that alone is what truly grasped my attention to this book.

Kali the main character, is kind of hard to read because she is throwing her life away and doesn’t seem to care (she has died several times and still didn't care about her life). She’d rather be lost in the virtual world rather than the real world. As the story goes on she begins to understand how detrimental she’s been living her life. Kali, with the help of a new team member, begins to change her life around while also trying to be a better teammate, captain and person. Kali wants to put an end to the dark side of virtual gaming. She was pretty interesting.

Arena has a bit of action and some intense scenes. The ending was wonderful and intense. This was a different read for me, but it still kept me interested. I think this a good read for those of you interested in reading about virtual gaming or even trying to get into the sci-fi genre.

Have you read this book?