I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Arena #1
Published by Berkley on April 5, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, New Adult
Arena wasn’t even on my radar until I read one of those Netgalley Read Now emails. I usually delete them, because goodness knows I don’t need more Netgalley books, right? Arena proved me wrong! I’m so glad I succumbed to Netgalley’s read now email!
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...
I loved the futuristic vision of gaming and the references to “classic games.” anyone who’s played games a decent amount of console games will get some good laughs at how gamers might view the “ancient games” we grew up on.
But to top it off, Arena deals with serious issues like drug abuse. While it takes place in a fictional world, I loved seeing the main character deal with her issues and transform. Kali Ling is a professional virtual gamer – which basically is like being a celebrity athlete. Which is probably why I found the drug issues so fascinating I think. I also loved that she’s woman I a traditionally male sport (not shocking, since gaming and athletics have always been male-dominant). To top it off, she’s Asian – adding just another demention. It’s gaming, but much deeper.
Arena has great characters, complicated friendships, and some seriously sparky sexual tension, topped off by killer fight scenes. And there’s even some philosophy in there for you!
Arena was a great read, can’t wait to pick up the next one (which Netgalley says I’ll get for reviewing Arena… Fingers crossed!)
Berls says Arena was flipping fantastic! 5/5 stars Click To Tweet