Ready for the Arena Player 1?

Arena - Holly Jennings

The world of video games has change and morphed into a total immersion experience. With this change it has become the top athletic sport in the world. How can video games be athletic? Just ask Kali, who is at the top of her game. She must train and bring together a team that has been left in pieces after a tragedy.  Can she be the first girl to win the tournament or will reality and virtual become one?

 

Pro: 

 

- Each team in the tournament consists of 5 individuals. What i appreciated about Arena was the diversity that Kali's team is surprisingly diverse. Mixing ethnicity and sexuality which helped add to the depth of the story line. Jennings tried to display a group that was not just the typical gamer stereotypes. 

 

- Jennings did a great job in how she portrayed team work. Instead of everyone getting along or having a fight and than magically all being best friends there was a constant give and take. Kali as the team leader had to work repeatedly on bonding and keeping the team together. Jennings also showed how team work falls on everyone and not just the leader. It took all of them to make the dynamics flow. 

 

- I always love learning new things, especially when its mixed in to a good story. That is exactly what Jennings did with arena. She introduced Taoism and the fundamentals of the practice into gaming. Which made the story more enjoyable and unique. 

 

Con:

 

- Kali has a warrior image that her sponsors make for her. She has to keep this image in order to keep these sponsors both inside the arena and in the public eye. Depicting a female as a warrior is not really seen much and i did like that they made Kali strong. Yet  evolving the Warrior into more than just strength and hard would have added to the character. Showing a more rounded warrior and adapt it to encompass the spiritual and emotional aspects would have given Kali more intensity.

 

Quotes:

 

-Funny thing about being on top; its a long way down when you crash.

 

- Not being yourself because of their ignorance is worse

 

- Wash all the shit away to reveal the calmness beneath

 

- A man with outer courage dares to die. A man with inner courage dares to live

 

- Mastering others is strength. Mastering self is true power.

 

- A leader is best when people barely know he exists, so then they believe they did it themselves.

 

- Fighting people leads to war. Fighting ideas leads to progress.

 

 

* Copy of novel was provided by author in exchange for an honest review*