Book: Arena (Holly Jennings)

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arena holly jennings


Holly Jennings


Publishing April 5th, 2015

ISBN: 1101988762 (ISBN13: 9781101988763)




Kali Ling is a rising favorite in the Virtual Gaming League; a warrior goddess of digital death, battling with her team in the RAGE tournaments. In the pre-playoff Death Matches, her team Defiance is beaten in a surprise upset by Team InvictUS. The loss causes the team to party a little hard that night, and her teammate and lover Nathan overdoses on booze and party drugs.

The glamorous life of professional virtual gamers is like a turbocharged version of professional athlete and celebrity, full of photo shoots, parties, and appeasing image-conscious sponsors. Kali seems headed toward implosion after Nathan’s death, but his replacement convinces her that maybe a new focus could save her life and others aby exposing the toll the celebrity gamer life takes on players.

Winning the tournament might just give them that spotlight. She’d be the first female player to lead a team to tournament victory.

Arena is a fun romp through the what-ifs of future gaming. In the book, professional virtual reality gaming has become one of the most popular sports, and the physical fitness and skill of the gamers have to relatively match the skill they’d need to perform as well in reality. This effectively blends sports with gaming, and ups the stakes to where physical prowess can bring about gladiator style fights without actual death. It explores the impacts of addiction and celebrity, and while it doesn’t delve into those topics as deeply as it could, it entertainingly makes its point. Not a lot of profound realizations, but definitely a diverting read with a worthwhile message.

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JL JamiesonBook: Arena (Holly Jennings)