Monday, 6 October 2014

Book Review: Arena One by Morgan Rice

After her sister is captured by slaverunners, Brooke teams up on a rescue mission with with another survivor, Ben, whose brother was also taken. What follows is a post-apocalyptic, action-packed thriller where they will have to make some of the hardest choices and sacrifices of their lives.

My Review:
I am reviewing Arena One part 1, a 70 page segment of the novel that I tried free, to see if it was something I'd like to read the rest of.

Brooke and her younger sister Bree survived the civil war by hiding out at their family's winter cabin which is exposed to the main road, leaving them vulnerable to being captured by slaverunners and sent as slaves to the arena to fight. It sounded a bit Hunger Games to me but I'm always willing to try new books even if they seem similar to books I've read and loved.

Right. What worked in the Hunger Games is that although it was a brutal futuristic regime, everyday life was believable in this world. You thought it could happen so you believed in it and the characters. I just didn't believe in the opening, not enough to invest in the rest of the story, mentally or financially! Brooke admits to not being able to hunt or fish, and has no food supplies so how on earth did the girls survive three years out there? How could they survive all winter with the odd fish??? That didn't make much sense. Neither did the fact that she had no idea about the fully stocked cabin higher up the hill from her holiday home. Even if she had not known it was there, surely she would have explored the area fully in the years that she had been there to find supplies!

And when she finds it full of canned goods and next to a wood with lots of trees to burn and deer to throw knives at, she decides to move her sister up there the next day as it is much more secluded and safe. So why, the next day does she abandon that excellent plan, leave her sister and go to look at the cabin again? Yes you guessed it, Bree is snatched while she is away! Oh come on. This happens despite both sisters having a bad dream about Bree being taken and Brooke having that bad feeling as she left the cabin that she'd never see her sister again-but leaves anyway. None of that was realistic to me. Nor was the running down the mountain to catch the car.

The other thing that didn't grab me was how slow the story was. It took a lot of time to get to the point of Bree being taken and by then this version of the book was finishing. We didn't need so much description about the winters, flashbacks to her dad having tantrums(which added NOTHING to the story) and so on. If you are going to give a free segment of your book, it needs to have enough in it to grab the reader and make me want to devour it. In this case, there just wasn't enough of interest in this to make me want to read the whole thing. If a book hasn't grabbed me by 50 pages in, I rarely continue much further as I have limited time and a big tbr to get through.

So it wasn't for me I'm afraid.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png


  1. Hi Chuckles!

    I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster award! Congrats, check out my post with the questions here:


    1. Thanks for thinking of me but I'm afraid I don't have the time to take this on. Thanks!