Saturday, November 12, 2016

Spotlight: Arena by Holly Jennings

Title: Arena
Author: Holly Jennings
Publisher: Ace Books
Publication date: November 1, 2016 (first published April 5, 2016)
Pages: 400
Find it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound


“If anyone tells you that books about videogames can’t be considered good literature, hand them Holly Jennings’ ARENA”
—Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

“Think Hunger Games meets Ready Player One. ARENA is serious nerdcore entertainment. Gamers, get ready to plug in!”
—Chloe Neill, New York Times Bestselling Author

Available now in a stunning, redesigned trade paperback edition: Holly Jennings’ ARENA. The first novel in a near-future series, ARENA is a thrilling coming-of-age story set in a world where virtual competitive gaming has become the biggest form of entertainment. Older teens and adult readers of YA dystopian and action-paced sci-fi novels with a romantic twist—like Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising—are sure to love it!

ARENA stars Kali Ling, the first female captain in the Virtual Gaming League’s most elite tournament. Intense training for the competition takes over her days and wild parties end all of her nights. After the sudden death of one of her teammates, Kali realizes she’ll have to overcome the internal tensions and external pressures that threaten to destroy her team. And it won’t be easy with a hostile new teammate who’s far more distracting than he should be…


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…


“A nuanced and complex novel with a strong, imperfect heroine and a different approach to the “rebel in a dystopian society” trope...With some surprising twists, Jennings faces down dark issues unflinchingly, showing us how a rebellion can start peacefully and realistically with just one brave voice.” —RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!

“Depicting the action and excitement of virtual gaming that made Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One such a hit, Jennings’s debut delves into the real-world issues (drugs, sponsor demands) that athletes face. Add strong female characters to the mix and readers seeking more fast-paced sf about virtual reality will be pleased.”—Library Journal

“A solid coming-of-age story with a multi-racial female protagonist who is both a physical and mental athlete in a male dominated sport.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

About Holly Jennings 

Holly Jennings is a lifelong gamer who has spent innumerable hours playing World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. ARENA is her first novel. She lives in Canada, where she is working on the sequel.

Find out more about Holly online at

Suit Up.
Plug In.
Press Start.

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