Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: Girl in the Arena

Lyn is a celebrity, the daughter of seven gladiators.  They fight to the death in televised neo-gladiator matches, and when one of her dads dies, her mother Allison remarries.  Again.  And again.  Bound by the strict rules of the Gladiator Sports Association (GSA), Lyn, Allison, and Lyn's brother Thad live scripted lives.

Until the seventh husband, the hero of the sport, Tommy, is slain by a new, young, skilled gladiator.  And the GSA hands down an unbearable sentence: Lyn must marry her father's killer.

Lyn is tired of playing by the GSA's rules and has no intention of marrying.  She'll do anything to be free... even enter the arena herself.

Entertainment: ★★

So here's the thing: the premise is fabulous, it's action-packed, and it's got social commentary.  From the description, Girl in the Arena sounds fabulous.  In practice, though, it's actually kind of boring.  I was very disappointed.

Plot: ★★

Bonus points for a cool premise, but negative points for being really slow and predictable.  I was never really in any kind of suspense about what would happen.

Characters: ★★

This is one of those things I can't pinpoint, can't say, "Well, clearly, this was the problem." But in some vague way, none of the characters felt real or interesting to me.  I wasn't emotionally invested in any of them.

Writing: ★★★

There's this weird thing, where there's no "quotation marks", -just these hyphens-, for dialogue. Once I got over that, the writing was decent... but not stellar.

End Result: two stars.  I was not impressed.


  1. Hmm I've seen this book so many times and the summary does sound interesting. Reading your review makes me glad I didn't pick this one up first.


  2. Yeah, it's not a book I'd particularly recommend reading.