ARENA by Holly Jennings

The lack of word count over the weekend is brought to you by Holly Jennings. Oh, and I went to a Ren Fair.

But Arena is great! It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and really enjoyed a book. I had several tasks to do like packing and cleaning the house that tried to keep me away from the story once I’d started, but I bought the audio book too so I could keep enjoying the story.

It’s a sci-fi book where virtual gamers are the sports stars of the world. Kali is the first female captain to take a team to the finals. Kali’s voice is refreshing and keeps the narration fast paced. I love that she’s strong, independent and knows how to get the job done. In fact she’s so strong I would’ve liked to see her struggle a little bit more. The “sponsors” loomed large as the evil entity, but despite Kali throwing wrenches into their system repeatedly, they never came after Kali directly. Perhaps in the sequel? It’s something I’d love to see. That and more face to face interaction between the teams. This book was all about getting Kali’s team to work together despite drug problems, game addiction and the sponsors, which was cool, but we needed more smack talk between the teams :)

Holly is the master of action scenes. Wow. I wish I could write like that. My absolutely favorite part was the final battle. But I’m not going to go into that because I want you to go out, buy Arena and enjoy the awesomeness for yourselves! You will be very happy you did.

IMG_3078That’s an updated picture of Holly’s book from when I went to Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago. I hope to see it on the Best Selling Science Fiction shelf next!

A good book like Arena is always inspiring. I’m home from the weekend getaway and ready to write tons of words this week. I’m going to try for 5000 a day. I doubt I will make it today, because I’m starting now at 10 pm. I will resist the coffee. I hope you join me as I post my progress this week.

Ready. Get set. Go!


A Writer Reviews: Bellwether by Connie Willis

If you’re a writer, I would definitely read this for the structure. It’s really unlike any story I’ve ever read.

Plot Overview: Dr. Sandra Foster is a scientist studying fads and how they originate. She is stuck trying to figure out how the fad of the bob haircut for women originated. She’s also clueless about social situations, and the secondary plot is a sort of romance comedy. It’s very cute and sweet.

Structure: Every chapter is filled with facts about various fads, facts about scientific discoveries and snarky commentary about current fads. The plot appears in each chapter only after facts and commentary. It’s definitely not an action book, but the voice is genuine and almost mesmerizing. I listened to Connie Willis at a con and found her very enjoyable. This book is a lot like listening to her talk, and not so much like a story. There is a story, but most of the plot twists come at the end.

My husband listened to a snippet of it with me and I said, “See what I mean that it’s like Bill Bryson’s Short History of the Universe with a plot?”

And he said, “It’s more like someone’s mental commentary about their life throughout the day.” And he was exactly right.

I do recommend reading it, especially listening to the audio version by Kate Reading. Go into it expecting to be entertained. And though it’s shelved in the speculative fiction area, I found the speculative aspect to be almost non-existent. I think readers of straight fiction would enjoy it too.

What are you reading these days?