Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Girl in the Arena

Girl in the Arena
by Lise Haines

Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him...

I was extremely excited to read this book. When I saw it was coming out, all I could think was, " sounds like The Hunger Games. Bad book to draw comparison from, I'm aftraid! Collin's dystopia was amazing and set a precedent for "arena battle" based books. There was no way that this book could match that world or character depth.

It's unfortunate that this book was not published first as it did have many good qualities. The idea of a Neo-Gladiator culture pervading America was interesting and possible. The idea that a woman would be forced to marry her father's killer because of a technicality...intriuging. The relationships between Lyn and the two young men in her life are also very believable. Lyn's relationships with her mother and younger brother are also very touching, honest, and believable.

A good book for readers who enjoy social commentary, cultural exploration, adventure, and dystopian fiction. I would not necessarily advise, though, that this book be pushed on every person who says they read The Hunger Games and are looking for similar reads, as it may not measure up in their eyes.


  1. I'm glad to hear what you thought of this one. It's a possible purchase for me. I'm definitely intrigued by the premise, so I'm curious to see if people think it pans out.

  2. Thanks. As I said, it's not a bad book. It's just unfortunate that most people will compare it to "The Hunger Games" and it's not quite that good. if you have a lot of patrons in your library that like that type of book, though, go for it...