Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 226 pages
Published Date: February 5, 2012
Publisher: Morgan Rice
Series: The Survival Trilogy
Rating: 3 out of 5
Let me start by saying I love the idea and concept behind Morgan Rice’s Arena One. When I started the book, the writing grabbed my interest even though there was very little dialog between Brooke (17) and her younger sister Bree, the two most important characters (I love dialog). My interest started to wane when Brook (the protagonist) started chasing after the Slaverunners. Brook chased them on an old motorcycle with a side car and somehow she caught up with them. She did this by driving through the Catskills doing over 140 or even 150 mph. Not only didn’t this seem plausible, the character should have died many times – as the author states at the end of each chapter it seemed. Brook then meets Ben where they moved up from the motorcycle to one of the Slaverunner’s cars (how they did this was amazing too) and again traveled to NYC doing over 140/150 mph and again felt like they were going to/should have died at the end of each chapter.
Still there was or is very little dialog between the characters throughout this book, but the author would have you believe that Brook would start to have strong romantic feelings for Ben (who she had been with for less than 24 hours) and a new character who is so uninteresting that I don’t remember his name. The romantic feelings seem to be even stronger than looking for her sister at times and looking for her sister and getting her back is plot of the story. If Rice would have only inserted dialog between Brook, Ben, and the uninteresting character(s), and built up the romantic story I would have bought it. The problem was Rice wanted more description of car racing, characters being slammed around, and Brook almost dying constantly that I feel other parts were tossed aside.
I have read many dystopian novels and wanted to like this one, but the writing style wasn’t for me. I want more dialog between characters (not a ton, but more). I want to worry about the characters and feel what they are feeling. I want to have a romance build up, not just appear. I liked where Rice is going with the story and soon I may pick up the rest of the series to see how it ends.