Thursday, July 14, 2011
CBR III Review #83: Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
I was warned by another Cannonball Participant that this is nothing like The Hunger Games, but I was intrigued by the title and took the bait anyways. I should have heeded the advice.
The novel begins with Lyn's seventh father going into what should be his final fight because of his looming retirement. It does end up being his last fight, but only because he is defeated and killed by his opponent. As a result, Lyn becomes a pawn in the Gladiator Sports Association public relations plan. Iff she doesn't marry the man her killed her father her family will lose everything. Lyn is now faced with three choices: marry the man who killed father, allow her family to become homeless and destitute, or win her freedom in the arena by fighting her betrothed. The circumstances that lead to these choices are utterly ridiculous and contrived, but it is a book about modern day gladiator fighting so I can look past these circumstances.
Another particular annoyance with the novel is the title of the book and the book blurb give away the entire plot line. In actuality she doesn't decide to try and fight for her freedom until the latter part of the book, and she doesn't even step foot into the area until the very very end of the novel.
I didn't hate The Girl in the Arena, but thank god it appears to be a stand alone novel. I'm exhausted from reading trilogies. Just don't be fooled by the title.