Soldier

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Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the advanced reading copy of Soldier by Julie Kagawa! Extreme excitement raced through me when I received this arc because I absolutely love the first two books in this series, Talon and Rogue! The points of view are Garret/Sebastian, Ember, Riley and Dante. Garret discovers that St. George and Talon are working together, even though they are supposed to be mortal enemies. Dante is given a promotion to be in charge of the vessels that have been created as warriors. Dante is sickened by what he finds. Ember and Riley continue to try to help the hatchlings and the rogue dragons. A new character, Jade, has come from a destroyed monastery to help prevent further damage to innocents. The story line moves along at a consistent pace while the characters remain interesting and the ending: Oh My Gosh! The fourth book in the Talon series will be called Legion and I already am having a difficult time being patient while waiting to read it! I appreciate that the same theme has been used and kept on the book covers; they are simple but beautiful and elegant.

Arena

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Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the advanced reading copy of Arena by Holly Jennings! Arena contains nothing but fighting for the first chapter, then the fighting is explained. A team (Defiance) is participating in a virtual reality gaming tournament. Kali is the main character, and after the team captain (Nathan) dies from a drug overdose, Kali becomes captain. Virtual reality fighting uses gamers and athletically trains them to be on teams that compete for worldwide viewers and sponsors. Rooke replaces Nathan on the team at the same time Kali is promoted to team captain. Arena is about virtual gaming but also so much more: the interesting and dynamic characters; the problems gamers have to face with sponsors, athleticism and keeping what is virtual separate from what is true reality; addiction; the relationships between the characters and handling celebrityhood. I consider Arena by Holly Jennings in the New Adult genre due to some swearing, violence and intimate scenes. Wonderful writing makes the story flow! I will be watching for future books by Holly Jennings!