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on February 8, 2016
############ Mild Spoiler Alert ##########

This story of Brooke and her sister is action packed. In fact, it is nonstop action. After Bree is captured by slaverunners, Brooke is determined to get her back regardless of the cost. Along the way, she meets Ben, whose brother has also been taken.

Through car chases, wrecks, and against all odds they follow the slaverunners to the island of Manhattan, which has been totally decimated. In a huge twist they both survive Arena One, which is a miracle in itself, since no one ever survives. They are befriended by a guard, who first saves their lives and then tells them where their siblings have been taken.

After separating to go find their family members, they meet back at a pier and attempt to escape the city, heading for a city in Canada that has supposedly escaped destruction. Along with new members of their group they attempt a daring escape.

I really enjoyed this book. Morgan Rice is fast becoming a new favorite author of mine. I look forward to reading more of her work.
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on November 20, 2016
This book deserves one star, but I'm giving it two for the number of laughs my friends and I have had about it through the years. Tears of joy have been shed, and my abs are stronger for it.
Okay, so the book was terrible. There's no two ways of putting it. It's like the author wanted to recreate the Hunger Games while avoiding a lawsuit, so she threw in a car. To be honest, the Car was the most memorable character of the book. Why? Well, our narrator spent 30% of the book driving it. And she kept announcing the speeds to the reader, as though 150 mph would have more of a dramatic effect on the scene than 125 mph. Also, she survives some pretty insane injuries. Snake bites, broken ribs, a broken arm, and various shrapnel cuts and bruises. But apparently in a post apocalyptic world, one shot of questionable antibiotics fixes you right up. Also, in a post apocalyptic world, the first two guys you meet will be both conventionally attractive, and your age! These two guys both naturally fall for our battered and bruised speed demon, thus creating the obligatory love triangle that absolutely no story ever needs. If I were Brooke, the main character, I'd choose neither. On one hand, there's Ben, who spends most of the book either screaming in terror, or crying inconsolably, and admittedly appropriate reaction to the situation at hand. Then there's Logan, the classic bad boy who hasn't lost his rock 'n' roll attitude despite the complete and unexplained desolation of the entire country, who pops up out of no where to show Brooke how grumpy he is.
Oh, and the main idea of the book is to get Brooke's sister Bree back from the slaverunners. In case that little thread got lost in that pile of crap. One of the most inexplicable and confusing things about the story is why Brooke gets thrown into this WWE fighting ring. The entire idea around this makes no sense at all. First of all, the spectators. Where do they come from? Why aren't they dead? And then those who run the fights. What benefits do they recieve from eliminating more of an already dwindling population? Why are they having people fight each other instead of using them as slave labor to build palaces? Honestly, the arena storyline made no sense and it took all of my willpower as a seventh grader (yes, I read this six years ago and only now am I reviewing it, but trust me, I remember it vividly.) not to skip it.
Overall, the story is even more unbelievable than a sci-fi dystopian novel should ever be, and anyone should be reading it for a good laugh if anything.
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on August 5, 2015
This is a very interesting action-packed book that starts slowly and goes on a crescendo and suddenly there is not a single idle moment until you turn the last page. The book describes an America that was devastated by war and people fighting for survival. Two young ladies flee from New York City where they used to live with their parents. After the father left them to fight in the war, the mother lost herself and believed her husband would return. Knowing better, our heroine Brooke takes her sister and leaves NY just in time, when NY is falling in the hands of gangs. She starts her struggle to survive outside, in a hostile environment, where slaverunners seek people to fight to death in their arenas, just for entertainment of the remaining dominant population. When things looks like are turning for the best for our two ladies, while Brooke goes out to do some exploratory hiking, the slaverunners capture her young sister Bree and the story picks up its pace and from there on, it is a thriller on every turn of the page. Brooke meets Ben that also just lost his young brother to the slaverunners and both start an impossible rescue mission. When they need it most, help comes from a young man (Logan) and a love triangle is created.
The point of being a fiction book is that you believe in what you want. I enjoyed the book very much. The plot is interesting and even if winning all battles against all odds is not a realistic scenario, just cheer up for our heroine and let her success be contagious.
I recommend this book for all readers that have a strong heart and an imagination that can accommodate an invincible heroine. They will be entertained for hours!
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on May 21, 2015
"Arena One" by Morgan Rice is yet another YA dystopian apocalyptic read starring a headstrong 17-year-old female protagonist facing impossible odds. The main character Brooke and her younger sister Bree have been living off the grid in a secluded cabin trying to survive and remain unnoticed by the sadistic slaverunners. Of course things take a turn for the worst, when Bree is taken and Brooke must do everything in her power to get her back before the slaverunners take her sister into the city. Arena One (deep within the slaverunner headquarters) has a reputation of no survivors for a reason, the only way out is death.

As with most dystopian and action books, the reader has suspend some amount of belief and accept various unrealistic scenarios, however I do agree with some other reviewers on here that the amount of bodily harm that Brooke endures and lives through is astounding (multiple high-speed car accidents, being thrown repeatedly through the air, broken bones, snake bites, etc). Overall though, I did enjoy the story and will check out the second book to see what happens next.
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on September 15, 2014
It gets me how harsh some readers can be over a writer's book. I think before someone starts bashing a writer's mistakes that maybe first, they should write a book of their own to see how difficult it really is. Yes, there were errors in the book. Maybe some of the situations were a bit stretched? However, that's why it's called fiction.

I as a writer myself and an avid reader know that even with books who are edited still have errors. I try to ask myself the question... does the error affect the flow of the story? If it doesn't, then let it go. Enjoy the story.

I liked the story. Yes, there were mistakes and some repeats. But over-all, I thought the story was entertaining and it kept my attention. I'd like to have seen a little more depth to Ben. Hopefully, in the next book, which I intend to read, will bring more of Ben's character to life. I especially liked the courage and determination Brooke had in saving her sister. It got me to thinking.

Anyway, in spite of the mistakes, it still was an interesting read. And I'd recommend it.
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on October 14, 2012
No, no, no, no, no. I expected to love this book. After all, I did love The Hunger Games and Blood Red Road. The 3 books have a lot in common. However, this book felt like a cheap knock-off of THG.

Let's see...
Girl has to take care of her little sister on her own because parents are either dead or just out of the picture. Check

Girl is a "survivor". Check.

Girl loves little sister more than anything. Check.

Girl misses her dad, not so much the mom. Check

Girl's sister is somehow taken from her. Check.

Girl tries to "save" sister. Check.

Girl meets boy. Check.

World in desperate need of a revolution. Check

Cage fighting. Check.

First part of a trilogy. Check

Uhh, no thanks. If I want to read about a girl desperately trying to save her sister from a blood thirsty maniacs, I'll re-read The Huinger Games for the millionth time, thank you very much.

But just because I didn't like it doesn't mean others won't. I've read plenty of reviews written by people who love this, so if you think it's your kind of thing, go for it. To each his own. I, however wouldn't recommend this to anyone. Not even my worst enemy.
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on July 1, 2013
Arena One: Slaverunners by Morgan Rice was another entry into the growing dystopian society genre. The book was well-written and well-paced. All too often in novels, I've noted that the biggest mistake an author often commits is developing the story too fast or too slow. In Slaverunners, Rice got the spacing just right. I did not feel like I was rushed into the story, nor did I feel like the story was dragging on.

Now to say a little about the book, Slaverunners is set in New York, and we're introduced to Brooke and Bree. Brooke is our main character, our heroine if you will, whereas Bree is somewhat of the victim throughout most of this novel. As with all dystopian books, at the beginning we have two characters that are mostly happy, yet barely surviving in their present straits. What follows after the start of Slaverunners is a race against time to save Bree from a horrible fate. Brooke is willing to do anything, to take any steps to save her sister. As always, the bonds that are formed between our main characters, even in the face of such suffering is uplifting and reassuring. Even if society has taken everything away, even if there seems to be little hope, love can and will conquer all, love is worth fighting for.

While I do not want to spoil your perusal of this story, I will say that you should enjoy the development of our heroine. If you're the type of individual that enjoys action/adventure books set in a dystopian society, Slaverunners is for you. Of course you will see similar plot constructs to many other novels set in a dystopian society, such as our heroine falling in love with two guys, and of course we're going to wonder who she chooses, in the end however this book is worth a read and your time. I give this book 5/5 stars for a thoroughly enjoyable and fast paced read.
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on January 14, 2017
I really enjoy post apocalyptic dystopian novels and have read a ton of them but this just falls short. The pacing is weird; you don't really get attached to any character. Also the writing is really mediocre. Every time Brooke (main character) gets into a pickle, she's safe at the last minute because of some skill set she luckily has that was not mentioned before or given any gravity to. Also about half the chapters end with her saying something along the lines of "and I realized I was about to die". Then she doesn't, of course. Also, more on the mediocre writing, I know you repeat words and phrases in writing and I don't claim to have a steel trap of a memory but Morgan Rice would throw out a line and then say the exact same thing like a page later. Example: in the end she's like "I found this champagne and I know I shouldn't drink it blah blah but I take a sip and it goes straight to my head" then about a page later she says "I take another swig of the champagne and it goes straight to my head".

See what I mean? Maybe I'm being nitpicky but with so many awesome dystopian novels out there to enjoy, I'm probably just going to skip out on the second two of the trilogy (which is very unlike me)
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on April 2, 2013
Pt. 1: I love Brooke's character because her father was a marine and taught her at a young age how to fight and take care of herself. So she is does whatever she can to protect and rescue her younger sister Bree from the slaverunners after they took her from their mountain home. Then she meets Ben, another survivor, whose brother has also been taken. This is when they team up to get her sister and his brother back. If, they don't get killed or put into the arena to fight and die first. This book starts off slow and gets faster as you move along.

Pt. 2: When trying to save Bree and Ben's brother, Brooke and Ben are caught by the slaverunners and are made to fight in the arena. It is amazing that they even survive. That is when they meet Logan, a former slaverunner, and he helps them to escape. All the while Brooke is finding that she has feelings for Ben and Logan, which confuses her. This is a fast and crazy ride and Morgan Rice has done a fantastic job. It's like one of the best roller coaster rides that I have ever been on, and I can't wait to read the second book. This a must read for any Morgan Rice fan. I give it 2 thumbs up. GO Morgan!Arena One: Slaverunners: The Survival Trilogy, Book 1
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on November 17, 2012
The author must never has spent one hour in the snow, with wind blowing hard enough to hardly see thru. Yet we are led to believe these 2 girls have spent 3 years close to the top of a mountain with NO COATS,MITTENS,or BOOTS!! Another unbelievable part is where Brooke(the older of the 2 girls)is telling the reader how she should prepare the salmon she caught. Yet earlier in the book the author tells us the 2 girls are living on fish and an occasional rabbit. How can they live for that many years without anything else to eat? No mention of greens or roots or berries! In my opinion, the editor and the author need to re-work this book. I would also mention I learned to drive on rural roads i.e. gravel and anyone on 4 wheels has trouble keeping on the road at 55+ MPH (my car went in the ditch) so it is unbelievable to think the author has Brooke going around hairpin turns then speeding up to 55+ the braking, then speeding over and over.
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