book review
4 Stars, ARC, Book Reviews

{REVIEW} Gauntlet by Holly Jennings + Giveaway! (ARC)

by Holly Jennings

Genre: Young Adult, Scifi
Pub Date: Apr 4, 2017
Publisher: Ace
Length: 436 pages
Spoilers: N/A
Goodreads ♦ Amazon($9.61)

I received this free physical ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



Kali Ling isn’t afraid of dying. She’s been killed hundreds of times in hundreds of different ways. And she knows there are things much more terrifying than death…

There’s a new game in town. A brutal, winner-takes-all, international video game tournament between the world’s most elite players, promising fame, prestige, and unbelievable fortune. But there’s a catch. The game uses new VR pods guaranteed to push digital warriors to their physical and psychological brink—adapting every time a gamer makes a move.

As the first female captain and youngest team owner in VGL history, Kali is used to defying the odds. But as the all-star tournament heats up, her determination begins to waver and the pressures of media, sponsors, and the game itself begin to put cracks in her hard-set convictions.

If Kali’s Team Defiance is to survive, they’ll have to find a way to be stronger than ever before. But battling the system may prove too difficult for even the most hardened of fighters…


Full Immersion Gaming
Need I really say more? :p This is the new big thing and is going to become even bigger in our lifetimes, but most importantly, it sets the stage for a whole new world of gaming technology. This series shows us that world. It shows us what life could be like if full immersion technology became real and I love it! I love all of it: both the good and the bad! You’ll have to read to find out what those are, though. :p

The Original’s Always Better
To be honest, I didn’t like this book quite as much as the original. The plot was different. The stakes were different. The challenges were different, but it just didn’t have the same umpf and pizzazz as the first novel in the series. Still, it was quite a fun read!

Bring in the AI
As a science fiction writer, I would never venture into AI tech. It’s complicated to write and build (and I oppose it in real life.) However, Holly Jennings did an amazing job implementing it into the story. It was realistic. It enhanced the plot. It had the same sinister aspect many skeptics often associate with AI and it made this book a whole different ball game from the first.

Pick up the Pace
I was a little disappointed with how slow this book moved. Not because it was drawn out. The plot actually moved at a pretty good clip, but I think the reason it felt slow was because of how the tension in the book didn’t build the way I thought it would.

It had a slow build, never quite reaching a climax, until the last few chapters of the book and then it piled on. I wasn’t a big fan of this. The contrast was too great, making the sudden climax feel a bit overwhelming.

The Ending(no spoilers)
I love the ending! I hate the ending! It was exactly what I wanted it to be and yet, it made me soooo mad! That is all I’m going to say on this… Suckers. *smirk*

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13 thoughts on “{REVIEW} Gauntlet by Holly Jennings + Giveaway! (ARC)”

  1. I love (and miss) video games! Before I had my kids, I was super into Red Dead Revolver and any/all Grand Theft Autos. Now that I don’t have time for them, I’m mainly a Blossom Blast kinda gal (it’s on my phone, I can just whip it out and play whenever 😉 )

    Thanks so much for the chance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I don’t have kids, but I feel like I don’t have a lot of time for vid games either. (Too many other hobbies, unfortunately.)

      And I get kind of bored of phone games. What’s Blossom Blast about?


      1. I usually get bored with them too, but Blossom Blast is just cute and fun. You have to collect certain flowers, pick other ones, pull weeds, and depending on level, there are snails, bees, and moles that create obstacles. Its actually a little challenging, which is why I think I like it so much (or it’s the pretty colors and flowers. Yeah, it’s probably that 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

          1. No, not in this one. The only thing you have to wait for is lives, if you use them all. But you can always send lives to other players, and they usually return the favor so there’s no waiting for anything. I hated that about Candy Crush, how you had to wait to unlock another level. It’s probably why I stopped playing after a day (ok, two at the most 😉 )

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I found Arena by accident on Friday and am so happy that I did. Breezed through it practically overnight and am super excited about Gauntlet! Your review is just adding more hype to the train for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That WAS you in the video! Your picture down below doesn’t even look the same! I was like, “who is this girl?”
    And it’s YOU!
    I don’t game. I have no game. Whatsoever. Well, I play Simpsons: Tapped Out on my iPad…but does that really count? 🤔 prob not to gamers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! What? What video? What you talkin’ about? :p

      Hee hee! I’m not a big gamer either. Though, I’d like to be. I think any electronic game can count as gaming. I’ve never heard of Simpsons games before, though. What do you do? (I just happen to like board games more. Probably because I totally suck at vid games. :p )


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