"Blake Northcott's Arena Mode series grabbed me from the first page and wouldn't let go. She's telling a story about unique characters in a unique world, and she's doing it with a unique voice. More, please."
"Blake Northcott is the most exciting new voice to come to superheroes in over a decade. She's got a brand new angle on this material. I genuinely think she's going to be a game-changer."
"Sometimes you get a chance to jump on board a writers career at the start, before everybody else discovers how good they are. Blake Northcott is that opportunity. So jump on her already...wait, just read her books."
I supported the Kickstarter campaign for Arena mode and I can tell you, that of the projects I have backed, none have come close to the satisfaction I had when I read Arena Mode for the first time. It was such an action packed, cinematic read that I couldn't put it down. Since then I have read the novel a couple more times and it gets better with each read. My wife is a high school English teacher and she was so enamored with the storytelling in this book that she has gotten permission to purchase a class set and will be introducing this book as part of her curriculum. Here are her thoughts:
As a 10th grade English/Reading teacher, finding supplemental literature that is challenging AND exciting is a rarity these days. With the introduction of the Common Core Standards my curriculum has been adjusted to include additional texts that require the students to read more than just the words and delve deep to find connections between multiple sources. After reading Arena Mode this summer I knew immediately that my students would be just as hooked as I was with this book.
The characters, setting and theme are conducive to sparking the imaginations of my students. Blake Northcott captured the essence of creating a superhero within a normal human being and that's what I hope to inspire in my students. After finishing Arena Mode, I hope to continue the journey with my students into Assault or Attrition, Blake Northcott's sequel that is currently being kickstarted.
As someone whose is big fan of Battle Royale, both book and movie, this book really appealed to me a lot. I have always find the premise of group of superheroes duke it out to see who is the last man standing very intriguing. Blake Northcott doesn't disappointed with this book because she takes her time to develop the characters that we can genuinely care about and rooting for.
It is very easy to see which characters are inspired by their well known superheroes counterparts but it doesn't detract from the story at all. In fact, it only enhanced the story even more when you can clearly understand the each motivation from those whose are participating in Arena Mode. It make for really entertaining reading.
Matthew Moxon is the main character and I find him to be very fascinating because of his willingness to participating in Arena Mode. He's someone that you truly care about and some of the scenes that he was in are just jaw dropping. I can relate strongly to Matthew Moxon because of the similar situations that we have been through. So it makes it very easy for me to rooting for him throughout the book.
Also, Arena Mode is basically Hunger Games mode but with 13 superheroes. So expect a lot of wicked action scenes in it. For me, it's like reading very visually driven novel because I can clearly see the scenes that are being described in my head. There are numerous moments that make my heart drop, which really says something.
There are quite few scenes that took me by surprise but it only add even more enjoyment to my reading. I actually read this book twice in same week when I received my copy. It's really fun action book that one should not missed.
I honestly think that Blake Northcott has truly evolved as a wonderful writer and I am truly eager to read her next books. I'd love it if she can continue to develop even more interesting projects like this one.
I truly strongly recommend this book if you're into comic books, superheroes, and science fiction stuff.
So what would happen if it was announced today that superpowers do exist? Lets face it, it wouldn't take long before they were battling each other to the death on reality television would it? Arena Mode is the story of our world in the not to distant future. The wealth divide has become stratospheric with the wealthy living in gleaming towers of glass and steel in walled off cities. The unwashed masses are forced to live in the crime ridden ghettos called Dark Zones due to rolling blackouts to supply power to the cities. Matthew Moxon lives in the space between the rich and the poor. He is a genius, a hustler, and a card counter, who works the casinos to keep himself above the poverty line but far from the gleaming spires of Manhattan. It also pays for his first true love collecting vintage comic books. Which has become something of a trendy fad due to the fact that most comic books are only published digitally now, and that super-humans are real!
For years Media Mogul Cameron Frost has been pushing the boundaries between sport and blood sport. He created the Full Contact Sword Fighting League and was the reigning champion until he was crippled in a freak accident. Then he upped the ante with Arena Mode, the ultimate competition reality show where players fight to be the last person standing. But this year's arena mode tournament added a new stipulation. Only super humans could compete for the $30,000,000 prize. The announcement stuns the world but Matthew has a big problem. After passing out during the big announcement he discovers that he has an inoperable brain tumor that will likely kill him in a few months. The only treatment option is a nano-surgery procedure that comes with a multimillion dollar price tag. With certain death as his only option he decides to fake his way into Arena Mode.
I found this book on kickstarter and it was everything I could have hopped it to be. It was reminiscent of Ready Player One with it's many nods to pop culture and the superhero genre. However it isn't only just a good book about super humans. The story is fun but it also, whether intentionally or not, is commentary on not just the ever expanding gap between the "Haves" and the "Have Nots" but also about our society's lust for more dangerous sports. You see this dark vision of what could be but, never feel like the author is wagging her finger at the reader saying "Shame, Shame, Shame!" It makes you think without guilting you into it. I pledged my support to the kickstarter campaign and it was worth every penny. You can find my name in the back along with everyone else who believed in this story.
I dont really know what to say except that if you like super heroes and you like comics and you can read...you need to buy this book.