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review 2018-05-27 11:52
The Gauntlet
The Gauntlet - Underwood Michael

The moment is finally there. The fight that will prove whether all that Kris did was in vain or not. Although I never really doubted the outcome of the challenge, I found it an interesting and thrilling episode nonetheless. So far, I really like the intricate world that is being created. I hope we will be getting a bit more of the council soon.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

Born to the Blade Season 1 Episode 4.

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review 2018-05-12 03:17
Kris' opportunity finally knocks in the most satisfying episode yet.
The Gauntlet - Underwood Michael

Since Episode One, we've been waiting for this: Kris Denn of Rumika facing the gauntlet. A series of 6 duels against the members of the Warders Circle of Twaa-Fei to gain a seat at the table for Rumika. Failure here means a decade (or so) before the next potential warder from Rumika has an opportunity. That's pretty much the whole episode in a nutshell -- can Kris make it?

 

Ultimately, I don't think anyone will be shocked at the outcome -- it's about the journey, how the outcome is reached. Underwood nails it. A couple of weeks ago, I linked to a piece he wrote about how fight scenes can reveal character (he also tweeted about it this week), and this episode is him displaying that theory in practice. It really works -- not only do we get a better idea about who Kris is, but we get a better understanding of the other Warders. Sure, we may not actually learn anything about Lavinia and Ojo -- we just get more evidence of what we already know -- but there are other duels.

 

This is longer than the previous two episodes -- and it helped. The extra length gave things a chance to happen. I assume that's not something we'll see next week, but I can hope, right?

 

I've liked the previous episodes enough to justify the purchase of the season and to keep going, but I just flat-out liked this one. Good fight scenes, good character moments and the plot moves ahead. Where this goes next, I'm not sure, but having concluded this initial arc, I'm ready to see it. These authors took their time establishing this world, and carefully built up to this point and what lies beyond. I'm looking forward to see what else comes on this foundation.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/05/11/born-to-the-blade-1-4-the-gauntlet-by-michael-underwood-kris-opportunity-finally-knocks-in-the-most-satisfying-episode-yet
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review 2017-06-02 00:00
The Gauntlet
The Gauntlet - Megan Shepherd The Gauntlet - Megan Shepherd 3.5 stars...
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review 2017-04-10 05:51
Review: Gauntlet by Holly Jennings
Gauntlet (Arena) - Holly Jennings

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-gauntlet-by-holly-jennings.html

 

After falling in love with Holly Jennings’s intense, exciting world of virtual gaming in Arena, I had extremely high hopes for its sequel. Gauntlet was everything I’d hoped for and more. It’s imaginative, addictive, and tense. You never know what will be thrown at Kali and her team next, and that’s just the way I like it.

Kali Ling, the youngest team owner in the history of virtual games, is out to change the world of gaming. In a world where gamers are celebrities, their images managed, their moves dictated, and their addictions covered up, Kali is determined to have a team that’s clean, honest, and the players can be exactly who they are. But being a manager is a hell of a lot harder than being a captain. Kali’s drowning trying to be a manager, player, and friend, and that’s without the added problem that her actions have pissed off the Virtual Gaming League. Even with all that on her shoulders, Kali has another new challenge: her team has been invited to play in a new all-star tournament. But this game is unlike any anyone has ever seen. It learns, it adapts, and it will push Kali and her teammates to their very limits, both physically and psychologically.

Like Arena, Gauntlet is suspenseful, engaging, and just plain cool. The added twist of the new game that learns and adapts (plus a few other elements I can’t reveal without spoiling the story) upped the ante. The obstacles facing Kali, Rooke, Hannah, Lily, and Derek forces them to grow, and I loved watching them develop as characters and come together even closer as a team. While Kali is the heart and soul of the book, I cared about each member of team Defiance and loved seeing more of their true selves come out.

Compelling characters aside, I loved the new challenges thrown Kali, both in the game and outside of it. I enjoy not knowing what’s coming next, loved facing each new challenge alongside Kali. Her frustration, pain, and determination were palpable and had me reading late into the night, wanting to see what she would do next. I hated having to put Gauntlet down, and my only complaint is that the end of the book left me on the edge of my seat, eager to see what happens next.

It’s difficult to write about Gauntlet without revealing things that would spoil the story. The fun is in not knowing what obstacles Defiance faces and what internal and external challenges they will have to overcome. I’m not a gamer, but I loved all the detail Ms. Jennings has put into her elaborate world of virtual gaming. The Arena series is vivid and wonderfully entertaining. I can’t wait to see where Ms. Jennings takes Defiance next!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-gauntlet-by-holly-jennings.html
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review 2017-03-24 00:00
The Gauntlet
The Gauntlet - Karuna Riazi I wanted to like this more, I was on board with the premise of three friends vs. horrific Jumanji game with Labyrinth in and Farah as a character was/is awesome. Unfortunately the way the mechanics of the game and the story played out I was less thrilled. This may be my persistent trouble dealing with middle grade characterization acting up, though Louise FitzHugh and Mary Downing Hahn don't seem to bother me, ever. The Gauntlet never lived up to the stakes it kept claiming to make. Farah and her friends' opponents were too easily defeated or too ill-defined to give me any shivers or lasting concern for their safety, and Farah's anxiety for her little brother wasn't emphasized enough. It was there, but it never went far enough.

All of that aside, this book is chock-full of information about Bangladeshi culture and there were some great material on Farah's uneasiness about her new school where she's the only girl in a hijab. Farah is Bangladeshi, but it doesn't define her. She is a brilliant game-player and deeply attached to her little brother and sympathetic to his needs. I wanted more time with her and her friends instead of the rush from scene to scene that the plot demanded. There's enough here that I think I can get kids and their family excited enough to pick it up.

I'm going to keep my eye out for future books from Riazi, because there is a lot of potential here, and I look forward to seeing where she'll go.
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