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Publisher's Summary

Arena is a Sunday Times best-selling novel from Simon Scarrow, author of Invictus, Centurion and The Gladiator, and T.J. Andrews. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.
It is AD 41. The city of Rome is a dangerous place.
Optio Macro of the Second Legion, recently decorated for courage on the battlefield, can't wait to leave the teeming city behind. He's dismayed when he's compelled to stay in Rome to train Marcus Valerius Pavo, a young gladiatorial recruit.
Though fearless Pavo has fought for his life before, he's a novice in the arenas. But he's a driven man, with a goal dearer than survival - to avenge his father's death at the hands of a champion gladiator. Will he live to face his nemesis?
©2013 Simon Scarrow (P)2013 Headline Publishing Group Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Ferocious and compelling." ( Daily Express)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Roger on 01-02-14

Badly Written and Badly Read.

What disappointed you about Arena?

I have to say I loved Simon Scarrow's Cato and Macro characters, and I enjoyed Scarrow's writing - it got the story done with enough embellishment to entrance and transport to a relatively authentic impression of the time. So I bought this book, (not realising he wrote it with someone else) expecting the same. Anyway, for whatever reason, this book is as bad as his other books were good - the plot plods along a linear timeline from one uninteresting turn of events to another, stumbling over laughable cliches and repetitive character reactions, made all the worse by the histrionic reading of David Thorpe. I won't go on, because enough is said. All I can say is, stick to writing on your own Simon, because it seems the other bloke just dragged you down on this one.

Would you ever listen to anything by Simon Scarrow and T. J. Andrews again?

One more chance to Simon Scarrow, but definitely never T.J. Andrews.

What didn’t you like about David Thorpe’s performance?

Disliked it intensely. Histrionic, badly interpreted and misphrased.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom and mirth

Any additional comments?


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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Tyler on 09-19-15

Story read like it was on repeat

Would you try another book from Simon Scarrow and T. J. Andrews and/or David Thorpe?

Yes, I would still listen to David Thorpe's narrations, and I'd be willing to read another Scarrow

Any additional comments?

This book seemed like a never ended repeat of events. Main character gets into a tight spot due to the nasty Grecian. He is forced to fight. He whines about the injustice of it. He trains. He wins. He is still subject the the Grecian's plots. Plot escalates (barely). Repeat.

I was not satisfied with the end. I did not like the characters, and an overuse of the f word made me feel like the characters were adolescents.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 08-31-16

love it

as always a good action packed story with plenty of chuckles. macro is a favourite of mine with or without cato .very good

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 07-20-15

A devious tale

What did you like most about Arena?

My son thought this was a thrilling and fast moving story. He particularly liked the tricky Greeks called Palllas and Marena(?) who could never be trusted to do what they said.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Macro (of macro and Cato fame) who was always straight to the point and took any disaapointment in his stride.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The best bit was when Marena got his come uppance at the end... In a truly Roman way.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Much better than Gladiator

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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