During the week, Lyn lives in a big house in Cambridge and hangs out with friends in Harvard Square. But over the weekend, she cheers her father on as he gears up for neo-gladiator competition--a high profile televised blood sport that rivals the NFL. Lyn's father is the top player in the league, and the paparazzi that have always swarmed him have started to dog Lyn's every move. All this fame comes with another price--Lyn's family lives with the constant presence of violence, uncertainty, and a strict cultural code set by the Gladiator Sports Association. When a skilled young fighter slays Lyn's father, the GSA imposes an unthinkable sentence--Lyn must marry her father's murderer. Though her mother has made a career out of marrying into Glad culture, Lyn is prepared to do whatever it takes to claim her independence. Even if it means going into the arena herself . . .
This book was very different than other books I've read, and a lot different than I thought it would be. Lyn is actually for nonviolence, and doesn't care much for Glad society/culture. And her brother, Thad, is special needs, and can also tell the future, as he predicted their father's death a year before it happened. Lyn is determined not to marry her father's murderer, and to take care of her family herself, even after her mother commits suicide.
There's no action until the end, and that's when Lyn starts to fight the murderer instead of marrying him. And despite telling a family friend NOT to bring Thad to the fight, they do, and he gets injured trying to get to Lyn. That's about when the book stops, and the conflict/fight was supposed to carry on another time, but as far as I know, there's no sequel.
Yes, the author doesn't use quotation marks, which is a bit confusing, but not too confusing to make me stop reading. The Glad rules are kind of stupid and unnecessary, but I guess that's what happens with a society like this. The only problem I have with this book was the lack of successful end of conflict, and a few things that could have been explained more.
My Rating: 5 stars