30 May 2024

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The Arena by Cooper

4 min read

The Arena by Cooper was a change of pace for me. For the longest time, I have been reading shifter stories with werewolves and lycans as the main characters. The Arena brings into play many different types of shifters such as lions, a Bengal tiger, a polar bear, and kestrels. The main characters, however, are Cedric (the last Lycan) and Tana (the last Elemental Fire Dragon).

The last of their kind

For many years, humans have hunted and killed supernaturals (or supes) out of fear. But something changed recently. For the past year )at least), supes have been hunted and captured. Why? For entertainment! They were imprisoned, starved, and then forced to fight to the death against other supes gladiator-style in the Arena. This is while being in their human form and unable to shift.

In the world, only 4 dragons remain, one for each element – earth, air, water, and fire. Tana is the last fire dragon. Her family chose to kill themselves rather than be captured by humans.

His pack was attacked on the day of Cedric’s ascension to Alpha of Alphas. His parents were killed while he and many of his pack members were captured and sent to the arena.

The Arena is where Tana and Cedric meet. They have been fighting in the Arena for about a year … which proves that they are very good fighters as they have not lost once. The hunters think Cedric is an Alpha werewolf. Cedric thinks Tana is an Alpha werewolf as well, and she has not taken the time to enlighten him otherwise. Cedric also thinks that Tana might be his mate but can’t be sure because of the suppressants the hunters have been given them to prevent them from shifting.

Mate!

I thought that seeing how the mate bond manifests for different kinds of shifters is interesting and it made sense that it wasn’t quite the same thing for dragons. A major difference is that simply biting or getting bitten is not enough. Dragons need to be claimed.

When Cedric and Tana finally get together and he bites her, he finally realizes that she isn’t an Alpha werewolf but something else altogether that is probably even more powerful.  In his confusion he leaves her, presumably to work things out in his head. Unfortunately, Tana took this as a rejection and left with a broken heart.

This becomes the turning point for everything that happens in the rest of the story.

The Review

I have what I like to call a “cinematic brain”. It means that when I read I can picture what is happening in my head and, often, the words actually disappear and I am reading the book as if I were watching a movie. This translates to if the movie in my head is bad or subpar I figuratively walk out of the theater.
 
Cooper describes scenes in The Arena so vividly I find myself living in the story.  I would put her in the same league as Chris Columbus and Peter Jackson if she were a film director.  Yes, that is how gorgeous the scenes play in my head. While prone to not using the Oxford comma (hyuk!), Cooper skillfully manages to keep me so engaged that I find myself savoring all the pages, rather than flying through the book as I usually do. I spent more time reading, not because it was a struggle, but because I would rewind to see a scene more clearly.
 
I would classify The Arena by Cooper as a fantasy/adventure/romance and at that, I would say it is more fantasy than romance. Yes, steamy scenes can get pretty steamy, but possibly 90% of the story has nothing to do with sex … which I thought was masterful! This opens up the audience of this book to more than just thirsty women.
 
If a fantasy story with dragons, lycans, werewolves, etc. is something you are interested in, you may want to check out The Arena by Cooper on the Goodnovel app. This is a story I highly recommend and eagerly await on Amazon.
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