Saturday, October 01, 2011

Book Review: The Arranger

The Arranger by L.J. Sellers is a futuristic suspense. In this book’s version of the future, the biggest show on earth is a game where the best of the best contestants from around the world compete. Winner takes all. The game, called the Gauntlet, is sort of a cross between Big Brother, Survivor and Gladiators. It’s dangerous and grueling, yet Lara Evans, and others from around the world, compete because they need the money to survive in a world where global warming, unemployment and crime have increased, and society has fallen into a dark hole. Lara, the protagonist and one of the contestants, has to compete against the fiercest contestants from around the world, not all of them honest.

She’s not doing it for glory, though. She’s doing it to be able to survive in the “regular” world after the game.

I liked Lara. She has an internal moral compass, but is no pushover. She’s strong and determined, and desperate enough that you’re never sure if she might go to the dark side to win. She has so much riding on the contest.

There’s a hint of romance, but the real focus of The Arranger is the competition and how much Lara will give up to win – her life, her morals? You don’t get to know much about Lara before the competition starts, but you begin to know her through her actions and interactions with other characters and competitors. By the end of the book, she will have to make a decision that could alter her life and cost her the game.

Sellers paints a grim, yet believable, near future. She also gives us a flawed heroine. Given all the “games” on television today, the Gauntlet is very believable as a global competition. If the television stations haven’t thought of it already, they may steal the idea.

Barnes and Noble

Considering the character and the world she lives in are both compelling, I give The Arranger a rating of Hel-of-a-Writer.
FTC Disclaimer: The author sent me The Arranger, but that did not influence my review. I watch Survivor. I also watch The Amazing Race. Each year I swear upon a stack of tortillas that I will not watch Big Brother. And I would stick to that oath if one of the other channels would put something, anything, worth watching opposite it. As it is, I just stick to swearing. If I may, here in this official FTC Disclaimer, offer a suggestion: Create The Gauntlet and put it opposite Big Brother. Spare me from another episode of whiney butts and mean-spirited twenty-somethings. Please. I beg you. Write me and I’ll pass on to L.J. your offer to buy TV rights for The Arranger. If you won’t do that, then I recommend we sic Lara on the next bunch of dingbats in the Big Brother house.


  1. Great review and disclaimer...naturally!
    You swear on a stack of tortillas instead of eating them? I've never seen any of those shows but the book sounds like a good read.

  2. Hi Helen .. certainly seems to be a very good plot - I wonder if it will be taken up .. and it does sound like a good read .. cheers and have a good weekend .. Hilary

  3. Excellent review for LJ's book. I know those who won it on my site were really excited to read it.

  4. Thanks for the review. This one sounds like a great read. Best wishes to L.J. and The Arranger!

  5. I've never seen a humorous disclaimer before. Helen you crack me up.
    Great review by the way. With an election coming up I'm not sure I'm up to a doom and gloom futuristic book though.

  6. Ann, it's not all doom and gloom. I'm sorry that I made it sound like that. Lara is a very interesting character and I cheered for her, hoping she'd win the contest.

  7. Sounds like an intriguing peek into a future we might like to avoid! :)

  8. The Arranger is a good read. Suspense meets fantasy in the not-too distant future. I recommend it to anyone who likes something outside the box.

  9. Not sure it's my kind of read, but your disclaimer is a riot. LOL

  10. Great review! like an intense, amazing book.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  11. Enid, I couldn't say. I don't think I've read The Hunger Game. Have heard of it before, though.

    Christopher, I swear to you I have never sworn, except on stacks of tortillas.


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