You know that feeling you get when you’re reading and the characters are in the midst of something so… horrible that you think it can’t possibly get worse? But then it does? That’s this right here. ‘Arena: Revenge’ is the fourth book in Simon Scarrow’s eBook series that just gets better with each release. #4 picks up right where #3 ended, with Macro and Pavo about to do the tango with a host of wild animals in the arena. OK, not necessarily a host… but they will have to face one EXTREMELY ticked off and hungry lion. Their blood is but the first of gallons to be spent on the arena floor.
Their trek to this point has been one brutal pain soaked brawl after another. The gods must have been in a drunken rage when they were putting together this part of Pavo and Macro’s timeline because… damn. The searing brutality of the arena is on full display here as well as the twists that Simon throws in because 1. He wants to make sure you’re paying attention and 2. He can do that because the man knows how to tell a damn story. Matter of fact he slips in one juicy morsel and creates one hell of a “Nooooo, is he serious!?” moment.
Setting aside for a second Pavo’s life as a lower-than-a-slave-gladiator-pawn, he must also deal with the fact that his infant son is also being used as a hostage. We look back on Rome now and laud her as glorious and grand, and she was. But we forget at times that she was pregnant with men whose souls were as dark as the Ephors. Two of those souls work for Emperor Claudius.