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Galax-Arena (Galax-Arena #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  421 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Peter, Joella, and Lianne are forced onto a spaceship and taken to the planet Vexa where they are made to perform death-defying stunts for their alien captors. Joella has never been a good gymnast and now she faces the unspeakable alternative - becoming a Vexan's pet....
Paperback, 199 pages
Published February 1st 1997 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1993)
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28th out of 28 books — 7 voters
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109th out of 124 books — 8 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 661)
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Jacqueline Brocker
Another Australian book, this time, what was one of my first forays into science fiction, and also perhaps one of the darker books I encountered. Not dark just because of the theme of its plot – children kidnapped into space to perform high-risk gymnastics so their adrenalin rush would be transmuted to their alien audience – but because of the rather eye-opening social dynamics between the children and teens who had been abducted. You had your three Australian kids – Peter, Joella (the narrator) ...more
Danae
This is, hands down, the most Bee-zar book I've ever read.
I was in India and took *A Map of the World* with me, and read it in short order.
At one of the Havali's, tourists had left a stack of paperbacks on a shelf (take one, leave one style) and because I had a 12hr overnight bus ride looming, I needed additional reading.
I chose this book because the first few pages sounded compelling (kids getting kidnapped for ???) and for the first chapter or so, I was right there. Unfortunately, the book th
...more
Betty
This is a chilling read which would suit 13-14 year olds. It has a similar premise to The Hunger Games. In Galex Arena, children are kidnapped and made to perform in the Gymna- a version of the Colosseum. It had me on the edge of my seat and I can't wait to read the sequel. It is thought provoking and well written.
Lana Burke
I must have read this book over a decade ago and I still think about it, that's pretty powerful for being a YA Fiction book. This book rocked my world when I read it, it's like "The Hunger Games" but more sci-fi. And better.

Seriously, this book is awesome. It has a real "Lord of the Flies" element and believable (to me) characters that don't flip-flop or have a strange disconnect from their own emotions the way Katniss from "The Hunger Games" so does (that really bothered me!).

This book is also
...more
Tulsi
What a fantastic piece of complex writing. Told from an adolesence point of view, this is the story of three siblings who are kidnapped from Earth by aliens, and brought to another planet to perform tricks in a circus. It sounds a little silly, but it's an amazing premise on which to explore so many themes on a much darker level than what is usually seen in children's literature - everything from the deconstruction of humanity, to love, family and survival of the fittest. I love how this book do ...more
Steph
a fascinating, disturbing read. the ending is a complete shock and surprise. i was fully immersed in the story as a science fiction work and then was shocked to be jerked out of that mindset back into reality. this book was amazing just because of the astonishing creativity of the plot concept - a truly original, and surprising idea seems so rare these days, and here even though the idea is so novel it seems fully plausible as something that might actually happen today. also, the children's inte ...more
Lynette
Nov 24, 2014 Lynette rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of psycho sci fi and william sleator
In the moldering pre-fab container in my school which doubled as a Catholic prayer room and library there was a collection of musty plastic-wrapped packages shoved on a shelf. A treasure was buried among the yellowed debris, it itself rather worn too. This is a review of that treasure- Galax Arena. (Note:I have since then reread the book a couple of times so my views have changed- in sophistication and depth.)

Set in the future (2025) and written in the past, the timeline of Galax Arena laughin
...more
Christina
I don't know what to say about this book.
For one, their made up language was so unbelievably irritating.
And another - I don't understand why the stuffed toy could talk. Especially with the way the book ended.
I'm also not sure if I'm meant to class this as science-fiction anymore...
On the other hand, it does have an interesting premise, and an interesting plot twist.
Hmm. I don't know. Mixed feelings, clearly.
Kevin
Galax Arena is quite a complex piece of writing with a lot of hidden symbols in it. At first it was a little challenging to grasp what author Gillian Rubinstein was trying to prove, although at the end of the book it was very apparent.

Galax Arena is about three siblings Joella, Peter and Liane. The trio's mother abandons the family while their father is on the verge of going insane. The three are supposedly traveling to live with their aunt Jill when a mysterious person named Hythe approaches t
...more
Verkiezen
Galax-Arena by Gillian Rubinstein is a novel that I love when I was younger. For one of my classes, I was required to reread a novel I remembered from my youth, and during discussion this book came up. I loved this book when I was in elementary school. I was a little surprised to see that it's recommended for kids 12+ because I definitely read it when I was 8 or 9. That's pretty typical for me though.

Galax-Arena is about three siblings: Peter, Joella and Liane. They're kidnapped by a man named H
...more
Kelly Bryson
Galax-Arena is: Hunger Games marries Cirque Du Soliel and they have a baby. That baby grows up and meets Enders Game and they have a baby. Except the grandbaby was published way back in 1993! Feels really fresh--it fits in so nicely with all of the Hunger Games spin offs that it makes me wonder if Suzanne Collins was inspired by it!


Joella and her brother Peter and her sister Liane are kidnapped and shipped across the universe to live as acrobatic performers for the Vexa, an alien race who get th
...more
Lore
I read this book for school, not for my own personal enjoyment.

For the record. Anway, it was okay. A very 'eh' book. I think a 2-star 'it was okay' is appropriate.

The Plot: This, for lack of better words, is something of a Christopher Pike decides to write MG books.
Granted it is more subdued than a CP book.

Anyway, Joella, her sister Liane and brother Peter get kidnapped by some guy who drugs them with coffee and they get sent into outter space.
There, they are forced to perform tricky circus
...more
Ariana S
This novel is a book that I picked up by chance in a dusty library in Soho, New York. It was a moment out of a cheesy movie where a book falls out from the top shelf and hits the protagonist on the head. That is exactly what happened to me. After I got over the shock of being hit, I sat down and started to read the book. Galax-Arena by Gillian Rubinstein revolves around the lives of three children after they get kidnapped and sent to another planet. Joella, Peter, and Liane are sent to a place c ...more
Courtney
I read this book many years ago- I believe I was in the second or third grade- and it haunted me. This was one of the first science fiction books I'd ever read, and I couldn't get the themes out of my head, they were so bizarre and surreal. I would like to go back and reread it, now that I'm an adult with a plethora of science fiction literature in my head, and discover if it was truly as impactful as I remember it to be. Four stars, because I liked it as a child and still remember reading it.
Tinika
This story of a future, dystopian society, where children are forced to perform dangerous stunts, often resulting in death, so that the audience can experience an adrenaline, rush came out in the 1990s. It struggled to find an audience as a ten-year-old protagonist (Joely) did not immediately appeal to a young adult audience and ten-year-olds found the dark themes and use of patois in the dialogue challenging. (This came out prior to Harry Poter or The Hunger Games.) Thus, it is all but forgotte ...more
Colleen
This book was probably one of my first adventures into science fiction literature. Parts of this book floated in the back of my mind until I just recently figured out the title of this book. I loved it at the time, and it hooked me on reading science fiction forever.
Cass
Very different. A friend gave this to me to read as a break for my usual non-fiction reading. The ending I found left a few holes in the story, the frightening story its self makes up for this though.
sweet_revenge
This book has quite an interesting premise but the characters are unlikable, the twists are frustrating and the made up language is utterly annoying. Any comparisons to The Hunger Games are offensive to The Hunger Games.
Alyce
I read this book nearly 15 years ago and can't properly rate it. I remember being shocked, awed and enthralled at 12 years old. I wonder how I would view it now? This is a must on my to re-read list.
Kitkat
BEST BOOK EVER!!!

I've read this book several times and I absolutely love it. I first read it when I was about 9 (maybe younger) and I was a little confused, but thought it was great nonetheless, and almost 12 years later I love it even more. It took over 10 years for me to be able to read the sequel (it wasn't published for a long time after the 1st, and it was never published in America), and for years the ending of Galax Arena almost killed me because of how badly I wanted to find out what hap
...more
Kit
This book is a lot like The Hunger Games, but The Hunger Games is probably less confusing, and more exciting. I found the aspect of this book quite confusing, and wished it would get to the point a bit more. I also thought it was quite cruel, but quite moving, and it had a horrible ending.
Cheryl
I'm not sure why I put this on my wishlist, but I'm glad I did. It's *so* much deeper, richer, and more complex, than the blurb implies. It's also exciting, a page-turner - I read it in one afternoon. Though it might be targeted to children, I believe SF fans of all ages would enjoy it. We've got a little "Lord of the Flies" going, and a little Stockholm Syndrome, and some bits that are metaphysical, or possibly magical, or possibly not.... Recommended.
Brittany
I first read this book in middle school - it's a children's book so it is pretty short. I loved it so much that it stuck with me over the years and I just HAD to find it to own a copy of my own. It took me forever (because I couldn't remember the title) - but I was so excited when I finally found an old library copy on Amazon. This book is on my "Forever" shelf - and I pull it out to re-read quite often.
Megan
This is probably going to be a little bit biased bc this was one of my favorite books as a kid, but I wanted to re read it as I hadn't read it in 20 years. Once again, I really liked it. It has a great ending, and my only criticism is I wish this wasn't a kid's book! I want about 200 more pages of in depth content! Even as is, it's absolutely worth reading.
Nola
I found the ending to be weak. Couldn't the author have gone into a bit more detail about how the children were found and how they were reunited with their families? Was the government supposed to be in on it? Why was the facility built in Australia when that meant transporting children from other places in the world? The resolution was less than satisfactory.
Sarah Spencer
When I first read this, I was in my teens. And it brought up a very good point on our perspective of slavery and how we treat our pets and what have you. It was very good in that and it opened my eyes to the possibility that we're all slaves to an extent. And what would we do if the roles of our pets' lives and our lives were switched? Very good read.
Constance Burris
One of the best books i've read this year. It was short and sweet. No fluff. Great Diverse characters, which suprised me. There were Asians, Hispanics, and Jamaicains. Loved it. but most of all the story haunted my dreams. There was a point in the book where I had to put it down because I was scared. Great Book!
Sally
absolute, super-duper top five of all time favourite. I must have read this at least once a month for the first few years after it came out - it's just so rich and amazing and the ending line is so deliciously aggravating :D ...more
Thoraiya
A re-read. I'd forgotten how similar this book is to the Hunger Games (though it was written 20 years ago), and would be giving it 5 stars if I didn't have the edgier, higher-stakes Collins book to directly compare it to, though this one IS aimed at younger readers.
Bev
Mar 13, 2011 Bev rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Year 7-8
Shelves: sci-fi
What is it like to be a pet of another species? Is it better to risk you life for an alien audience, or starve to death in our own land? If you were offered safety in exchange for selling others into slavery, would you take it? A great read.
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