Everybody could use a few extra dollars and Callie Hayes is no different. She and her friend, Meg Riley, volunteer for a psychology experiment that pays for human "guinea pigs."

Before Callie can change her mind, she finds herself with a backpack filled with strange items and a manual, and is on her way to the Arenawhatever that is. Along the way, she meets others who are also participating in the same experiment. When Callie meets Pierce Andrews, the "avoid distractions" rule in her manual may fly right out the window. Will they be able to make it through the Arena alive and overcome any obstacles or will they take a sucker's path and wind up dead?

This unusual and well-written story was filled with imagination. Any and all subjects are discussed, with honesty and tact, as the people in the experiment strive to survive and get out. Although slow at times, one might consider this the Christian version of "Survivor" meets "Tron." Well done, Ms. Hancock. (May, 400 pp., $11.99)

Reviewed by: 
Bev Huston