I remember reading this story many years back, and I vaguely started to recall it the past few weeks. Here is the image that jump-started the recall process—
But for the life of me, I can't recall much else than what I've written below. It's starting to get on my nerves now, halp!
- The story is set in the future, but the story describes space-war as if it was written a few decades back, so think more like Star Wars/Star Trek style writing rather than, say, Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy. (I know I'm using movie analogies to describe a book, sorry, they are the best examples.)
- Protagonist is a run-of-the-mill soldier. (I think)
- Humans are at war with aliens, quite a prolonged war. (I think)
- He is suddenly thrown into an arena, where is made to fight aliens, one-on-one.
- Arena doesn't mean a colossuem-style building, its more like a empty grassland/marshy patch of land.
- Aliens also aren't like your typical little-green-men(this I'm quite sure of). I think they were different, maybe invertebrates the size of a large dog(But this could also be the image biasing my memory.) He begins with nothing but minimal clothing, and starts using sticks, stones and other things he finds around. I also think he fashions a sort of knife. He ultimately prevails.
- Finds himself back with his squad, and humans ready for their last stand, in an all-out face-off in space.
- Human ship fires first salvo, and hits one alien ship. But this blast jumps from ship-to-ship, destroying all alien ships.
- Protagonist realises he is the cause of the human victory, but I think he decides not to disclose it.
That's it. That's all I can remember. Anyone else remember reading anything like this?