Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Ultimate Blog Tour for The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes! Thank you to Dave @The_WriteReads for including me in this tour and also to the author for the opportunity to read this book! It’s one I’ve been super excited to read all year!
Title: The Inheritance Games
Series: The Inheritance Games #1
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 3rd, 2020 (Little, Brown BYR)
Synopsis: Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.
Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.
Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Random House, and NetGalley for providing this eARC as part of a blog tour with The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review.
One day Avery is a normal teenager, living in her car, just waiting to get through high school, and the next, her life is turned upside down when Tobias Hawthorne, billionaire and philanthropist, dies and names her the heiress to most of his enormous fortune. Which would be great, except he has disinherited his two daughters and four grandsons in the process – oh, and Avery doesn’t have a clue who he was. As required by the Will, Avery moves into Hawthorne House where she must live for the next year in order to receive her inheritance, right alongside the disgruntled relatives. Grayson, who was considered the presumptive heir, is convinced she is a con-artist of some kind, but his brother Jameson is certain she is their grandfather’s last puzzle that they are meant to solve using the cryptic letters each of them received. In this new world of luxury, Avery can trust no one, and yet, the only way to get some answers seems to be to play the game laid out by the billionaire.
This was a late addition to my 2020 TBR, but an instant one, since I just had a really good feeling about this book the minute I heard about it. I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed. I haven’t had so much fun reading a book in such a long time! The author has come up with such a captivating series of puzzles and twists, and combined with the gripping plot, it’s impossible to look away as the mystery unfolds, one layer at a time. I binge read this in under three hours and I literally could not put it down.
I absolutely loved the series of riddles and puzzles and of course, the maze of secret passageways and hidden surprises that is Hawthorne House. I think I’d love to live there, if only for the massive libraries it holds! It was great how the house and estate were so intrinsic to solving each of the puzzles in the most unexpected ways. Setting wise this was amazing, but the characters are the far more interesting part of this story. Avery made for a great central character and I loved how strong she was and wouldn’t let anyone walk over her. Her portrayal was extremely realistic, from suddenly having more money than she knows what to do with, to living in a house where nearly everyone has both motive and the means to kill her. Amidst the mystery and grandeur of Hawthorne House and its inhabitants, Avery is the one refreshingly normal figure as she tries her best to remain focused on the puzzle throughout, given the abundance of distractions around her.
All four of the Hawthorne grandsons are equally intriguing – attractive, yet dangerous in their own ways. They’re characters you can’t help but like, yet as a reader, I was largely unsure how trustworthy any of them were – in fact, I still am. They each clearly have their own agendas, not to mention what seems to be a boatload of secrets to go with it, even as they reluctantly teamed up to solve the puzzles. Grayson is definitely my favourite of the four since it felt like his motivations were the most straightforward throughout. Jameson is quite the enigma and I found him to be quite a fascinating character. We don’t see as much of the other two brothers, but I get the feeling that Nash, and Xander especially are going to be important to the plot going forward, since Xander clearly knows more than he is letting on.
The Inheritance Games was a fantastic read and that ending was completely shocking. Just how far ahead has Tobias Hawthorne planned this little game – and whatever for? That was one plot point I never expected to come back into play and I need the next book yesterday! I don’t know how I can manage to wait a year to find out what happens next!! To be honest though, this could have been wrapped up as a standalone and it would have been just as good, but I’m not complaining about more time with these characters. I’m definitely looking forward to finding out what further twists are in store after the bombshell this book ended on! If you read one puzzle solving thriller this year, make it this one. Highly, highly recommended!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!