Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on TBR and Beyond Blog Tours for The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Thank you to the author, the publisher and TBR & Beyond Tours for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.
Title: The Final Gambit
Series: The Inheritance Games #3
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: YA, Mystery
Published: August 30th, 2022 (Little, Brown BYR)
Synopsis: To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her.
But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help – and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.
Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake – and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.
Thank you to the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“I guess that’s what happens when you take a very risky gamble.”
Avery is weeks away from officially inheriting a fortune numbered in the billions. All she has to do is survive living in Hawthorne House until then. As the day draws closer, the pressure is increasing, whether it’s the paparazzi, how to handle her future finances, and one last mystery to solve as a visitor arrives, seeking Avery’s help. But this might be the most dangerous puzzle of all as the Hawthorne brothers and Avery are drawn into a game with an unknown player – and the stakes are higher than anyone of them can imagine.
Nash. Grayson. Jameson. Xander.” He said their names one at a time. “You were the clay, and I was the sculptor, and it has been the joy and honor of my life to make you better men than I will ever be. Men who may curse my name but will never forget it. On your marks, boys,” Tobias Hawthorne said on the recording. “Get set. Go. ”
I have been both extremely excited and terribly nervous to read this book all year. It’s probably one of the most hyped books this fall, and after the first two books, my expectations were also sky high. And overall, I think this did a good job living up to them. The puzzles and mysteries to solve were so much fun and it brought back that vibe from the first book I loved so much. It’s clear that the author must have put a lot of thought into not only these puzzles, but each and every part of this story from the beginning with how neatly everything falls into place here. The biggest question that has been hanging over this series right from book one is why did Tobias Hawthorn choose Avery to be the heiress to the Hawthorne fortune. And after many riddles and red herrings that led nowhere, that question is finally answered in this book – and the answer was so simple in the end, yet such a Hawthorne thing to do. While I didn’t binge read this because I wanted it to last as long as possible, it was an effort to take a break from so gripping a tale.
“The world is the board, Heiress. We just have to keep rolling the dice.”
Avery was a much more mature character this time around, and while she still had the tendency to be incredibly reckless, she has picked up a few Hawthorne tendencies and learned how to play the games. Though Avery is the central character of this series, it was the Hawthorne brothers who really shone in this one. I’ve found them to be very intriguing characters right from book one, but this was the book where I felt like I really understood them. The dynamic between them and Avery is completely changed here – they accept her and see her as one of them, support and protect her, and are even quite fond of her in different ways. The romance was not my favorite to be honest though. I didn’t much like the way Grayson’s arc dragged on, and the way it was made to seem like Avery kept having conflicting feelings between him and Jameson when it felt pretty obvious to me atleast what she was going to decide in the end. It was kind of a letdown after how strong Grayson’s character arc had been so far. And in the middle of all this, Jameson definitely did not get enough page time, which he totally deserved because we got to see a very different side of him which I loved. Also as a side note, why was Jameson’s dad the only one of the four who wasn’t revealed?
What I really didn’t get though was why the main people behind the central conflict of this story were literally introduced in this book – isn’t the finale a little late to be introducing the major villain who turns out to be the whole reason this song and dance of making Avery the Heiress even began? When the connections between the new characters becomes clear, it does make sense, but there should have atleast been a glimpse of them before this.
The Final Gambit was definitely a satisfying conclusion, but it was not as explosive as I hoped it would be and I have some conflicting feelings about the ending. While the way the epilogue ended does leave some room for a spin off, I think it should be left there – it was a nice way to wrap things up. I really enjoyed this finale and would highly recommend this series to all the fans of mysteries and puzzles out there.
“There’s nothing more Hawthorne than winning.”
The Final Gambit released on August 30th, 2022.
About the Author
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a “practice book” and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.
Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She’ll be spending the 2006-2007 school year abroad, doing autism research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
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