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Review The Inheritance Games series

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

3/5 stars

I'll be discussing all three books. I won't spoil the story as a whole, but there may be spoilers that give away things in books 1 or 2, so if you plan to read them all, do that first, and then come back!

First book - 4 stars. Delightful!

Second book - 2 stars. Continued the plot to a satisfying conclusion.

Third book - 1 star. Completely unnecessary.

So, I guess it sorta averages to 3 stars for the series as a whole.

Avery Grambs is a nobody, she'd say. She lives with her older step-sister, Libby, because their deadbeat father isn't involved in their lives, and Avery's mom died of cancer. She goes to school, getting good enough grades that she'll be able to attend college for actuarial science, plays chess in the park with a homeless guy, and works at a restaurant to help out with groceries at home.

That is, until billionaire Tobias Hawthorne leaves her his entire fortune. Why? No one knows. Not his disinherited family members, not the lawyers, and, most of all, not Avery. Avery and Libby are flown in a private jet to the sprawling Hawthorne Mansion, where they meet the family and household staff. Daughters Skye and Zara seem to hate each other's guts, but might be able to agree on hating Avery more. Grandsons Nash, Jameson, Grayson, and Alexander are magnetic and majestic in their confidence, having grown up in a world of privilege. Oren, the bodyguard, is now glued to Avery's side.

While trying to unravel the mystery of her inheritance, Avery is sucked into the many games, puzzles, and riddles that "the old man" - Tobias Hawthorne - laid out for his beloved grandsons. It starts to get a little ridiculous that he could possible have had enough time to set all those things into motion, but blame it being filthy rick with nothing else to do, I guess.

I've seen comparisons made to Knives Out, but the premise and the characters are a lot less engaging in this series. For me, the comparison I kept making was with The Hunger Games, because of the similarly irritating love triangle that no one asked for. (Put it to rest. We don't care who you end up with, just stop waffling.) Very YA in that way. Also annoying that she ends up with one of the boys, her sister with another, and her best friend with a third.

Anyway, Avery moves into the Hawthorne mansion, and solves a lot of puzzles, mostly with the grandsons help, that take her all over the house (hidden passages, tunnels, & compartments in every room), and to one of the many, many homes in other countries that she now owns. She survives murder attempts, learns more about the Hawthorne family, about her own family, and where the families' paths crossed.

The mystery is basically fully solved by the end of the second book, and the third just feels like a cash-grab book (i.e., the first two were successful, so let's make some more). The story is related but opens up a whole new can of worms that just complicates things unnecessarily.

Also, the number of times Avery repeats exactly what was just said aloud inside her head... Honestly, I'd guess you could get rid of 1/4 of each book if you removed all the times it was like, "He told me he found the secret door but it was blocked. I thought to myself, he found a secret door it's blocked?" I'm not editorializing. This kind of thing happens con. stant. ly. and it's maddening.

Apparently a fourth book comes out later this year... I'll pass. But I do recommend the first two books!


UP NEXT: Ghost Boys, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

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