So I absolutely love the Inheritance Games trilogy and this finale did not disappoint.
The only grief I’m in is that it’s OVER. These books were all brilliant 😭🙌🏻 works of complicated, twisty genius. As much as I enjoyed the reading of them, I also just want to gush over the craft as well. The skill it would take to wield this plot, handle all the numerous reveals, keep all the twists in order…my jaw is on the floor. There were reveals that were set up from book one. Imagine the organisation! The tying up all the loose threads! Impeccable.
See my reviews for The Inheritance Games (#1) and The Hawthorne Legacy (#2).
So the premise of the series (if you’re new here) is that Avery is a bit of a nobody and suddenly finds herself the sole inheritor of a billionaire’s fortune. But the billionaire also happens to have 4 dashing sons and a perchance for extremely complicated riddles and games. Everything is a game. Games within games. And there are mysteries to unravel (why Avery? what’s going on? is so and so really dead? is such and such a threat or a friend?) and the plot is like a nesting doll. Once you unravel one mystery it will lead to a dozen more.
It’s also brilliant to see Avery go from a clever but relatively unambitious teen to an absolute beast of puzzles and game mastery, who manages to keep being a smart, altruistic, compassionate, and kind person even when she’s literally handed the world on a golden platter.
I also loved the Hawthorne boys, as always. (Although I have to be horrible and admit Nash is pretty useless and never does much lmao.) Grayson is having a breakdown, Jameson is being the absolute most beautiful manic pixie dream boy we could ask for, and Xander is being a pure delightful ball of sunshine. These three + Avery could crack any code, truly. I love their dynamics and how the book also explored a bit more of the cracks on the Hawthorne brothers’ facades. Their grandfather manipulated them all growing up to serve his own purposes and they more they learn about him (they learn A LOT about his past in this book too) the more they have to reconfigure their feelings for him. Avery also gets hit with some tougher, emotional reveals as well.
There’s also a new villain on the scene. And while I personally think it doesn’t make sense that Tobias Hawthorne didn’t warn them in advance…(and in fact made it a complicated game to find out? lol) I did love how it all played out and how deeply interwoven it was with the whole trilogy. Like there was a poem mentioned in book ONE that had meaning in book THREE. Hello!! I do think the series would be best read all at once though, because you’d notice more references. I did struggle to remember a few of the characters but guess that means I can reread now.
more things to love:
- adored the snappy, fast-paced chapters
- rich and ostentatious descriptions that were still brief enough to always keep the pace going at a whip-cracking speed
- seeing more of the infamous Hawthorne mansion (there is a bejewelled escape room okay)
- uncovering more family skeletons in the closet (literally…….figuratively….)
- high stakes, drama, angst
- absolutely living for how dramatic ALL the Hawthorne brothers are (also adore Jameson and Grayson’s sibling dynamics because they’re awful to each other in the most elegant way and it’s so brotherly accurate)
- just getting to live vicariously through Avery and pretend I, too, might inherit a mysterious fortune someday
A fast-paced, gloriously twisty and clever series finale that will leave you satisfied (and also itching to play chess). Avery and her Hawthorne boys wield a story that’s worth the hype and it will make your brain work work hard.
Thanks to Penguin Teen AUS for the review copy!
Title: The Final Gambit (The Inheritance Games #3)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Date Published: 30 August 2022
Genre: YA Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Purchase: Book Depository, Dymocks
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The thrilling conclusion to the global bestselling, BookTok sensation, Inheritance Games trilogy, where Knives Out meets One of Us is Lying.
Avery’s fortune, life, and loves are on the line in the game that everyone will be talking about.
To inherit billions, all Avery has to do is survive a few more weeks 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 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.
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