Review: The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

A few years ago, The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes got published. This book immediately got lots and lots of hype and praise. Unfortunately, it wasn’r really my cup of tea. However, I was still curious of the further developments in the game, so I’ve read The Hawthorne Legacy. This series was supposed to contain two books, but a third one was announced. Although I disliked The Hawthorne Legacy even more than The Inheritance Games, I still couldn’t resist and read The Final Gambit. It’s FOMO I guess? Anyway, I was curious how this all would end.

*beware for spoilers of the first books off this series

Title: The Final Gambit
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Inheritance Games #3
Publication date: August 30, 2022
Publisherr: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 400
ISBN: 9780316371124
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy, Contemporary

Avery’s fortune, life, and loves are on the line in the game that everyone will be talking about.
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.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Final Gambit picks up straight after the events of the ending of The Hawthorne Legacy. This is the trademark of this series. On one hand it’s great, because you get sucked into the story right away. On the other hand however, it’s annoying as it has been a good while since the previous book in the series got released. I have to admit that I forgot some events of the previous books and somethimes I couldn’t remember which character was who and what their relation to Avery is. Whenever you remember everything, this book actually reads quick.

The ability to finish this book fast is also because of Barnes’ writing style. The chapters are ultra short, which is lovely for finishing the book fast, but also means that you really have to focus. All events speed by and because this series is based on puzzles, games, tricks and twists, you loose sense easily. Despite my problems with understanding all the puzzles, you still want to know what will happen to Avery and the Hawthorne boys after they solve yet another game. However, I still think this book is quite unbelieveable.

When looking into the characters, there hasn’t been much development into all of them. I still can’t connect to them, I still have no idea what actually drives them besides the entire inheritance games. Barnes introduces a new character in this final book, but why? Personally, I think this new character is underdeveloped and doesn’t add much to the entire story. To me, the characters are falling flat, which has been my point of criticism throughout this entire series.

Unfortunately, The Final Gambit was not the series saver I hoped it would be. Actually, I expected this somehow, but I’m still disappointed. The puzzles, games et cetera are original and unique, but are just not for me. After joining the crowd in reading all books, I just can’t figure out why they are so hyped.

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