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The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Review

Title: The Inheritance Games

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

First published September 1, 2020

374 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781368052405 (ISBN10: 1368052401)

Rating: 4.22


When billionaire Tobias Hawthorne passes away, Avery Grambs finds herself in the middle of a mysterious inheritance. Suddenly, she becomes the recipient of Hawthorne’s entire fortune, with only one caveat: she has to live in his sprawling mansion, complete with secret passages and puzzles around every corner.

But Avery is not alone in the mansion. She must contend with the four Hawthorne grandsons, each one expecting to inherit a piece of the fortune.

Grayson, the heir apparent, is suspicious of Avery and sees her as a fraud. Meanwhile, Jameson views her as a final puzzle from his grandfather.

As Avery navigates this new world of wealth and privilege, she’ll have to use her wits to survive and solve the mysteries of Hawthorne House.

About the Author

Jen Barnes, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has lived a dynamic life. She has pursued various interests such as competitive cheerleading, volleyball, dancing, debutante, primate cognition research, teen modeling, comic book fandom, and lemur admiration.

Writing has been a passion of hers since childhood. Her first full book, which she refers to as a “practice book,” was completed during high school.

At nineteen, during her freshman year in college, she wrote Golden.

In 2006, Jen graduated from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science, a field that explores the brain and thought processes. She plans to spend the 2006-2007 academic year at the University of Cambridge in the UK, engaging in autism research.

Editoral Review

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, published on September 1, 2020, is a young adult mystery novel that will take readers on a thrilling journey. Barnes, a prolific author of more than a dozen novels for young adults, brings an intriguing blend of drama, suspense, and unexpected twists to the genre.

The novel introduces readers to Avery Grambs, a struggling, hardworking student who finds herself inheriting a fortune from a billionaire. But this isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill fortune.

Avery must complete a series of puzzles in order to receive her inheritance. If she fails, the fortune will pass to someone else entirely.

As Avery gets closer to the truth behind the billionaire’s death, she is forced to navigate complex relationships with her newfound family, while also grappling with her own identity and ambitions. One of the greatest strengths of The Inheritance Games is Barnes’ vivid character development.

The author skillfully introduces and develops every character, bringing them to life and making them memorable to readers. Avery Grambs is an engaging protagonist with a relatable backstory that will resonate with readers.

The billionaire’s family is also vividly portrayed, each character bringing their own unique traits and motivations to the story. The settings within the novel are equally well-tuned, bringing a sense of intrigue and danger to the forefront.

Barnes also excels at crafting a suspenseful, unpredictable plot. The puzzles that form the backbone of the novel are well-crafted and sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The author’s use of descriptions and pacing is impressive, creating a palpable tension that runs throughout the entire novel. The story balances action with emotional growth, and it is clear that Barnes left no stone unturned in making every detail matter.

Despite these strengths, there are some minor limitations that some readers may have with The Inheritance Games. Some may find the plot twists to be overly predictable, and the pacing may be a bit slow at times.

Additionally, the novel can occasionally veer into melodrama, which may turn off some readers. Overall, The Inheritance Games is a must-read for fans of young adult mystery novels.

It is a riveting, well-crafted story that is sure to keep readers engaged from start to finish. One can draw a parallel to the popular Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, as both feature protagonists who must navigate complex societal hierarchies while staying true to their own identities.

For readers seeking a thrilling, suspenseful tale with a relatable protagonist and a dash of romance, The Inheritance Games is an excellent choice. I highly recommend it, and give it a score of 4 out of 5 stars.