The Hawthorne Legacy is one of those books that you want to stop time just to read. It’s gripping and thrilling, fantastic and romantic. I never wanted to finish. Even though I know there’s a whole other book in the series after this, I dreaded each page that brought me closer to the end.
Like its predecessor, this book is twist-filled and exciting and, like Avery, readers feel a bit swept up in the awe of it all–the multi-billion dollar inheritance and the danger that courts. I found myself trying to solve every puzzle and riddle with Avery and the Hawthorne boys, as if I were there looking for clues in Hawthorne House, pouring over every sign and leftover that Tobias Hawthorne left behind, desperate to solve his endless games.
Don’t sleep on this series
If you’re looking for a sign to start the series, or read this book, take it. You won’t find one that makes you feel as alive and involved–even as you watch Avery stumble with her feelings for Grayson and Jameson (don’t let the apparent love triangle stop you!) or as you assume you’ve guessed a few of the many twists of the series (trust me, you haven’t).
Just when you think there’s nothing else left, that all of the reveals have been uncovered and everything is laid bare, Jennifer Lynn Barnes (master of plots and genius behind these books) throws a curveball that keeps you riveted until the last word.
Insightful characters with charm and depth
What I love also about these books are that while the characters are ruthless–they have to be in the world they’ve been born or thrust into–they’re not unkind. They care for each other and those in their orbit and I love the camaraderie they’ve built. Though we’re limited in a way to Avery’s point of view, the charming glimpse of the Grayson, Jameson, Xander, and Nash that we’re given is so encompassing, that we never feel like we’re missing out too much. And these characters are so complex and rich in their own histories, nuanced in a way that is really masterful.
Instead of spoiled rich boys, we’re given insightful young men who are working through their own riddles and puzzles that their grandfather left behind. I love them. I also love Alisa, Oren, Libby, and Max, the other characters who fill the wonderful ensemble of Avery’s world. I would happily have welcomed point of view chapters of all of them–they’re as complex and interesting as Avery or the boys. Even Thea and Rebecca were pleasant additions to the cast of characters.
I need a spinoff, ASAP
I would love spinoff series of books involving the Hawthorne boys as children as they navigate the luxurious and fast-paced world their grandfather created. I would love to actually meet Tobias Hawthorne. All we get of him are second-hand stories. He looms large over the series but we’re never allowed to interact. If there were ever an opportunity for a prequel, I would love to get more insight into his mind.
That being said, what we are given–Avery’s point of view as an outsider into the Hawthorne legacy she’s inherited–is brilliant, in part because Avery is wonderfully observant. She’s compassionate and her Cinderella story endears her to us more. She’s the perfect analog to our awe for her situation, as she travels from press event to Football game (she owns an entire team) to vacation house in affluent locales.
If you think that this book suffers from a sequel slump, you would be horribly wrong. Just like the first book in the series, The Inheritance Games, this book has a twist or turn or red herring to report every few chapters. I loved figuring out the game like Avery, Jameson, and crew but I also loved being surprised like them as well. It would be a gross injustice to spoil anything here but let’s just say that I’m incredibly impressed by the plots within plots that Jennifer Lynn Barnes has concocted here.
Just when you think a character has given up their secrets, something else is revealed that sends everyone (including us readers) reeling. I’ve come to appreciate every character even mentioned in passing in this series and you should as well as you read on.
The third and final book in the series, The Last Gambit, might not be out until next year but I’ll be thinking of Avery and the Hawthorne boys for a while. I can’t wait to see what this last gambit might be and what else can be uncovered about this puzzling and intoxicating family.
The Hawthorne Legacy was released on September 7.