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Inheritance Games offers readers thrills, chills

Inheritance Games offers readers thrills, chills

Warning: Spoilers ahead 


The Inheritance Games series, written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, contains three main and two side books. The first book, The Inheritance Games”, was released on Sept. 1, 2020. The second isThe Hawthorne Legacy” which was released on Sept. 7, 2021. The third and final book, “The Final Gambit”, was released on August 30, 2022. The “Brothers Hawthorne” was released on Aug. 29, 2023, and Barnes has another book which is scheduled for release on July 30, 2024. 


The Media Center has multiple copies of each of the first books. As of March 5, 2024, the first book had 108 total checkouts in four years, the second book had 35 total checkouts in two years and the third book in the series has had a total of 20 checkouts in one and a half years. The “Brothers Hawthorne” has had a total of nine checkouts.


The series follows 17-year-old Avery Grambs who has just lost her mom and is now living with her step-sister Libby. She has just found out that Tobias Hawthorne, a billionaire, left her his fortune. To inherit the fortune, she must play Tobias Hawthorne’s inheritance games. Avery must live in Texas inside the Hawthorne Mansion with Tobias’s four grandsons, Alexander (17), Jameson (18), Grayson (19), and Nash (22.) After living such a meager life, she now has to face the media whenever going out of the house and four grandsons who are curious about why she inherited this fortune. 


I personally really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to people who are looking for a good thriller, mystery, and romance book. There is a sort of love triangle between Avery, Grayson, and Jameson Hawthorne. 


“The Hawthorne Legacy” is a thrilling read. Avery is on the search for answers to all of her questions like why Tobias Hawthorne left his fortune to her, a random girl rather than one of his grandsons. Although Avery has a DNA test to prove that she isn’t a Hawthorne by blood, some various clues and secrets show the family connection is even more than she thought. She’s sucked into even more difficult games and solving numerous puzzles. Additionally, the love triangle between Avery Grayson, and Jamesonis creates even more tension. 


The final book in the series “The Final Gambit” still follows Avery and she is on the search to find Tobias’ son Harry/Toby Hawthorne who abandoned his family’s fortune. She also reveals that Harry/Toby was adopted and was also responsible for a fire on Hawthorne Island that killed three teens 20 years ago. Hannah Rooney was then the one to help Harry back to health after barely surviving the fire. Avery then finds out that Hannah is her deceased mother “Sarah” which was her fake name back in town. Even though Avery believes that Harry/Toby is her biological father the DNA test proved otherwise, even though he was there the night Avery was born and also signed her birth certificate. Nash, the oldest grandson, has to confront his biological father Sehiffield Grayson who tries to kidnap and kill Avery. He thinks if he kidnaps her then Harry/Toby will come out of hiding. The reason for that is he wants revenge against Harry/Toby because his nephew was one of the three teens who perished in the fire. 


Avery ends up being saved by Harry/Toby and he explains that he was there the night of her birth but isn’t her father. The book ends on a cliffhanger, leading to the upcoming book, The Final Gambit. Finally, at the end of the book, she’s chosen Jameson and the book closes with them kissing. I was very eager to read this book because of how much I enjoyed reading the first one. I liked this one because of its plot twists, as well as how much new information we learned during the book that we didn’t know of before. 


The last book of the trilogy still follows the story of Avery Grambs and the four Hawthorne grandsons. This book tells the story of Avery’s attempt to rescue Tobias Hawthorne, who is just known as Toby. The whole family thought that Toby ll perished in the terrible fire that he started 20 years ago but he ended up surviving and has been in hiding ever since. As stated before, Avery had to live in the Hawthorne house for a year to gain the fortune left for her. She has now fulfilled that and is currently in a strong relationship with Jameson Hawthorne. Avery also found out in the last book about Toby’s secret daughter, Eve, and how he wanted to keep her hiding. Avery decided to take something in exchange which was a little metal disk, that has more value than Avery assumes. 


Eve then shows up at the Hawthorne house telling Avery that Toby has been kidnapped. Avery then proceeds to be sent threatening notes by Toby’s captor named “Luke” who was a former rival of Toby. Luke is Vince Blake and captured Toby because of the dark past with his son, William Blake. Tobias and Mallory (Xander’s best friend’s mother) ended up killing William after Mallory got pregnant with William at just 16. William had a “Blake Family seal” or the metal disk and whoever has this upon Vincent’s death gets 100 million dollars. In the last book it was shown that Toby Hawthorne isn’t a Hawthorne by blood, he was adopted by Tobias and his wife after Mallory Lauughiln got pregnant. Toby is the son of William and Mallory, so he and Eve are Blake by blood. Vincent kidnaps Grayson and Avery needs to win a chess match to free him. As the book ends, it concludes her one year of living in the house and her donation to charity. She and Jameson live happily after together. 


Personally, I enjoyed this book series and would read it again when I get the chance. I wanted to read this series because I saw so many great reviews on TikTok and good reads. The different plot twists and storyline kept me intrigued the whole way through. I started reading the new book The Brother Hawthorne but had to take a break for some other literary works. I’m very eager to get back into reading it as well as pre-ordering her new book that releases in July, The Grandest Games. If you are looking for a good thriller, romance, or mystery novel I would strongly recommend reading this series! 

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About the Contributor
Addison Darnell
Addison Darnell, Staff Writer
Addison Darnell is a Sophomore at Novi High School, and this is her first year in journalism. In her free time, she will be either playing soccer or running for the school's cross-country team. She loves to play sports, hang out with friends and family as well, and spend time with her animals. She is looking forward to joining the journalism team!  You can contact her at [email protected] with story ideas!  
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