The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Today I’ll be talking about a book that I reviewed as part of a grand book tour, organized by the lovely Dave, or @TheWriteReads, as he is known on Twitter. This book was hyped up as a great read, a YA filled with puzzles, mystery, and an interesting take on a love triangle. This was an interesting story, and one that I’m eager to continue reading about, but there were some things that I was not completely sold on, which I’ll be expanding on below.


Title: The Inheritance Games
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
E-book, Advanced Reader Copy
Publication Date: 
September 1st, 2020
Mystery, Thriller


She came from nothing.
Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future.
Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.
Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited.
It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives –
a family hell-bent on discovering why Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.
Soon she is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing.
But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?


This was an incredibly thrilling and gripping book. The main character, Avery, is thrust into a situation where she holds all the cards and at the same time is at the mercy of the Hawthornes and their manipulations, particularly Tobias, who left her his fortune and surrounded by those who would fight to get what they feel is rightfully theirs. Everyone is suspicious. No one can be trusted, especially the handsome brothers Jameson and Grayson. Raised by Tobias to believe that everything is a game, a puzzle, Avery is pulled into a mystery that will risk everything – her future, her family, and even her life. These parts of the story, I enjoyed. I was wracking my brain around the mystery along with the other characters, and each clue brought even more complications out than the last. There were moments when I couldn’t put the book down, I just needed to know what happened, and I was definitely not disappointed with the cliff-hanger at the end. This was a very well-though-out mystery and the thrilling aspects of Avery’s life being threatened along the way made the events even more engrossing.

I liked the mix of pace and the backstory for the family, as little as there was, since Tobias was a man of mystery himself.

The family is very… complicated, and at times quite unhealthy and dark, especially between two of the brothers. There was so much competition, and everything was a game, a puzzle. There was also a love triangle before Avery and with Avery, and whilst I liked the complexity that it brought out with Avery and her search for answers and the truth, I really didn’t like the love triangle before that. It just felt weird and created conflict that felt melodramatic. The love triangles also did not need to be so paralleled. There were some crucial differences, and great ideas for conflict between the brothers, but I just do not really agree with their execution. There was already so much toxicity in the family that this just set it over the top for me.

Avery was a great protagonist though, love triangle aside. She’s intelligent, brave, cunning, and loves a good puzzle. I liked how she got on with Xander, the youngest brother, and I really enjoyed seeing how much she cared for her sister, Libby. Libby was also such a sweetheart, and I liked that Avery had someone with her to experience the changes and excitement she went through. Their relationship is strained, but they both care deeply for each other, and ground each other when things get tough. Their relationship was a good contrast to that of the Hawthorne family.

Overall, it was an enjoyable book, but I was not entirely sold on it. If you are looking for an extraordinary mystery with great twists, this is for you. It will keep you hooked!

My rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

If you’d like to pick this book up and see for yourself what all the fuss is about, you can do so through Book Depository with my affiliate link here, which is at no extra cost to you! Thank you for reading. Please check out the other bloggers and their insights on this book for the tour, they are a great bunch of people.


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