Thank you to Penguin Random House for the copy of this book in return for an honest review
The second book of The Inheritance Games trilogy picks up exactly where the first one left off. With the big reveal about Harry’s identity. It takes no time to get going and carries on at full speed for the whole of the novel. Like the first one this is full of mystery and intrigue.
If you’ve read the first book, then this is essentially more of the same. If you haven’t, I wouldn’t recommend starting here. The first book is essential to this one and while the opening few chapters does a good job of recapping the story it is more of a refresher for returning readers than summaries for newcomers. Go back and read book one, it’s worth it.
The puzzle that the late Tobias Hawthorne has left behind for our heroes to follow reveals the truth of what happened to Toby and the fire on Hawthorne Island twenty years ago. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book. It’s a lot bigger in scope than the first one, which mostly took place either at Hawthorne Manor or at Avery’s school. There is more travelling, more puzzles and a lot more assassination threat.
The characters are all back and Max is part of the main group this time around. In the first book she was only included as someone Avery spoke to over the phone, she appears in person and is a great character, playing off Xander nicely. A lot of events seem to happen without Avery being present, and since this is a first person story, it’s a little disappointing that we don’t get to read everything. I would have liked to follow Libby and Nash on their journey. It makes sense.
The only real negative for this one is the love triangle, for me, doesn’t work. It seems really forced and just tacked on. The mystery is enough for me to keep reading and I didn’t enjoy the flip-flopping between Grayson and Jameson.
While the book isn’t as strong as the first one, I really liked that this wasn’t a pointless sequel, some of the clues have been there since the first few chapters of book one, it really feels like this was planned from the beginning. Saying that, I’m not completely sure where Barnes is going for book three. Unlike the first one, The Hawthorne Legacy doesn’t end on a big reveal, it ends as a quite nice resolution. When The Final Gambit arrives next year, it will be interesting to see where this goes.