Book Review | The Final Gambit

I jotted down this note while reading: “No one overthinks as much as Tobias Hawthorne.” And I stand by it. I would definitely lose a chess game to that man, because I can’t think thirty-seven steps ahead or whatever. What an exhausting way to live that would be.

In The Final Gambit, the conclusion to the Inheritance Games trilogy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Avery has spent nearly a year living at the Hawthorne House. Once that anniversary arrives, she will inherit the massive Hawthorne fortune and become one of the richest people on the planet. But even being so close to that date, there is still danger for her. When a girl called Eve arrives at the House, things change again—is this the girl who should truly have inherited everything? Avery seeks answers once again, all the while wondering who she can trust, and if she is capable enough to be worthy of the Hawthorne game.

At least I didn’t get too confused by the family tree like I did last time. Clearly, waiting less time between books was the way to go for me.

I think the mystery in this book was cool. I can’t get too specific without spoiling things, but the stakes seem higher in this book. There’s more danger, which gives a new tension to the story. And I enjoyed seeing how Avery and the other characters react to this new challenge.

The new challenge brings with it new characters, who were quite intriguing. Eve is an unpredictable one, whose presence causes some drama among the Hawthorne boys especially. Her being there shook things up in an interesting way. Speaking of the Hawthorne boys, though, I will say that while I still wasn’t incredibly invested in the romantic subplot, I am not opposed to the direction it went. Barnes did a good job with that, I feel. But Xander is still the best of the four brothers; do not try to argue with me on this because I will not be swayed.

As with The Hawthorne Legacy, the final act of this book was probably my favorite part. All the questions and mysteries come together and result in a really cool, high-stakes battle of wits. A very risky gamble, you might say. I wish a certain scene (my picture of this book will give you a clue about which one) had been drawn out longer, though. I think there was so much potential for a lot of suspense and tension, but instead it was over in a really short (even for this series’ standards) chapter. Oh, well, still a great scene.

And as for the ending, I walked away satisfied and glad to have been on Avery’s side all along. She made a good decision, in my opinion. More than that, I loved seeing the family she has found; it was pretty touching.

In the end, The Final Gambit is a wonderful conclusion to this series. The intrigue is excellent and the character development enjoyable to see. It’s an entertaining, thought-provoking, and often exciting story that I’m very glad I read!

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