Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Forbidden Game
The Forbidden Game: The Hunter; The Chase; The Kill
by L.J. Smith
# of Pages: 750
Age Range: 13/14+
It all started with a board game. But what was supposed to be an evening of friends, fun, and games, becomes a night of danger, drama, and obsessive love. Because when Jenny and her friends try to play the Game, it comes to life. Suddenly they are in a dark world where Julian, the gorgeous guy who sold Jenny the game, rules as Prince of the Shadows. Julian is in charge, making their darkest nightmares reality. And he will do anything to claim the beautiful Jenny as his prize. The Game is real, and these friends must play through - and the only way to win is to face their most secret fears. To lose the Game is to lose your life. And that is only the beginning...
After reading many of her series, L.J. Smith has become one of my favorite authors. Her books are like paranormal chick-lit. Fun, romantic and suspenseful, I know I'll get a good story from every one of her books, even if the writing is similar. Since most of L.J's new books released from Simon and Schuster are reprinted bind-ups, I had already heard of her Forbidden Game series awhile ago and I had wanted to read it so I was excited when I got a chance to read it.
The first book in the bind-up was The Hunter. I loved the first book, it was like Buffy and the gang mixed with Jumaji. Though Jenny wasn't BA like Buffy, her relationship with Julian was just like Buffy and Spike. If you are a BtVS fan you will definitely enjoy this book, and recognize the similarity. The plot was addictive, I kept waiting to see what new nightmare the characters would have to face and new twist Julian would spin on the game.
The second book, The Chase, wasn't as action-packed as the as the first and it felt a little bit like a filler for the space between the first and second book. However, I liked seeing Julian and Jenny's relationship grow. Unfortunately for me a J and J fan, Tom, Jenny's boyfriend bugged me. I didn't feel anything for him, and didn't feel a connection between him and Jenny. Every time Julian and Jenny got together, Tom just pulled her away. Groan!
The Kill, the final book in the series, was better than The Chase but still wasn't as great as the first book. Julian was much more subdued, which was interesting. Readers will get to see a very different side of him in this book. All of the characters really grew from the first book, which helped move the book along. The ending was sweet, but sad.
Overall, it was a great series, with it's flaws of course, but still fun and seductive. I loved the romance between Julian and Jenny, even if i felt like Jenny was just playing with him. (Total Buffy/Spike right there.) The writing was good but simplistic, nothing too serious or deep - which works for these books. When it's all said and done though, L.J. Smith is still a master at creating great young adult books that are sure to hook readers no matter what.
If you liked this book be sure to check out:
Dark Visions: The Strange Power; The Possessed; The Passion
The Morganville Vampires, Volume 1
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall
The Secret Circle: The Captive Part II and The Power (Secret Circle (Harper Teen))
Thirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Black Blood, Red Dice
Dark Secrets 1: Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell
Visit L.J. Smith HERE - she's having a cool contest for the release of The Forbidden Game at her blog