High school is hard enough without having to live in your car to avoid your sister’s abusive boyfriend. Avery Grambs is just gritting her teeth and getting through it one day at a time when a letter arrives that turns her life on its head. Billionaire Tobias Hawthorne has died and left his massive fortune to Avery. Of course, there’s a catch: She must spend a year living in his mansion, alongside his disinherited—and livid—descendants.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Naturals series) has a rollicking good time setting the gears of her plot in motion. Avery is whisked away from her life so quickly, her life thrown into such disarray by the revelation of Hawthorne’s will, that it’s easy to overlook the critical fact that she has no idea who Hawthorne is. In fact, she’s never even heard of the man, nor does she have any idea why he would leave her his entire fortune. By the time Avery meets his family, things have already taken a turn for the sinister. Hawthorne has built puzzles into his sprawling home that alternately pit Avery and Hawthorne’s four grandsons against one another and draw them into working together.
When any wall might conceal a doorway to a secret passage and everyone around her speaks in riddles and evasions, it’s nearly impossible for Avery to decide who she can trust. Each brother warns Avery to keep her distance, but she’s powerfully drawn to two brothers in particular who once fought over a girl. Avery realizes that history might hold some answers . . . but it could also be another red herring in a story positively swimming with them.
The Inheritance Games wraps a mystery in an enigma and throws in four hot brothers for fun. The Hawthorne family, furious at their disinheritance, bring a Knives Out energy to this story, which is full of as many twists, turns and narrative trap doors as Hawthorne’s sprawling estate itself. Yet for all its intricacies and secrets, The Inheritance Games is ultimately a story about a complicated family fracturing and coming back together, only to fall apart all over again.