Puzzles, Romance, and Family: The Inheritance Games

Grace Johnson, Staff Writer

The Inheritance Games trilogy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes centers around Avery Kylie Grambs when she inherits the late billionaire Tobias Hawthorne’s fortune. The three books, in order, are The Inheritance Games, The Hawthorne Legacy, and The Final Gambit. Drama and mystery ensue surrounding Avery and the Hawthorne family. Barnes creates an immersive world that brings readers along for the ride. This trilogy is filled with puzzles, romance, and family drama.

While each book in this series blends seamlessly, they have their own strengths as well. The first book, The Inheritance Games, was released in September 2020. This book prioritizes the character development of the main cast of characters, and we are introduced to many of the main subplots that will carry through all three books. The second book has a more intriguing mystery plot than the first, and lots of family secrets are uncovered that tie the Hawthorne family to another very complicated family. It is somewhat darker than the first book. This book is arguably overall the best in the series. The third book has significantly darker themes than the first and second books, but it shows similar themes as the other books. Each book comes to a very unexpected resolution, with the final book’s mystery leading to a brilliant yet satisfying conclusion that readers will love.

When reading The Inheritance Games Trilogy, it is hard to get bored. In addition to the fast-moving, mystery-oriented plot, there are plenty of subplots focusing on romance and family drama to entertain the reader. Although each book in the trilogy has its individual mystery, there are continuous threads that run throughout all three books. For example, the love triangle between Avery and two of the Hawthorne brothers is prevalent in all three books. There are also plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. It is hard to predict what will happen next, or who is the true antagonist in these books. 

Avery’s character, the protagonist, realistically grows throughout the trilogy. Although many of the other characters, such as the elder members of the Hawthorne family, have more complex backstories, Avery grows and becomes a stronger character throughout the trilogy. Avery is a teenager who is finding out who she is, and she is being molded by her experiences. This is mostly seen in the third book of the trilogy, The Final Gambit. As the series goes on, we get to see Avery come into her own as a person, and learn about herself in her new position. The changing character traits of the protagonist positively impact The Inheritance Games trilogy. Avery is a strong, smart, independent woman, but a teenager finding herself nonetheless, which makes her an interesting and relatable character.

In March 2020, it was announced that Amazon and Sony Pictures TV would be making The Inheritance Games into a series. However, no further news has been announced, since the series is in the early stages of development. The trilogy lends itself to a television adaptation very well. Barnes creates an elaborate, enviable world that viewers would love to see. Every step of the way, there are ample descriptors that would aid in the cinematic adaptation. In addition, there are shocking plot twists that would keep the series interesting. In summary, the television adaptation of The Inheritance Games has great potential. For people interested in the plot of these books, but not having to read the books to get this plot, the future television adaption can be a more accessible option.

 If you liked The Westing Game, you will like The Inheritance Games Trilogy. The sheer amount of characters with developed backstories and subplots in all of these books is impressive. The themes and general topics of these books align with each other. Lovers of puzzles and mysteries will like both of these books. There are more than enough puzzles for the reader to try their hand at solving alongside the characters. The Inheritance Games Trilogy could be enjoyed by a wide range of young adult fiction readers. There are romance and mystery elements to these books that will appeal to many. 

The Inheritance Games trilogy excels in many areas, such as interesting and twist-filled plots, and character development. In addition, these books will appeal to many different readers. All young adult readers should consider reading these books. In conclusion, The Inheritance Games trilogy is an excellent young adult mystery series.