Rules of the Game by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

I was so excited to finally get this book in the post – I’d waited far too long to get my mitts on this final installment. I was desperate to find out how it would climax – but unfortunately it didn’t entirely fulfill all my expectations. Don’t get me wrong – it was still a pretty enjoyable read but I can’t place it on as higher pedestal as I put the previous two books.

Sarah, Jago, Shari, An, Hilal and Aisling are all still in play for the Endgame and with both the Earth and Sky Keys retrieved, and together, it’s only a matter of time before the Sun Key is found and one line declared the winner. But for some, the rules and goals have changed and the prospect of winning is outweighed by the survival of humanity, and the end goal has shifted for them. To outsmart the Makers and put an end to their Endgame for good. But for the few that are still playing, the odds are against them.

This covers is goregous, I love the blue astral background. I was proud to be carrying it around.

I wanted to get straight into the novel – luckily I was in between books which meant I could start it straight away – but it took me a while to get settled in. I wanted the same rush that I felt whilst reading Sky Key but that admiration never really started up. I had to remind myself where I had been left previously – because a damn sight happens in these books and I wanted to be clear I was on the right time line – but I had to keep reminding myself who was left in play, their line and their position on the Endgame. Part of me kind of wished I hadn’t discovered the series until a couple of weeks ago, and then I could have read all three in succession and it may have ended up better.

This one wasn’t much different in terms of the amount of action that is thrown at you throughout the book. Literally, every other page another thing turns the book on its head. There wasn’t as many shock factor moments in this book as there was in previous one, despite the amount of action. There was only one point in this book that I physically ‘nooo’d’ at (much to the look of the woman sat opposite me on the train) but everything else I took in my stride and half guessed would be what happened.

One again I adored the multi-narrative as per usual. At first I think it added to my struggle to adjust as you aren’t left with character for more than a couple of pages, but once I did I fell into my stride with the characters. In this book they appeared much more human, and I appreicated that. Whilst I loved this aspect, the writing didn’t seem as on point as it did in the previous book. At times it felt a little clunky and jargony for my liking. But only occasionally.

The ending, I was honestly left a littlw meh. I could have predicted that from the beginning as it felt like the most likely outcome. But what adored about this series was the unpredictability of it, and I felt like the ending let that down a little bit. *SPOILER ALERT* The only time I was shocked through pretty much the entire book was Sarah and Jago’s death. SO NOT COOL (hence the ‘noooo’). They were my favourite characters, I was routing for them the entire time especially as I felt they were the most prominent ‘good guys’ (if you can call them that) and they were wiped from beneath. I had to read the page a couple of times to check I had read it right. It needed more of that in this book and I think that might be where it was lacking. Saying that I wasn’t even particular phased by Aisling to be honest.

Hmm, I wanted to love this book more than I actually did. So whilst, it took me longer than I wanted to to get into it, there were some punches that got it right. Not the ending I was after, but I am glad I finished the series.


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