The Long Game: A Review

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a sequel to her book The Fixer. Both books are phenomenal. Everything I have ever read that Barnes has written is good quality YA. But y’all. These specific books are LIT. The plot twists are things you would never expect.

The Long Game is a continuation of the book that introduces us to Tess, and her world as she moves to DC. Her sister is this book’s version of Olivia Pope, and as Tess acclimates to Hardwicke (the school where all the power players in Washington send their kids) she becomes the school’s version of her sister. In this book, Barnes throws every plot twist your way and executes those twists’ gracefully. Even though they are out there, they aren’t too much. Sometimes author’s throw twists’ that aren’t pulled off successfully and their book suffers. Barnes does the opposite of that in this book.

THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IN THIS BOOK IS GOLD. You get to see Tess grow. You get to see her group of friends grow. You also get to see character development of someone who you don’t particularly like in the first book. Emilia’s development is out of this world good.

If I would have to rate this book out of 10, I would give it an 9. All of the aspects of a great book are there. Go read this book. Especially if you read The Fixer. And if you haven’t read The Fixer, read that and then read The Long Game.

Here’s where I launch into spoilers. So go read the book. And please buy the book. Barnes only has a two book deal for this series, but if enough people buy these books and give them good reviews and tell other people about them she might be given the opportunity to write another book. And she wants to write this third book. And her readers want another book. SO PLEASE BUY THE BOOKS.

~don’t press read more if you haven’t read the book~

1st of all……. HENRY MARQUETTE IS THE BIGGEST TRAITOR-Y TRAITOR PANTS IN ALL OF TRAITOR TOWN. I did not see that coming. At all. Before that twist, Henry was at the top of my list of book boyfriends. Like ranked right under Zach Goode of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl’s series. But now, I am totally with Tess’s decision to cut him as far out of her life as she can get him. I think Daniela Nicolae for blocking Henry out of Sensa Nome. I know that in Henry’s mind, he was doing the right thing. It was just very frustrating for me that he talked about how his father and grandfather’s death had affected his family, but he would go and join A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. Can we also just talk about the fact that it is evident Henry tried to use Tess? Multiple times, y’all. I am not okay with that.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of the book. Let’s just give Jennifer Lynn Barnes a round of applause. Y’all, this book was brilliantly written. The character development was fantastic. Emilia is one of the strongest women characters I have ever seen. She is gunna run Hardwicke after that election, let me tell you. The changes in Tess from the beginning of The Fixer to the end of The Long Game were phenomenal. I love that we get to see her accept her mother. I love that we get to see her interact with her grandfather, and grow closer to her uncle while learning more about her father and grandmother.

Seeing Tess deal with the grief of John Thomas Wilcox dying in her arms, even though he was hated was fantastic. The way that she deals with the grief of the many, many, many deaths in this book is so great. Barnes wrote each of the scenes that dealt with Tess’s grief wonderfully.

We should also talk about William Keyes’s character development. This is a man, that despite his faults, loves his family. He is all about looking out for his blood. Even though he kind of sucks, he has pulled through for Tess over and over. When Asher needed a lawyer, he was there. Even though he shouldn’t have sent that lawyer, he did it because he needed to make sure his granddaughter was okay. When Walker or Walker’s daughter is in danger, he has to make sure that they are going to be okay.

Emilia was really such a phenomenal component in this book. The way she interacts with Asher and Tess really struck me. The dynamic between the twins is great. They both care so much about each other. I also really loved the way Emilia gave Tess that way out of the school. Even though Tess didn’t make it out, it was fantastic to see Emilia start to open up to someone other than her circle of friends.

Barnes weaves this story so artfully. I was glad we got to see more of Priya, and more of Tess enacting her agency. Each decision that was made by any character in this book was a decision that was made on their own. The way that Barnes writes her characters enables the reader to see what calculations went into those decisions and I am forever grateful for her literary artistry.

-Mallory

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