Title: The Forbidden Game (The Hunter, The Killer, The Chase)
Author: LJ Smith
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release: June 8, 2010 (Bind Up)
Series: The Forbidden Game Trilogy (Contains all three)
Synopsis: (Only for The Hunter)
Jenny Thornton wanted the perfect game for her perfect boyfriend's birthday party. And the nondescript hole-in-the-wall shop manned by an unnervingly handsome blue-eyed boy seemed to carry just the right thing: 'The Game'.
To win, the players' paper avatars must race through a constructed cardboard house. Each room contains a 'nightmare'; conquering the nightmare is the only way out.
'The Game' is fun at first. That is, until Jenny and her friends get sucked inside the house to find the blue-eyed boy waiting for them. His name is Julian, and he is a demonic Shadow Man. Now, Jenny and her friends must play the game for real. They must find their way out of the cardboard house by morning, or they'll be stuck in the Shadow World forever...
I got this one just because it had LJ Smith's name on it (Did you know her full name is Lisa Jane Smith?). That's pretty much how I got this one. Little did I know that it had just released a week before and it was her new bind up of some old books. They turned out to be some sort of good books.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. And the whole time I was crushing on Julian. Even though he was trying to trap Jenny into being with him forever and he almost killed her friends several times, I still really liked him. A lot. Even though I still really liked Tom too. I love how LJ can make you fall in love with any character she writes. I just loved all the characters in this book! They just kept growing with the stories. I love how LJ is able to create these amazing characters in such a short time. Another of my favorites was Summer. She was so clueless and naive. It was a huge contrast to any other character in the book. I don't know why, but I really liked Summer's character.
The world that LJ creates in this book is amazing. If you were to pick up any one book of LJ's you would find completely different worlds in each. If you picked up Night World and Dark Visions, you wouldn't guess that the same author wrote them. LJ creates a new world for each of her book that is specifically tailored to each plot and cast of characters. Doing this makes for a great read every time that you can always expect from LJ. This book was no exception. It was a universe that you could escape to whenever you chose to. You could just get away and live a whole different life alongside the characters.
The only downfall to this book was the slow spots. At some points in between the action I just had to take a break from the book because it got so slow. At one point in the second story in this bind up, I actually stopped reading for a week and a half. I eventually kept going and got through that spot and ended up really enjoying this book. It just took a little determination to get through this book at times.
My favorite aspect of this book was the first Game. All the games that Julian played with them were great to read about, but my personal favorite was the first one. the first one was new and you didn't know what to expect and it was all on Julian's turf. Which made it great because I really thought that deep down Julian was sweet and just wanted to be loved but at the same time he was totally BA.
Overall, this book was great. I loved all of it except for the sticky slow parts that crept up every now and again. Except for those it was a great reading experience and I would recommend this book to anyone. That's why it gets a 4.5/5.