Publication date: May 19, 2020
Pages: 439 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ☆☆☆☆
Weaknesses: Probably missed some inside jokes
I was looking for something different to read, and this one was available for my kindle through the library - yay! I had waited for it back when it first published, but then didn't have time to read it. I'm so glad I finally did read it.
A lot of reviews commented on the references made to the other books. I'm sure there were, but it's been a long time since I read the other books, and that was okay. I don't think many of the characters carried across all the books either, but I could totally be wrong. Snow was obviously the boy who later is a major player in the rest of the series, but I never really noticed his friends before, so I'm not sure who else may have been in this prequel and the later books.
I loved reading about Snow struggling for his family's successful name, but also still wanting to morally do the 'right' thing. The Game maker in this book sounded like a positively beastly woman, but I loved how she embraced it and had the Academy students write some really grisly papers examining human nature.
Overall, I don't think I have strong memories of the rest of the series, and this book was still quite enjoyable. If I had more time, I'd like to read them in order to follow more of the details. I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoyed the rest of the series, or are into speculative fiction or dystopian stories.