Saturday, May 16, 2015

[Review] The Kill (The Forbidden Game #3) - L.J. Smith

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In THE KILL, Julian has kidnapped Jenny's boyfriend Tom and her cousin Zach and taken them with him into the Shadow World. In order to get them back, they have to play one last game with him. If they lose, Jenny is Julian's forever.

Fantasically Structured

I don't know what it is about this series, but I couldn't put this one down either. The structure of all three novels being constructed like games makes it very easy to follow the story line and even easier to just read them in one go.

The Shadow World is modeled after the amusement park Joyland they have visited before. I was slightly disappointed with that. I was hoping for the Shadow World to be created more like a surreal fantasy world, rather than an imitation of the real world. Amusement parks can be scary, but I was rather bored by the setting than intimidated.

The Same Thing All Over Again

I really enjoyed THE HUNTER and THE CHASE, but to be honest all three novels are just repeating the same thing over and over again. Julian wants Jenny, she prefers Tom, so Julian invents crazy games to kill her friends. The novels all struggle with portraying the characters and simultaneously trying to keep up this weird love triangle that is just poorly executed.

Julian isn't explored enough as a character to be interesting and appealing, and not for one second I rooted for them coming together and her ditching Tom. Julian always puts emphasis on how she's the light to his darkness, yadayadayada, but doesn't really show that he's in love with her. There are no truly sweet scenes between them, they only kiss when he practically forces her to and therefore the ending of it all doesn't make sense. They just don't click as a couple and he just annoyed me throughout the series.

I was hoping for him to change or show some character development the entire time - which he does when he has a slight breakdown towards the end - but it doesn't feel like character development. It just feels like a cheap attempt to make the reader sympathize with this poor little misunderstood demon prince that didn't really mean to kill anyone.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

The execution of THE KILL could have been better, but overall it's a quick and alright read. I liked the previous novels better. Having read all three I can say that Smith just should have left it at THE HUNTER and refrained from creating a whole series.

Additional Info

Published: July 1st 1994
Publisher: Brilliance Corporation
Cover: Brilliance Corporation, 1994.
Genre: YA / Horror 
ISBN: 1441875433

"It was Julian's last challenge before he disappeared into the Shadow World, taking Jenny Thornton's boyfriend Tom and her cousin Zach: ?If you want them, come on a treasure hunt. But remember: if you lose, there's the devil to pay.? Jenny, Audrey, Michael, and Dee have burned their bridges, leaving their families behind, to enter the Shadow World with a set of runes, magical letters that open the doors of hell. They?re lost in an amusement park nightmare, at Julian's mercy as they look for Tom and Zach. Jenny's only clue is a gold coin, Julian's gift, and Julian himself, more beautiful, more seductive, more dangerous than ever. And determined to make her his bride. . ."

Can You Recommend A Super Scary Read to Me?


  1. Finally my omnibook copy arrived! But your Overall scares me a little bit! Was it that bad? Or was it like with TVD? :/

  2. Yes! I absolutely fell in love with "The Hunter", but I guess that it isn't necessary to make this a three book series. It's still alright, but you can tell that she sort of dragged it all out. Way better than TVD though.

  3. Oh I really do not like when this happens to the series, well at least I know the first one will be great :))

  4. I'm a super critical reader though, when I even remotely like something it's usually a 5 star read for everyone else.

  5. HANNAH i just saw this on the wikipedia page??

    "According to an August 2010 blog entry, Smith is considering a sequel to the Forbidden Game series for adults and has already written a few pages.An undated FAQ page on the author's website states a sequel is in progress and a teaser will be available soon"

  6. What? It is just like what she did with TVD. But it has been 5 years now and there is nothing on goodreads about any new books...maybe it was just an idea that didn't get continued. At least I hope, as much as I like her I also really don't like her continuing the series after so many years out of the blue!

  7. :/
    You'll see when you finished the last book that there's potential though. I'm still wondering why she keeps on writing TVD instead of doing something new. Well, at least we still have the NIght World Series and The Secret Circle, I'll eventually start reading those.

  8. I know right! She should just stop. I actually wish she stopped with TVD after fourth original book. I need to read Night World too, have all 9 books but keeping them for summer and read only first Secret Circle but have to reread it before continuing as frankly it was really long time ago...

  9. Yeah the quality really dropped after the fourth. I struggled so much to try to get through the fifth one and I didn't get the plot at all. I can't imagine how some people actually have stuck until today with the ghostwritten novels. ALL NINE?! Dear God, I'm jealous. I don't even own a single one. I watched the CW tv show based on The Secret Circle and I actually liked it. Kinda sad it got cancelled, there's not enough good witch shows on TV.

  10. I agree! I read them but I actually do not remember much of them, at least much less than original ones!
    Where do you live in Germany? I'm moving back next month, maybe I can lend them to you :) And oh yesssss! I want some good witch book or tv show for so long! Now that you mentioned Charmed I even want to rewatch it!


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