Tuesday, May 5, 2015

[Review] The Chase (The Forbidden Game #2) - L.J. Smith

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In THE CHASE, Jenny and her friends think they have escaped the mysterious Shadow Man Julian. Little do they know that the intruders that took the game at the end of  THE HUNTER are already trying to figure out what it is. When they release Julian - whether on purpose or not - Jenny, Tom, Dee, Audrey, Zach and Mike have to watch their every step. Julian is back, and he wants to play a game.

Couldn't Put It Down!

I don't know what it is about L.J. Smith's writing, but I couldn't, for the life of me, put this novel down. When I had to other things I was just thinking about the novel and wishing to go back to reading. I love, love, love the idea still, and I love how it's reminiscent of Jumanji (the book was actually published before the film) - but with more angst and more blood.

Just like with the first novel, I couldn't identify with Jenny. She's just as unapproachable and unlikeable as Elena from her Vampire Diaries Series. Even after having read the first novel I still didn't really know who was who! Smith does her best to add description all the time and little hints so you can picture everyone in your head, but only halfway through this one I could finally keep up with the characters. Every single character is this novel has their distinct obsessions and interest, but it took a very long time for me to actually "get" the characters and start to like them.

Can somebody explain to me though what the fascination that everyone has for Jenn she's just too perfect.

An Extraordinary Plot That Saves the Day!

The odd thing is, that it doesn't even matter that I didn't like her or any of her friends. I am absolutely and utterly in love with the story idea, the whole "Teenagers play a magical game and it goes wrong" thing. The first one felt like reading a horror movie in an alternate universe where the characters aren't too stupid to see the obvious traps and run into the monsters arms. Having this novel extended into a series is like watching what happens after that movie and it's just so unique and interesting. I haven't read a single YA novel that had JUST the plot line for the horror in it and didn't settle for a mediocre romance side plot.

Yes, we do have the relationship between Jenny and the antagonist Julian, but that's a completely different thing. It's absolutely interesting and he's a terrifying character that I just can't figure out at all. Of course it's again very unrealistic that the super villain falls for the girl, but Smith does her best to explain everything logically. I can't understand why this novel series isn't extremely popular, it has everything I've been missing in YA Horror in the last couple of months, even years.

Another striking thing about this novel is that you can absolutely tell a lot of planning went into writing the series. There are some things that the characters say or do that just leaves me speechless. The little riddles that Julian gives them during the game for example are just brilliant. The way she manages to maneuver her characters out of every oh so dangerous situation is absolutely genius. Seriously, usually I tend to roll my eyes at magical solutions for problems, but the way L.J. Smith solves the characters' challenges is amazing. I'm in awe.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I love L.J. Smith's writing and I love her beautiful mind. She always manages to come up with new concepts that I'm eager to read about and this novel is no exception. I'm convinced that this is one of those novels that I'd probably reread times and times over and that's a very rare thing. Can't wait to start the third one! I haven't been disappointed by L.J. Smith so far and I can gladly recommend this series. Start with the first novel though, you're missing out!

Additional Info

Pages: 288
Genre: YA / Horror

"Jenny's friends are lost one by one to a ghostly wolf and a phantom snake, instruments of the sinister but attractive Shadow Man, who has returned from the Shadow World with a deadly game called ""Lambs and Monsters.""

Have You Read Any of L.J. Smith Novels?

What Is Your Favorite Novel By Her?


  1. Wow I shamefully have to admit I did not know this series! And I actually do like L.J. Smith :( Well except for the last TVD books which are not even for sure hers... But I have one question, is her writing similar to TVD and Secret Circle? I mean, does she keep same creation style? Cuz I am somehow not really looking forward to another Elena :/

  2. It's from the 90s and really should be more popular!! The TVD series is only alright up until the third book or so, I think they hired a ghost writer after book five.
    No. Absolutely not. Jenny is only similar to Elena in the sense that she's a very sweet person but somehow has the forces of evil being drawn to her in the form of Julian (Damon). You should give it a try, the books are all aroudn 200-250 pages and paced very nicely.

  3. Jup, I actually read many of TVD, up till Damon died and was only in Elena's mind :D But I am very determined to read these ones, I missed J.L.Smith writing!

    P.S. I just noticed the cover, bist du deutsche? :D

  4. What?! :D I didn't even get that far, that sounds so stupid.

    Selbstverständlich! ;)

  5. Jup, tho to be honest I was going through goodreads yesterday and just could not find that book :D But I have read all Damon books, it was really a shame that L.J. Smith was not writing anymore cuz I know she was gonna end Damon with Bonnie...in Damon books actually before he gives away his memories it was still really nice with them two, I was always team Damon and Bonnie in books :D Anyways, inspired by you I ordered all three books of the forbidden game yesterday! Cannot wait to get into L.J. Smith world again! :)))

  6. Geht auch genausogut auf Deutsch^^
    Um ehrlich zu sein ist es so lange her, dass ich die VD Bücher gelesen habe, dass ich dir gar nicht sagen kann, welches Pairing mir am besten gefällt. Oh mein Gott, haha, meine Mission ist erfüllt! Ich werd auf jeden Fall ein Auge für deine Review offenhalten, ansonsten kannst du mir ruhig schreiben und mir berichten wie's dir gefallen hat!! :)

  7. Oh, ich bin keine deutsche, ich nur studiere in Deutschland :D Aber ich muss auch sagen das ich
    die Bücher vor ewigen zeiten gelesen habe.:D Ich habe die ersten vier im Gymnasium gelesen und nur Damon im Abitur order so. Aber das war vor fünf Jahren :D und
    jetzt lese ich wieder von L.J. Smith. Das war sehr lieb von dir. :)


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