I’ve just finished reading ‘The Long Game’, the second novel in ‘The Fixer’ series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I discovered Barnes through another favourite author of mine, Rachel Vincent – and I was not disappointed. I first read her ‘Naturals’ series which was awesome, but I can honestly say that ‘The Fixer’ storylines are one of the best narratives I have read in a long time.
I love love LOVED the first one – it was a brilliant introduction into the characters’ world, and the plot twist was one you definitely didn’t see coming. ‘The Long Game’ was equally fantastic – it’s so hard to follow up with a great sequel, but this one really does ‘The Fixer’ justice – and not to mention Barnes’ fantastic prose!
I sat down and read most of this novel in one day – as soon as I got a few chapters in, I literally couldn’t put it down. I did wonder how Barnes would top the plot twist of the previous novel, and I was not disappointed. ‘The Long Game’ hits you with plot twist after plot twist after plot twist – the first one leaves you reeling, and you haven’t recovered when the next chapter hits you with another one. It was such a fast paced novel, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the pages. The plot was so well thought out that it all tied in neatly. Every plot twist was building to the perfect crescendo to play out in a high octane finale, which was brilliantly executed.
Barnes’ characterisation is fantastic – she perfectly creates such believable motivation for the characters, that you never doubt how it leads into the individual situations. Her PhD in psychology probably helps! I really love Tess as a character – she’s such a strong character, but her backstory gives her a vulnerability that is imperative to making her who she is, while also making her more likeable as a character. With each plot twist that’s revealed, it makes you appreciate the characterisation even more – Barnes expertly gets inside the characters’ heads and shows you how each and every plot point was inevitable. Just like a game of chess, every player thinking five moves ahead.
One thing in particular I liked about the terrorism storyline, was that the characters who were portrayed as terrorists were American. They were ordinary people who had signed up thinking they were doing the right thing, and things went awry. There was no encouraging this stupid Islamaphobia thing, which I really liked – the terrorist group in the novel was set up to fight terrorism, but ends up being no better than any of the others.
I would highly recommend picking up this series and giving it a read. The scandals are fantastic and will leave you desperate to read the next novel – I can’t wait for the third instalment in this series. It’s a definitely well earned 5/5 stars from me! This was a seriously brilliant novel and you really need to pick it up and read it to let it speak for itself. Barnes has really done herself justice and ‘The Long Game’ is definitely one of her best novels yet.