Tomes of Shadowstalking

Welcome to the land of shadows, where evil is the greatest power, where nightfall marks the birth of terror, where your very soul is at risk. Join me as I investigate worlds filled with black magic and dark souls and encounter the monsters rule these wicked places.

W A R N I N G !

This review does not represent the opinions of the general public. It reflects my personal thoughts and opinions on the book.

That said, on to the review!

Title: The Forbidden Game--The Chase
Author: L.J. Smith
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Format: Paperback
Copyright Date: 1994

Jenny Thornton and her friends escaped the Shadow World, the Game, and its master, Julian, but not without mishap. Their friend, Summer, died in the Game, and disappeared from the real, waking world. Her parents won't accept this truth, however, instead believing that she's just missing. Jenny and her friends help in the effort to find her, posting flyers and surveying neighbors day in and day out. Now, however, something's changed. The Lurker and the Creeper, Julian's agents in the Game, have somehow reappeared in the real world, and now they're stalking Jenny and her friends...and that means that Julian has plans for her as well. One by one her friends disappear, and it's up to Jenny to confront Julian and win their freedom once more. This time the game's "Lambs and Monsters". Can Jenny save all the "lambs" before the "monster" claims her forever?

The second installment of The Forbidden Game trilogy is a welcome addition to L.J. Smith's library of works. Admittedly, The Hunter could serve as a complete and independent book all on its own. Now, however, we get to see that it wasn't the end of Julian's plans for Jenny. And again, a game of some sort shapes the entire work, something I'd never encountered--not really, anyway--in anything else I've read. It's really a good idea and very intriguing. Then, too, there seems to have been a schism between the friends, allowing for a new dynamic of personal relationships and interactions. Together it makes for a very interesting storyline.

Some things never change, though. Jenny's still attracted to Julian, Julian is still as dangerously beautiful as ever, and her friends' personalities are still going strong, even after facing their worst nightmares. Some of the battles are still internal (in the Game they were externalized and made physical in the Shadow World house), but this time in the real world there are real dangers, like the Lurker and the Creeper. The author skillfully melds these similarities to the first book with situations entirely unique to the second, making this an outstanding work of excitement, danger, and suspense.

Although a YA novel like her other books, L.J. Smith's The Forbidden Game--The Chase will capture and hold your attention and interest from beginning to end. The smooth narration and detailed exposition heighten reading pleasure and the weaving of foreign legends and folklore with the modern life of a teenager makes for a wonderful reading experience!

Rating: Thumbs up! Winning one game is one thing, but will you be so lucky with another type of game?

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