The Foxhole Court: January 15, 2013
The Raven King: July 10, 2013
The King’s Men: December 3, 2014
Read Dates: April – May 2016
My Rating: 5/5 stars
A Tumblr favorite which doesn’t quite fall in YA/NA or adult but somewhere in between, the All For The Game series (also known as The Foxhole Court series) earns every bit of it’s fan craze. It’s intense, emotional and v gay; what more could you ask for?
The story follows Neil Josten, an orphaned 18 year old with a seriously complicated past who gets recruited to join the Palmetto State Foxes to play Exy. Exy is a fictional game that’s sort of a hockey/lacrosse/field hockey/soccer blend, and it’s the one thing that’s ever given Neil the motivation to live. The Foxes are known for being the team of screw-ups and rejects, but Neil takes the chance to play the game for as long as he can. But his history can’t be held at bay for too long and soon, everything Neil has gained is at stake.
This series’ intensity level is UP HERE ALL THE DAMN TIME, so I had to read this books in small, couple-chapters-at-a-time increments, but I know that some people were hooked and sped through these in a matter of days (I was also in the midst of the worst of my depression, so that could’ve been why it took me forever to read it). The story line is so addicting, but it’s really the characters that make the story.
The characters really only include the Foxes team, made up of 10 players including Neil, and the people involved with the team, like Coach Wymack, Trainer Abby and Counselor Bee, so you really get to know each of the characters inside and out, as Neil bonds or fights with them. And as the pressure from Neil’s past starts to affect the team as a whole, you begin to see them really come together as a team to protect their own. Because they may be a mess of a family, but they’re still a family, goddammit.
In addition, this book has SO MUCH REPRESENTATION OMG. The majority of characters are a variety of POC, pretty much all the players are either explicitly LGBTQ+ or it’s implied (except for the Token Straight, Aaron lol bless his jackass heart). Neil is demisexual, which is damn near never seen in literature! And none of them are 100% good or bad, every character lives in the moral grey area; after all, they’re Foxes for a reason. But that doesn’t mean you don’t like them because every one of them quickly become your smol children that you will fight to protect and it hurts your heart when shit hits the fan.
If you haven’t been convinced to read this series yet, here’s the kicker: ALL the books are $0.99 on Amazon Kindle, meaning you get the whole series for less than $4.
Before you do dive into these books, please mind these trigger warnings: physical, emotional and mental abuse, semi-graphic depiction of rape, drug usage, death, torture.
Have you read AFTG? Does it interest you after reading this review? Let me know! As always, the covers link to the Goodreads pages.