The Revenant Games / Margie Fuston / Book Review


Bly has felt trapped in this town all her life--and not just because the humans here are, for all intents and purposes, caught between the viciously anti-human vampire and witch kingdoms on either side. Bly wants to leave, and she's willing to risk her life for it--something the neighbors just don't understand.

But Bly's risk-taking doesn't just leave her own life at stake. When Bly's poor choices causes her sister's untimely death, Bly can only blame herself. But she's not willing to let her sister--her family--suffer for her bad choices.

The witches and the vampires have an uneasy truce: only human blood is free game. Except for the two weeks a year when the truce gets set aside for the Revenant Games. Any human can play, capturing witches or vampires for their respective sponsors. And whoever brings back the best catch wins a prize like no other: a chance for immortality on the vampires' side or a chance to bring back a loved one if playing for the witches. And Bly would do anything to get her sister back.



This... was a book. It wasn't a bad book, but it doesn't exactly stand out from the rest of the (oversaturated) YA fantasy market. It's just kind of... bleh.


Off the Bat It's rare to find a book that doesn't hold itself back, especially in this age category. So having a character die in the first chapter, well... This book doesn't pull its punches. And that's refreshing.

World of Magic It's always nice to dive into a world of dark and deadly magic. The human remnant are caught between a rock and a hard place--the blood-driven witches and the bloodthirsty vampires. Witches and vampires both derive their power from an ancient well of magic, long run dry, and I like that unique take on this supernatural lore.

Depressed Vampire You know what would be depressing? Being stuck with your mistakes for all eternity. Especially if you didn't necessarily choose to take on an immortal, bloodthirsty form. In a market of cruel and self-confident vampires, reading a vampire who doesn't really want to be here anymore is certainly refreshing.


There's really nothing that dampens my reading mood like having to slog through long chapters. Now, I don't mind long chapters if they're riveting, but... that really wasn't the case here. The writing gets bogged down, and it was hard to get motivated to pick up this book again every time I set it down since I knew I would be dedicating significant time to finish just one chapter. Long, Long, Long

The plan... makes no sense. I spent the whole book just being kind of confused, honestly. Because Bly waited a year after her sister's death to join the Games, supposedly to plan out how she would win and prepare for that, but her plan doesn't seem to exist as she's scrambling to get things together at the last moment. And when her best friend Emerson joins her cause, they come up with a new plan... that I honestly didn't follow. Oh, I got the gist of the idea, the broad strokes, but how they thought to execute it was a mystery to me even as they were executing their plan. When a plan is in play, and the characters all know about it, the reader probably should, too. I shouldn't be left asking, "Why are we doing this? Where are we going now? We're using up so many spells! At what point did we need those again?" I wasn't set up to follow these characters on a harebrained quest because I didn't know what they were actually planning on doing. I was just really very confused. Is There... a Plan?

When you get halfway through the book and don't really have any characters, there's a big problem. Most of the cast of characters gets introduced or involved in the plot after this halfway mark, and the "characters" we have before this don't really make any impact. They exist, sure, but are they anything more than plot devices? No, they are not. This is perhaps one of the most abysmally bland set of characters I've ever read, which is actually saying quite a lot given I'm not known for the quality of my reading consumption. And, you know, characters changing motivation as part of "twists" and "revelations" really only works if they're solid characters to begin with, so... Cast-less



Fans of Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman's All of Us Villains will like this new, deadly magic competition. Fans of A.M. Strickland's Court of the Undying Seasons will like this undead domain of elegance and decay.


Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date: March 19, 2024
Series: The Revenant Games
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. I hate long chapters. I read a lot while I commute, and it pains me to stop in the middle of a chapter.

  2. I’m not one for long chapters either ER. I’m sorry this one was somewhat of a disappointment to you.

  3. This is why I have learned the art of DNF. LOL If the chapters don't pull me in I let go. Like you long chapters are fine if I am engaged and don't mind missing my bedtime to finish one more chapter.

  4. like disappoint book.....
    Have a great weekend....

  5. This is definitely a genre that has too many options to keep slogging through something like this. The long chapters and lack of a true cast would have killed me!

  6. Well dang, the blurb sure sounded like this was going to be really good. Sorry to hear it wasn't as good as it could have been.

  7. I agree with you on long chapters. Not an issue as long as its riveting. Its a pity this book didn;t work out for you, it sounded promising

  8. I so do not need bleh, I dnf bleh at once

  9. That's too bad because as you said, it's unusual to have a book that doesn't hold back!

  10. I always find it hard to review middling books like this. (And I'm always a little sad that I wasted so much time reading them, too.)


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