Nora Sakavic, All for the Game Series
Overall Rating: 5 stars
It sounded like a dream. It tasted like damnation
All for the Game, a summary: ‘”I’m fine”, Neil lied.’
All for the Game is definitely not for everyone (Major trigger warnings for this series) but it was certainly for me. I heard about this series through Tumblr and it took me years to start the first book because I thought that it could never live up to the hype. But I was so wrong.
All for the Game follows the teen Neil Josten who, in his last year of high school gets scouted by a college Exy coach and some of the team members, one of which is someone from Neil’s dark past. Taking this opportunity to play a sport he loves at college-level, puts his life and everything he has worked for at risk.
What’s Exy? I hear you say.. It’s basically a violent mix of lacrosse and hockey, played on a football field enclosed in plexi glass like ice hockey. Badly explained? Confused? Yeah me too 🙂
The characters truly MAKE this series. Every member of the team is “troubled” and has a murky past, which is exactly why the team coach David Wymack chooses the team members.
“They were a team with no concept of teamwork and they determined their hierarchy through force.”
The way the series’ plot develops is phenomenal, totally dark but still phenomenal. As things unravel for Neil, the team slowly comes together, as their endless number of personal issues make them strong enough to be there for each other. There are scenes in this series that have me crying, then laughing so hard I can’t breathe while still being incredibly emotive. Nora Savakic really created something amazing here.
Best things (+ quotes) about the series in no particular order:
- “Yes or No”
- The Foxes cabin retreat vacation
- “Because I made you a promise… I did not forget it just because you chose not to believe me”
- The Fox sleepover in Matt & Neil’s living room
- “Thank you, you were amazing”
- Neil’s “neck fetish”
- Every time Andrew did something just because Neil was the one to ask him
- “Every inch of you”
- Neil’s iconic drags + attitude problem
- Speaking of ^^^ “Always a commodity, never a human being, not a single person in your family thinking you’re worth a damn off the court – yeah, sounds rough”
“I’m not a hallucination”
“You are a pipe dream”
Favourite character: Mr Andrew Minyard. Psychotic Midget. 5ft nothing goalkeeper for the Foxes. Extremely violent. Book #2 The Raven King, is where Andrew really shines for me. Although my love for Neil “Sass” Josten is pretty strong too.
Favourite book: Definitely The Raven King. Simply because of the new light that’s shed on Andrew. The King’s Men is an extremely close second… What am I talking about?
So is The Foxhole Court
“This is my reassured face,” Neil said, pointing up at his blank expression.
An added bonus: Nora Sakavic has a blog, Korakos, with a page of posts dedicated to extra content and short stories about this series. Go forth, and learn.
An EXTRA added bonus: A kind and beautiful soul has written fan fiction called Lessons in Cartography which starts after The King’s Men is BASICALLY Book 4 and also the world’s greatest fan fic. I’m still not convinced that Nora didn’t write a lot of this.
PLUS the first book The Foxhole Court is FREE on iBooks, so there’s no excuse!
“God damn it, Minyard. This is why we can’t have nice things”