Micky here, I started the All For The Game series last year but didn’t get past book one. I think it was part trepidation about what was to come and part not being sure what I thought about the series. I also had a pretty strong hatred for one of the MCs (oh naive Micky). Anyway, I finished the series in the last week and here are my feels.
If you don’t know much about the series, I’d frame it this way – new adult age, LGBTQIAP+ characters, a fictional sport called Exy, gangs and hazing. Book one was a brutal read for me and to be honest the difficult content continued throughout the books. I’ve put some content warnings at the bottom of this post.
Here’s the blurb for book one:
Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.
Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.
But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.
So what are my feelings about the series? They are compelling but gruesome reads. There’s a gang of sports men and women to really get to know, some I loved and some not so much. The affiliations with Japanese mafia-types was a odd fit at first but I did adjust. I never adjusted to some of the difficult themes however, I read with pause, heartache and anger.
I would say each of the books are slow starters, it took me a good 20% to get into the book each time but the author makes what comes afterwards worth it. I’ve been left a little wanting in the finish. My ratings went like this:
Micky’s 4 star review
Slow start building up to almost too tense to handle
All for Andrew and Neil
Welp, this series has taken me on a journey, from hate to love, experiencing true gang-land evil and witnessing abusive situations that just plain hurt. With all that, you’d think this would be an almighty nope but I have come out of book three with the highest rating of the three books.
Once again Sakavic delivered a slow start to the book, it only truly getting going at 25%, it made me pause on it for a day. Then the pacing went light speed to the worst situation for my beloved Neil. I liked that that part wasn’t at the end of the book and that the story rolled out much further.
Sakavic won me truly round on Andrew and yet…I felt dissatisfied in some ways at where the main relationship was left. I needed and wanted more of particularly Andrew’s emotions. Yes, he’s a cold, closed off ‘hater’ but he isn’t really I don’t think and we didn’t get to see that.
It really is a memorable series especially for its gruesome parts and the roller coaster readers go on with these books.
Content warnings: rape, torture, sexual abuse, physical abuse