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The Foxhole Court (All for the Game Book 1) Kindle Edition
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Punch Me Up to the Gods" by Brian Broome
"One of the most electrifying, powerful, simply spectacular memoirs I—or you— have ever read." —Augusten Burroughs Learn more
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About the Author
Nora Sakavic is the author of the All for the Game series, which includes The Foxhole Court, The Raven King, and The Kings Men.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B00E9BLRUI
- Publication date : July 30, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 633 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 225 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,633 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The series does not shy away from brutality, and while some of the gore or torture is averted, know that the next two books, if you plan on reading them, will not be as kind. The following books will depict or discuss: Torture, murder, rape, parental abuse, self harm, addiction, ableism, and the list does sort of go on for a while. This book probably looks tame in comparison, but will still discuss a number of those, just not usually in the present tense. Things have yet to hit the fan, so to speak.
The plot is pretty intense, safe to say. Things start at a solid speed, and only get more desperate as things move along. The main character, Neil, and his motivation of survival on one hand, and exy on the other, make for a good man versus himself conflict that is intriguing and original. Side characters are fleshed out in ways that do not necessarily correspond to Neil, and this depth allows readers to sink into things quite well, though, many of their secrets will not be revealed until later on. Dramatic irony does count for something though, and on a second read through, it is pretty easy to give a chortle.
The antagonists in this book are perhaps too numerous and unfocused. Neil's past, situation, and demeanor put him at odds with many different forces and characters, and it is only in the following books that we have the clarity that comes with the effective Two Antagonist Model. So... Many antagonists.
That said, these books build up to one of the strangest, and most rewarding portrayals of a healthy relationship that I have ever seen. The slowest burn delivers the best payoff.
Suspend your disbelief for a while when the book discusses the medication a court has ruled that Andrew take, as the effects of SSRIs on someone with bipolar disorder are pretty similar, but the situation itself is questionable. Perhaps also with the multilingual fluency. And again with how long you can live with organ damage. (Hint: If someone gets your kidneys, you probably are not going to make it from northern Oregon to northern California.) Also, the ability for young people to hold jobs.
Just... Maybe suspend disbelief for most of this series.
The sport invented by the author is creative enough, and Sakavic defines all of the scenes involving very clearly. Most of the unclear points are covered in the author's posts on her now-inactive blogs, as well as a good amount of bonus content. Some of the material should have made it into the books, but given the depth and detail, it was probably a good idea to cut things as they are. Opposing themes could be slightly more remarkable, but again, the lack of detail is understandable.
Summed up? Be wary. This series is not for everyone. Think twice before devoting time to something you might not be able to stomach. For those willing to proceed, enjoy the ride.
With that said, there are a lot of warnings that should come with this book. For one, there is no romance in this one. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to even call it a gay novel because the main character is more asexual than anything. There are 'suggestions' and 'impressions' that this could turn into a gay romance but that could also be taken as the MCs just getting violent. But to those readers thinking they're picking up a young adult, new adult, whatever you want to call it, romance, you'll be sadly disappointed.
That out of the way, I'm extremely glad I read this. It might not be romance or m/m but I adored the characters and the journey I took with them. They're intense to say the least, psychotic and likely to fly off the handle bars but there was something about them that made me want to continue reading and find out where things were going. While I wouldn't say there's a huge cast of characters, there are more than the typical couple and a few side characters. The main contenders here are three guys: Neil, Andrew and Kevin. Neil is an asexual (kinda) who just wants to play Exy (which is like a sport that mixes lacrosse and ice hockey). He's a frightened kid but knows how crucial it is to lie low for fear of his father discovering where he is. Kevin is difficult to explain. He's mean and criticizes everything about Neil but at the same time, he's this lost soul who's been dealt just as crappy a hand as Neil has. Andrew is... psychotic. It's the only way to describe him. I don't understand how he became this way but he's got nothing to lose and he acts on that. He's five foot nothing but he's not afraid of staring down giants. He's amazing but scary and willing to keep everyone who he deems 'family' safe and right now that is Kevin.
The story follows Neil along as he gets accustomed to living in such an open place and playing the sport he loves. Immediately he has issues with Andrew and his gang (who are Neil's teammates) that makes his life difficult but he loves Exy enough to put up with the hostility from everyone. It's about the trials that Neil has to go through, the panic and fear he always has about being found out and being hunted again and the consequences he has to deal with when he makes his decisions regarding whether to stay or to run.
The only thing I didn't like about this book (aside from the lack of m/m romance, of course!) was how confused I was at times. The beginning will be hard to get through for some people because you're left wondering what is going on. You don't get the full back story for Neil or Kevin or even Andrew that really makes sense until well into the book so you're left wondering and probably saying WTF multiple times.
I feel that I should warn readers that this isn't exactly about the mafia either. While there's an undertone of it and even the threat of a yakuza pride descending on Neil and Kevin, it's not actually shown or very prominent in the story. Given that, I didn't much mind this because I felt like the whole book was focusing on second chances and Neil finally living a life, finding a home and standing up to his past. To do that, he needs Andrew and Andrew is willing to help him because of Kevin. It sort of seems like a love triangle but, like I said, this isn't romance. It is more of a bonding between these characters over a common issue.
To be honest, it's hard to explain this whole book because so much happens and is revealed that would spoiler the whole story if told. So, I'm going to leave it here. I enjoyed the novel. It has its issues but I found the whole thing fascinating and couldn't put the book down once I started. I liked that it wasn't saturated in sex but focused on such broken, and in Andrew's case, frightening characters. These characters are misfits, pure and simple and their attitudes and aggressions show that. It's a book of deceit, loyalty, dangerous situations and trust. It's not your traditional story but a gripping tale nonetheless and I'm really looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here and seriously how there's some m/m romance in the near future for Neil and Andrew!!
Neil has lived his life on the run. He gave himself one thing to enjoy, Exy. Exy is a combination of hockey and lacrosse. He plays well and enjoys the sport. When he’s scouted to play in college, even if it’s for the PSU Foxes, he isn’t sure if he should say yes or no. He has a history with the star player, Kevin, even if Kevin doesn’t recognize him.
Throughout the summer and the beginning of the fall semester, there are a lot of growing pains for the Foxes. Trust doesn’t come easily, for any of the players. They all have their trauma and their ways of coping. Neil definitely didn’t know what he was getting into accepting the scholarship.
This is a character driven story and there isn’t any romance in this book. The entire book is setting you up for a big reveal and it leaves you on a cliffhanger. I had a fondness for Andrew, I don’t know why, but I did. He and Neil, had this chemistry even when they detested each other in the beginning.
I’m hoping that in the next installment I’m able to connect a little more with the characters and I get some answers!
Top reviews from other countries
Antes de mais nada, acho válido deixar bem claro que o foco do livro é o esporte que a autora criou para ele, Exy. Esse é o foco, mas o plano de fundo é a máfia, aliás, diferentes famílias na máfia, que são o passado e o presente dos personagens. Os conflitos são mais para o lado da máfia, e é nesse lado que estão também as cenas violentas sobre as quais tanto me alertaram em resenhas que li antes. Se você busca romance, sinto lhe informar que não vai encontrar nenhum aqui. Pelo que entendi, só tem mesmo mais romance no último livro, mas a construção da relação entre os personagens começa aqui.
Apontar todos os gatilhos do livro é importante, pois ele fala sobre assassinato, uso de drogas, entre outras coisas, e tem uma certa violência implícita em cenas até mais comuns, mas confesso que não me impressionei com nada aqui. Talvez seja porque fizeram tanto terror, que eu estava esperando coisas absurdas que não dava para alcançar, ou talvez eu só não me impressione fácil. É, eu não me impressiono nada fácil, então, se você fica incomodado com violência, vai se incomodar com a história. Mas pode ser que isso só faça você gostar ainda mais do livro, que deixe tudo mais emocionante.
Então, essa era outra coisa que eu estava esperando e não aconteceu. Todo mundo que terminava o livro dizia que tinha ficado impactado. Eu ainda estou esperando esse impacto, que talvez venha nos próximos livros. Nada aqui realmente me surpreendeu, nem me emocionou. Também tinha visto algumas pessoas comentando que muita coisa na história não é realista, e outras reclamavam de o livro parecer uma fanfic. Parece mesmo, mas uma boa fanfic, que poderia ter ficado incrível com um editor.
O fato é que a autora escreve bem e conseguiu transformar até os acontecimentos mais improváveis em realistas. Toda a criação dos personagens é bem irreal, mas eu acredito, entende? Pelo jeito que ela narra, como não entrega todas as informações de uma vez, não consigo simplesmente negar e duvidar. Sei, no fundo da minha cabeça, que alguma coisa não parece tão realista assim, mas tudo encaixa nas regras da história, então relevei completamente.
Eu gostei do livro como um todo, principalmente porque gostei do narrador, Neil. Os outros personagens são incógnitas para mim ainda, e aqui vai minha verdadeira crítica: o livro não deveria ter acabado aqui. Trilogias são legais, sim, mas é bem mais importante ter um livro completo. Quando esse acaba, com 230 páginas aliás, nada acaba junto. Não consegui nem criar uma opinião sobre qualquer outro personagem além do Neil e nada se desenvolveu ainda realmente. Nada. Nada mudou direito. Não era hora de acabar.
Segundo minha pesquisa na Amazon, os dois primeiros livros juntos teriam menos de 500 páginas, e isso faria mais sentido. Não sei o que acontece no segundo, talvez eu leia e descubra que deveria ter sido um único livro esse tempo todo. A única coisa que sei é que o primeiro foi cortado do nada e parece que está faltando página. Não tem um clímax e nem uma linha lógica na narrativa. É só o começo mesmo, mal tem espaço para imaginar o que está por vir, não é nem uma base direito para os próximos. E o pior é que eu não posso e não vou ler o segundo agora. Vou ter que esperar para descobrir o que a autora realmente guardou e planejou para essa história.
Ainda aconselho que leiam, mas que estejam dispostos a encontrar um mundo meio artificial que só funciona aqui mesmo. Estejam abertos à confusão que só vai se explicando mais perto do final, a aceitar que não entendem coisas por um tempo, como Neil mesmo faz, e só continuem lendo. Mas, principalmente, juntem tempo suficiente para ler a trilogia de uma vez se gostarem. E depois me digam o que acharam do segundo livro!
There is a lot to cover and so you do get a bit lost at times, if you race through it like I did. There's a Nicky and a Kevin; I kept getting confused because the names both have a k and they're part of the same group.
The writing doesn't dwell on things and milk them for all they're worth. There are some tough subjects in this series, as a whole. None of it feels gratuitous.
There is big talk of a relationship in this series. That's how I heard of it and also why I was reticent to start it. Book one [and two] we don't see anything like anyone starting dating or kissing. So, this 'slow burn' exemplifies the unforced nature of this series. Nobody is trying to shoe horn in a romance. I'm a couple chapters into book 3 at this point and still nothing definite to speak of.
The characters are treated with dignity. Someone with an iota of emotional intelligence wrote this. You could give a copy of it to your dad or brother and it'd be fine.
Book one: cast, setting, intro. The good, the bad, the ugly. Threats, how good are they at playing rn, who are their enemies, team dynamics, internal conflicts r.
Book two has a traumatic scene. It's handled well. But do look up trigger warnings before you start this series. Goes deeper into backgrounds of characters. Character development. Shit hit-eth the fan-eth.
Book three: I am Matt's mother and I have adopted all these reprobates and they will live with me far away from the BS. No, lol, I'm still reading it. But I would. The are my fictional children now. Protect them at all costs! Neil is definitely an Exy addict. He needs help.
I forgot to mention that it is funny at times. Neil is a snarky shit and the coach and how he handles them all is amusing and heart warming both.
The Foxhole Court focuses on a fictional sport called Exy, which seems like a mix of lacrosse, hockey, and some other sports I can't quite remember. It’s extremely popular and the only thing that makes Neil happy. But Neil is on the run from his father, an abusive man in the mob, and signing a contract with the PSU Foxes should be the last thing Neil should ever do. The lie that has kept him living for five years begins to break under the pressure of his new teammates and the truth about him could get him killed.
To be honest, it's hard to explain this whole book because so much happens and would spoil the book immensely. I enjoyed the plot, but I had bigger problems with issues like r*pe jokes and homophobic slurs within the book that made it uncomfortable to read. I originally gave this book 1 star but it was like 12 at night when I finished it so I slept on it and decided a 3 rating was more suitable. The concept of Exy was interesting to read and despite the weirdness of the plot, I liked how realistic the characters were. (I have the biggest soft spot for Nicky and Kevin) Each character has a fascinating backstory which captivates the reader and makes you love the minor characters even more.
What I love about this book the most (besides the obvious great action and unexisting sport combining action books and basically sports manga haha) is that the book works with faulty, broken characters and it never once tries to make up for it, it never once tries to redeem them and I think that is super important to write in books.
AFTG took a group of people that have a dark past and instead of trying to cover it up or have a redeeming journey that would lift them up and clear away the past, basically painting it over, it did the following, it said:
"Yup, we are a bunch of people with a dark past. Yep, that's how is it. Our pastis ours but we are working for a better future." And I think that's beautiful, better than a bunch of books trying to 'fix' a character. The book never tried to fix it's characters, it said they are like this, this happened to them and they are surviving, trying to get over it but it will always be a part of them. And that's more realistic than a book fixing anything, like romance healing depression or such.
AFTG making their characters survive and live together with their past instead of trying to fix them is my most favourite thing in this book.
I ended up reading this book in a matter of hours. It was that good! I started reading it before family came over, and I struggled to put it down. When I got back to it, I read it straight through to the end and it just blew me away. The story sucked me in. The characters were interesting, and believable. The plot was interesting and kept my attention. THE FOXHOLE COURT was everything I wanted from the first book in a series. Sakavic did a good job setting up the world and the characters; the premise of the book felt believable, and I think Sakavic did a brilliant job with Neil. I am planning on devouring the second and third books in this trilogy as quickly as I can get my hands on them!
The main plot of the book focuses on the question of whether Neil will follow his dreams and play for the PSU Foxes, and if he does will his secrets be uncovered? Sakavic does a fantastic job at keeping the tension about possible discovery through the whole book; it’s what kept me turning the pages. I also really enjoyed the fact that Sakavic crossed the worlds of competitive sport and the mob, and all both worlds entail. I found the meshing of the worlds worked really well, and I thought the sport of Exy sounded interesting – it’s sort of a cross between ice hockey and lacrosse on a football pitch (though I’m don’t know if that’s American Football or football/soccer, and even if there’s a difference in pitch size). It’s super competitive both on and off the pitch.
Neil Josten is the main character, and I thought he was an interesting choice. Going into THE FOXHOLE COURT you know he has secrets, and I think Sakavic plays with that aspect of his character well. I found it easy to trust him, and I thought his point of view was interesting. Sakavic does a brilliant job with his teammates, and they all feel real and believable. There’s also an interesting team dynamic, which makes for some pretty entertaining reading at times.
Overall I think THE FOXHOLE COURT serves as a brilliant introduction to the All For The Game trilogy. Sakavic does a brilliant job of setting up the world and the characters, which I’m looking forward to seeing more of in future books. If you’re looking for a contemporary novel that doesn’t have a lot of romance in it, and you’re okay reading books that are sport based then you may want to consider picking this book up. I’m not sure if the little romance will hold up for future books in the trilogy, but for this book in particular there is very little of it at all. But having said that, as there’s a mob aspect to the book there’s also some references to pretty nasty violence – I cannot remember seeing any of it actually happen on page – and there’s also some substance abuse – some of which takes place without characters consent – so if that is not your thing then this may not be the book for you. Having said that, I don’t think any of the things I warned about are used gratuitously and I thought they added to the tension of the book.
Review originally published on TheFlutterbyRoom.com