Release date: 15 January 2013
Book Depository link (no BD link for this – the only place you can get it is from Amazon)
The Foxhole Court (All For the Game, #1) blurb:
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 worth fighting for.
If you’ve ever wondered what Six of Crows would be like as a contemporary novel based around sport instead of a gang, this book is your answer. There are plot twists and character rivalries and that much subterfuge and secrets going on that it’s no wonder this book has so much hype.
I must say though, I was thoroughly confused about what was happening in the first fifty pages. The characters don’t really seem to get much of an introduction, and they’re thrown at you from the start – there’s no time to meet one before you’re in the mix of twins, cousins, teams, rivals from the past, and zero context about what the sport even is. HOWEVER, it all works itself out by about halfway through the book as the reader is drip fed more information. And trust me, it’s worth it.
Neil is our MC. His past is covered in so many secrets that it’s hard to figure out anything about him, initially. Neil starts off in some nowhere town, playing this crazy-hyped (made up) sport called Exy. (It’s kind of like lacrosse, but indoors on a court like ice hockey except with wooden floors, but you can bounce the ball off the walls and ceiling like in squash. Honestly, I don’t know enough about ice hockey to include more references – sorry, ice hockey isn’t really a thing in Australia, but we do play field hockey. Anyway, everyone wears padding and helmets, and they carry the ball with lacrosse sticks, and you can’t go more than 10 steps with the ball. That’s about as much as I can gather anyway. Oh, and it’s co-ed.) And then out of nowhere he’s recruited to a college team, the Foxes, with a full scholarship. Which is thrilling, but since he’s on the run from his past, it’s also terrifying.
Next up we’ve got Kevin Day. Kevin is Exy’s golden child. His mother created the sport while in Japan with Tetsuji Moriyama. After a tragic car accident, Kevin was adopted by Moriyama, and raised as an adopted brother to Riko, the self-proclaimed king of Exy. Kevin and Riko were inseparable, playing for the Raven’s college team and joining the US team as well. Then Kevin’s hand was broken in an accident and his career was over. Until he was also picked up by the Palmetto State University Foxes.
Andrew Minyard is crazy. So crazy, he’s on court-ordered drugs to level out his crazy and if he doesn’t take them he goes to jail. Andrew is the goalkeeper for the Foxes, and is permanently glued to Kevin’s side. They don’t go anywhere without each other since Kevin joined the team. Andrew is basically Kaz Brekker but shorter and scarier. (I know, I didn’t think that was possible either.) Although, he doesn’t shy away from touching people, as he likes to hit them instead. Andrew’s twin, Aaron, is one of the backliners for the Foxes.
Nicholas Hemick, A.K.A. Nicky, is the Minyard twins’ cousin, and the substitute backliner for the team. Nicky is a marshmallow but also follows his crazy cousin’s orders. He seems to like Neil, but also can’t do much about it (plus he’s basically married to a guy in Germany).
Coach David Wymack is our father figure. Hard-pressed to keep order in the craziness, Wymack is all bark and no bite, and he has a giant soft spot for screw-ups and broken kids. He created the Foxes as they are, full of the sporting world’s rejects, drug addicts, abused and tormented. His philosophy seems to be giving people second chances. Wymack is secretly the hero of this story.
“It’s about second chances, Neil. Second, third, fourth, whatever, as long as you get at least one more than what anyone else wanted to give you.”
A lot of stuff happens in this book, and honestly, there’s so many trigger warnings I wouldn’t even know where to start. This book will not be for everyone, but I can absolutely see why it has a secret cult following. If you’re not into the sexual part of Captive Prince, then this is safe ground for you at the moment, but I can see that it could go that way. (The most that happens in this book is a non-consensual kiss.) Regardless, I’m hooked. Send me the Foxes pennant, I’m joining the team.
Until next time, happy reading ??