Sunday 27 November 2011

The Game of Pawns (Darkness Series Book 3) - Leonard D Hilley II

Title: The Game of Pawns (Darkness Series Book 3)
Author: Leonard D Hilley II
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2010
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

"The Game of Pawns" by Leonard D. Hilley II is the third book in his excellent Darkness series which follows the previous novels; Predators of Darkness and Beyond the Darkness, both of which I have previously reviewed here & here. I do have to say that whilst I enjoyed this book immensely, I don't think I enjoyed it as much as the first two books. I just don't think that the multiple plot lines came together as well as they did in the previous novels.

The story itself is set mainly around Kat Gaddis who was introduced as a minor character in the last book and Lucian the clone. They are investigating a series of murders in Newark, New Jersey after they discovered that several of the victims worked for a Biotech company called GenTech. The strangest aspect of the crimes is that a red pawn is left on each of the bodies as a signature. When a body then appears with a black pawn, Kat and Lucian get dragged into an explosive secret war being fought between two companies who are using genetically engineered clones and cybernetic killing machines.

Whilst I don't think it was as good as the previous books, this was still an exciting, action packed thriller than I struggled to put down. The pace moves along at a breath taking speed right from the first chapter until the very end. I did feel that in this novel, Hilley has tried to delve even more into the emotions of his characters with even more emphasis being placed on the various relationships involved which was quite nice to see.

In regards to the characters, most of the previous main ones do show their faces but this book does mainly concentrate on the newer or those that previously only had minor roles. I have to admit that I didn't really love these newer characters as much as I had the original ones and those very same original characters didn't feel quite "right" when compared to what was seen in the earlier novels. In addition I found that all these new characters on top of the quite large collection of previous ones did further complicate the multiple plots which did make the novel a bit unwieldy at times.

One thing about the novel though that I really did love was the vast amount of humour that filled the story. Morton the cat once again steals the show when it comes to witty one liners, but in addition there are now some talking rats that have some brilliant scenes that ensured the novel never became over burdened with gloom and seriousness.

Overall, I have to say that the "Game of Pawns" is another great Sci-Fi Thriller from a talented author that really knows how to get the reader hooked. If you have read the other novels in the series then I doubt I need to recommend you go out and pick this one up as you probably already have. If you haven't read this series then I recommend that you do so, it is a thrilling adventure that really deserves to be read by more people than I expect it has been. For myself, I now have to wait and hope that the little teaser at the end of the book actually leads on to another book in this brilliant series.


  1. There is now a fourth book in Hilley's series. Death's Valley

  2. @Anonymous

    Oh, thanks for letting me know. I will need to look it up!