Title: The Foxhole Court (All For The Game, 1)
Author: Nora Sakavic
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (31st March 2016)
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.
Rating: **** (5 stars)
THE FOXHOLE COURT by Nora Sakavic is the first book in the All For The Game trilogy. It tells the story of Neil Josten the latest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. But Neil has secrets, chief of which is that he is the son of a crime lord known as The Butcher. Signing with the PSU Foxes puts his life in danger especially when playing with them means meeting a face from his past.
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.