"Enemy Games," Marcella Burnard

Pros: Fascinating world-building; lots of action and plot twists
Cons: Jayleia didn’t quite seem to match up with her portrayal in the first book; it was hard to see why the two main characters kept resisting their feelings for each other; make sure you read “Enemy Within” first
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group


Scientist Jayleia Durante’s spymaster father is missing, and Major Damen Sindrivik, a spy from a rival government, needs to find him. In order to do that, he kidnaps Jayleia. Damen needs to find Durante without getting caught by the traitors who’ve allied themselves with the vicious Chekydran, but Jayleia isn’t exactly eager to give up her father—even if she knew where he was, and she’s convinced she doesn’t. At the first opportunity she plans to escape Damen, but it’s going to take both of them to handle the huge conspiracy that’s barreling toward them.


I definitely enjoyed Marcella Burnard’s Enemy Games, if not quite as much as her Enemy Within. The action is every bit as heart-stopping. The plot is every bit as twisting and turning. The characters are every bit as dramatic. Unfortunately, although I could understand Jayleia and Damen having difficulty allowing themselves to feel for each other, I think it was carried on much too long. It became very difficult to understand why they continued to feel that it would be such a terrible betrayal to indulge in their emotions at all. I will at least say that we are eventually given legitimate reason to help explain some of Jayleia’s more frustrating actions, so if you can’t understand why she’s doing what she’s doing, hang in there.

It was a little tough at first to match up Jayleia with her portrayal in the first book. Maybe I’m misremembering, or maybe it’s just that she hid her personality that well, but it felt a bit jarring.

By the way, make sure you read these books in order! There’s an extremely strong arc to the story, and despite the fact that the books largely follow different characters, you definitely need to know what came before.

I still love the world-building in this series. The politics are fascinating; the aliens are horrifying (we find out quite a bit more about the mysterious Chekydran); the characters’ work studying infectious diseases is intriguing. There are, once again, some fairly dark moments in this book, so make sure you’re up for that. There’s also some delightful sexual material. As futuristic romances go, Enemy Games is very enjoyable and a good successor to Enemy Within.

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