This story follows Oliver who is one of 7 fourth year students at a highly prestigious and very competitive Shakespearean Arts College. They each have their niche and the status quo has remained unchanged the last 3 years. However, when the castings change and the stars have to take a step back, the plays start to spill dangerously over into real life.
All of the characters are very distinguishable and unique; they each have their own voices and traits. I found Oliver to be a little bit dull at the start of the book but he shows a lot of growth over the course of the plot. He goes from really blending in the background to being right at the forefront of the story. I think out of the seven of them I would have to say that Alexander and Phillipa are my favourites. They were each so interesting and had me intrigued. We don’t get a lot of information about Phillipa’s background and where she comes from but she is very vital in the story and I liked how she still visited Oliver whilst he was in jail which really warmed me to her and kind of made me trust her. Alexander was just kind of a train wreck and that always endears me to a character. He speaks his mind and tells it like it is and I really appreciated his candour.
I thought it was really unique how the story was formatted like a play and how it blended with the overall tone and premise of the plotline. The pacing was kind of up and down for me. Some passages were a little slow and then there would be a lot of frantic, suspenseful scenes and then it would be a bit slower again. The start was a little difficult to get into as well with all of Shakespearean language to deal with but you kind of get used to it as the plot progresses. The characters are so immersed into that world that this is really how they communicate and evoke their emotions.
Again I really like how we know how the ending is going to turn out without really spoiling any of the real major twists if that makes sense. We know Oliver ends up in prison but we know he didn’t kill Richard so why is he is prison or did he really kill him but he doesn’t remember? It kept me invested and eager to read on to see how that outcome came about.
The premise of the book I thought was fantastic and something I’ve never really read before. The mystery elements were very well done; I definitely couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. I also thought it was very believable as well. The way that each of the characters reacted and how emotionally unstable they were after enduring Richard’s anger and then his death I thought was very well done and realistic.
I really enjoyed this! Granted at times I was a little confused but all in all I thought it was highly entertaining and that open ending makes me want more!
⭐️4/5 Unlike anything I’ve read before!