Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend. A twisting thriller for fans of gothic literature and The Hunger Games.
It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin' shootin' fishin'. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.
But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry's parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports - hunting, shooting and fishing - become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school...
About the Author
Marina Fiorato, writing as M. A. Bennett, is half-Venetian, and was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare's plays as an historical source. After University she studied art and since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer. She also designed tour visuals for rock bands including U2 and the Rolling Stones. She was married on the Grand Canal in Venice and lives in North London with her husband, son and daughter.
A very readable story in the hands of an experienced writer. Recommended * Thornton Rigg *
the book delivered much more than I even anticipated * Book Mad Blog *
The pacing and plot development is brilliantly executed and will have you on the edge of your seat, desperate to find out what happens next until the very last page, I couldn't put it down once I'd started. There's a brilliant twist at the end, I won't spoil it but trust me, It's a good one! I can't recommend this book enough, it's definitely in my top ten 2017 reads and I'll definitely be buying a finished copy when it's out. * Fantastic Book Dragon *
STAGS is a pacey and well-plotted young adult story that champions outsiders and questions out-dated viewpoints in a constantly evolving world. It makes for an entertaining standalone novel but a sequel wouldn't be unwelcome. * Culture Fly *
MA Bennett is brilliant at keeping the reader in suspense. * Book Murmuration *
Students will love this as it also has a hint of romance without being intrusive for boy readers. Hailed as the new Hunger Games, it reminded me more of The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. A good read. * Reading Zone *
I read and finished this book in just a day only putting it down for food. It was absolutely gripping and interesting, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I didn't want to put it down whatsoever and I wasn't let down by my anticipation for it which was good! * Niffler Reads *
Part traditional, part modern, thriller and boarding school drama, with echoes of everything from Agatha Christie to The Hunger Games, this really is a wonderful mosaic of a novel. * Nudge-Book *
MA Bennett reinvigorates the boarding-school thriller... This is a darkly compelling examination of the allure of privilege, and the unscrupulous means by which it preserves itself. * The Guardian *
S.T.A.G.S is a thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable YA novel with dark undertones. A fun mystery thriller that sheds light on issues surrounding class and society. Highly recommend. * The Book Bag *
a gorgeous and compelling romp * Irish Times *
Good and twisty and definitely unique... if you're looking for something creepy and autumnal to read, I'd recommend S.T.A.G.S. * The Cosy Reader *
This book is most definitely a thriller and the ending of this book was a real "holy crap!" moment. It was full of good description, was extremely fast-paced and definitely knew how to draw you in. I absolutely adored it * No Safer Place *
I just adored this book. It was just so gripping and I wanted to know what was happening and why it was happening. 9 students, 3 deadly sports, who will come out alive? * Words from a Reader *
This is one of those books that took me by surprise and had me re-reading the last chapter over and over to make sure I wasn't mistaken. If you haven't read this yet I don't know what you are waiting for! It is everything you could want from a YA and it will leave you gagging for more * The YA Nightstand *
I just adored this book. It was just so gripping and I wanted to know what was happening and why it was happening * The Reader's Corner *
The whole story had a dark humorous tone that really gave this book a unique touch. Geer turned out to be an excellent narrator and I found her insights and ironic comments very clever. The story also made you think about society nowadays, and the obsession we have now with being "connected" to the world, especially teenagers who see the world through their phone screens. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it's clever, fast-paced and dark, everything I love in a thriller. It also had a few surprises in store for us, which made me wonder, more than once, how this story was going to end. * Alba in Bookland *
highly recommend this book, not only for the storyline but for the characters and the twists that I didn't see coming at all. I promise you that the last forty or so pages are phenomenal, even if the rest of the book isn't for you -that ending will be. * This Booky Place *
Bennett's debut is the type of book you cannot put down. I read it it in just one sitting as the slowly creeping sensation of doom came out and I wanted to know just what had Greer done and just how it had unfolded. It's compulsive and compelling and as it progresses, more and more tense and you read the book wishing you could stop some characters. * Choose YA *
A cracking debut psychological thriller set in an elite boarding school ruled by a set of six pupils known as the Medievals. Think Enid Blyton meets The Hunger Games! * Irish Sunday Independent *
I really enjoyed this book. The plot is consistently intriguing and makes you want to read on. The characters are convincing and not too over the top. The book almost make you believe that you are there. I would recommend this book, especially to those who loved The Hunger Games * Teen Titles *
Bennett creates a chilling atmosphere on every page. She describes the gorgeous grounds of Longcross, the de Warlencourt home, in rich detail, but never allows readers to relax for long. A threatening servant or an explosion of gunfire always lurks around the corner. The book reads like a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or an Agatha Christie mystery for modern teens * School Library Journal *
so good that I had to keep reminding myself this was fiction written for teenagers and not for adults * School Librarian Magazine *