Review: The Drowning Game by LS Hawker

Can I just tell you how excited I am to be able to review LS Hawker’s The Drowning Game? I’ve known it’s been coming out for a while now, but didn’t quite know what to expect. For those of you wondering, the release date was September 22nd…and I bought it the first day. But before I get too far into the review, let me present you with a summary of The Drowning Game and a little about LS Hawker.


Print Length: 384 pages

Publisher: Harper Collins Witness Impulse


They said she was armed.
They said she was dangerous.
They were right.

Petty Moshen spent eighteen years of her life as a prisoner in her own home, training with military precision for everything, ready for anything. She can disarm, dismember, and kill—and now, for the first time ever, she is free.

Her paranoid father is dead, his extreme dominance and rules a thing of the past, but his influence remains as strong as ever. When his final will reveals a future more terrible than her captive past, Petty knows she must escape—by whatever means necessary.

But when Petty learns the truth behind her father’s madness—and her own family—the reality is worse than anything she could have imagined. On the road and in over her head, Petty’s fight for her life has just begun.

Fans of female-powered thrillers will love debut author LS Hawker and her suspenseful tale of a young woman on the run for her future…and from the nightmares of her past.

LS Hawker

About the Author

LS Hawker grew up in suburban Denver, indulging her worrisome obsession with true-crime books, and writing stories about anthropomorphic fruit and juvenile delinquents. She wrote her first novel at 14.

Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, she had a radio show called “People Are So Stupid,” edited a trade magazine, and worked as a traveling Kmart portrait photographer, but never lost her passion for fiction writing.

She’s got a hilarious, supportive husband, two brilliant daughters, and a massive music collection. She lives in Colorado but considers Kansas her spiritual homeland. Visit her website at


If you think LS Hawker sounds awesome, she is. And so is her book! I read The Drowning Game in about 2 days, the second day I stayed up WAY too late because I couldn’t put it down.


I loved the main character, Petty. She has been isolated inside her home so long that she is totally awkward, doesn’t get social norms, and if you look at her the wrong way she’ll have you on the ground with a gun to your head before you know what’s happening. I love that!!!!

The pace is great and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I kept reading because I just had to know what was beyond the end of the chapter. “Does she get away? Will she have the life she’s always wanted but that her dead father is trying to keep from her? I HAVE TO KNOW!!!”


Now of course, this is my personal opinion. But the first thing I noticed (or that I didn’t notice) was that this book has multi-points of view. It is written from Petty’s point of view as well as a boy she meets along the way named Dekker. I did not know this. And unlike other books I’ve read where the chapter title is the name of the character who is speaking, the chapters are numbered without any indication.

If this had been written in third person it might not have been a big deal because the first word would have been Petty. But it is written in first-person, so all of the chapters start with “I.” I got to chapter 3 and was thoroughly confused because it sounded nothing like Petty. I figured it out of course, but then would have to skim the first few lines of the subsequent chapters to see who was talking. Others reviews I have read did not mention this as an issue, but just be aware as you’re reading it.

Along those lines, I kind of wish the entire novel had been written from Petty’s point of view. I fell in love with her character from the very beginning. I loved the way her mind worked and how she responded to every day situations. So, for me, Dekker, was a let down. I had a harder time connecting to him and I rushed through the chapters that were from his point of view so that I could get back to Petty.

One other drawback that has nothing to do with the novel itself, is that right now it is only available electronically. I personally prefer being able to wander around the house with my paperback ( I don’t have a kindle, I-pad or anything of the like) rather than being tied to my laptop. BUT the 1.99 price tag certainly helps compensate for the inconvenience. And you probably own a device so it won’t be an issue.

Overall Review:

I really did enjoy the book. The premise was intriguing, the characters were engaging, and it kept me wanting more. Also, LS Hawker is a very talented writer and had a wonderful way of weaving the story. I want to give it 5 out of 5 stars. But because of the multi-pov issue as well as not being able to connect as much as I would have liked with Dekker, my final rating is:

4 out of 5 stars

If you read my previous post you know that in my reviews I will also be including what you can expect in terms of swearing/vulgarity, violence, and sexual situations. These will be rated on a 5 point scale with 0 being none and 5 being A LOT. Everyone has different preferences and I want to make sure you know what you are getting into when you open a book.

Swearing: 4-Most of the swearing is in Dekker’s chapters and is plentiful. I didn’t keep track of how many times the f-word was used, but it was a lot.

Violence: 2-Although there is certainly violence, it isn’t excessive, and it isn’t graphic.

Sexuality: 3- One scene involves a sexual attack, there are other sexual comments littered throughout the novel.

I hope this review helps you make a decision regarding The Drowning Game. Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend reading it. Below I’ve included an excerpt from the first chapter to get you hooked.  If you know of a book coming out soon that you would like me to review, please let me know! And don’t forget to click on the link below to win a free $50 amazon gift card.

Since he’d died on his stomach, the EMTs had turned Dad onto his back. He was in full rigor mortis, so his upper lip was mashed into his gums and curled into a sneer, exposing his khaki-colored teeth. His hands were spread in front of his face, palms out. Dad’s eyes stared up and to the left and his entire face was grape-pop purple.
What struck me when I first saw him—after I inhaled my gum—was that he appeared to be warding off a demon. I should have waited until the mortician was done with him, because I knew I’d never get that image out of my mind.
I walked out of Dad’s room on unsteady feet, determined not to cry in front of these strangers. The deputy and the sheriff stood outside my bedroom, examining the door to it. Both of them looked confused.
“Petty,” Sheriff Bloch said.                             
I stopped in the hall, feeling even more violated with them so close to my personal items and underwear.
“Is this your bedroom?”
I nodded.
Sheriff and deputy made eye contact. The coroner paused at the top of the stairs to listen in. This was what my dad had always talked about—the judgment of busybody outsiders, their belief that somehow they needed to have a say in the lives of people they’d never even met and knew nothing about.
The three men seemed to expect me to say something, but I was tired of talking. Since I’d never done much of it, I’d had no idea how exhausting it was.
The deputy said, “Why are there six deadbolts on the outside of your door?”
It was none of his business, but I had nothing to be ashamed of.
“So Dad could lock me in, of course.”
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