Sarah Reviews… S.T.A.G.S by M. A. Bennett

Hello! Yes, this is my second post of the day, following on from my review this morning I am reviewing another book that formed part of my Magical Readathon TBR back in April. This one fulfilled my charms prompt which required me to read a book with a white cover, I know there is some red and black on there too, but I think there was enough white to qualify!

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Title: S.T.A.G.S

Author: M. A. Bennett

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Publication Date: 10th August 2017

Format: Paperback

About The Book…

Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

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…

What I Thought…

Greer gets a place at the exclusive St Aidan The Great boarding school to complete her A Levels, but Greer is just from your average home in the north and she finds herself struggling to fit in with sons and daughters of the elite that attend S.T.A.G.S. She finds herself invited to spend half term weekend at country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, but she soon discovers that the invite is not all it is cracked up to be.

I won’t lie it took me a little while to get into S.T.A.G.S their exclusive private school is definitely not a situation that I am familiar with; I actually attended what was at the time, I think, the biggest state comprehensive in the UK so the idea of S.T.A.G.S. is completely foreign to me. Although I must say one of my English teachers attended a school called Christ’s Hospital which is in Sussex and the description of the S.T.A.G.S uniform did very much remind me of the uniform he described himself having to wear while he was at school. I think once the story moves across to Longcross Hall the mystery and the thriller elements of the book really start to come into play and that was the point for me when my interest in the story really started to pick up. Once we hit around the midway point, I found it quite hard to put the book down because I was so keen to find out what was happening and what was so deadly about the weekend.

I found the characters to all be pretty interesting. I definitely would not fit in with the Medievals, I am far too reliant on my technology, take away my iPhone, my iPad and my laptop I’m not entirely sure what I would do. I could survive a couple of days probably; but I would not have got through lockdown without technology and being able to communicate with everybody.

I must admit that I’m still not too sure how keen I am on Greer. Even as we got towards the end and the tension was increasing, I was thinking I’m not quite sure I like her…  Whereas the other two ‘misfits’ invited on the weekend, Shafeen and Nel, I warmed to a lot more. I’m not sure if it’s just some of the decisions that Greer makes within the book that make me doubt her a little bit, and maybe that’s unfair of me given the supreme manipulative skills of the Medievals but there’s definitely something there… I’m hoping that she grows on me in the sequels!

Final Thoughts…

For me S.T.A.G.S  took a little bit of time to get going but once the mystery and thriller elements of the book properly kicked in on the weekend away my feelings towards the book warmed as well. I recently took part in the F.O.X.E.S. blog tour which is the third book in this series, and I was really surprised to discover that S.T.A.G.S. had actually been written as a stand-alone originally. Although the ending of S.T.A.G.S does reach a conclusion to the story it also leaves a lot of potential for things going forward. I think I would have been disappointed if that had been where the story was left. I am looking forward to getting stuck into both D.O.G.S and F.O.X.E.S over the next few months. They are both sitting very neatly on my shelf and hopefully Greer will grow on me a little bit more!

The S.T.A.G.S series on Goodreads

More M. A. Bennett on SWB

About The Author…

M. A. Bennett is half Venetian and was born in Manchester, England, 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 a historical source. After university she studied art and has since worked as an illustrator, an actress, and a 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

Connect With M. A. Bennett

Twitter // Instagram

Want To Buy It?


As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?

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