Book Review – D.O.G.S (S.T.A.G.S #2)

Hello hello, and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of D.O.G.S, book two in the S.T.A.G.S series. You can find my review book one here. I read it a while ago, but after running a giveaway of the series for YALC 2021, I absolutely needed to get my teeth (pun intended) back into it.

After the dramatic events of the last few weeks, Greer Macdonald is trying to concentrate on her A levels. Stuck for a play to direct for her drama exam, she gets help from an unexpected quarter . . .

A priceless lost play, buried by time, is pushed under her door. It is Ben Jonson’s The Isle of Dogs, a play considered so dangerous in Elizabethan times that every copy was burned . . . except one. As the students begin to rehearse it, events become increasingly dark and strange, and they lead Greer back to where she never thought she would return – Longcross Hall.

There she discovers that not only is the Order of the Stag alive and well, but that a ghost from the past might be too . . .

Starting off immediately after the conclusion of S.T.A.G.S, we pick up the story where it left us: Greer, Nel and Shafeen ready to confront the person they have realised is the leader of the Order of the Stag. If book one was introducing us to the world of a secret society, book two is showing us just how far that can travel.

After a twist within pages of the book starting, the three are catapulted back into coping with the normality of school life. All the while, Greer is feeling haunted, at first simply mentally, and then later literally, by Henry, and the events of a year ago. Then, as Greer tries to find a play for her STAGS A Level equivilent, rejecting all the usual Shakespeare options, the first act of The Isle of Dogs is annoyomously slid under her door.

From there, things escalate rapidly. With Henry’s cousins at the school, acts of the play appearing regularly, and Greer’s relationship with Shafeen on rocky ground over both things, Greer finds herself arriving back at Longcross, in search of answers that she needs, some to questions she didn’t even know she had…

As thrilling and chilling as book one, if not more so, D.O.G.S is clearly constructed and utterly fantastic. I can’t wait to read book number three, F.O.X.E.S, and I’m eagerly awaiting book four, T.I.G.E.R.S later this year.

I was sent a physical copy of D.O.G.S from Hot Key Books when I first started out as an Ambassador, but I listened to this as an audiobook. So my thanks to them, and my praise to the narrator for really bringing Greer to life.


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