Author: Erika Lewis
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: N/A (Potential start to a series)
Hardcover, 400 Pages
Publication: February 28, 2017 by Tor Books
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.
Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he's ever seen. He's assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.
Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.
Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.
Game of Shadows was published last week and may have flew under everyone’s radar. It probably would’ve flew under mine as well if it wasn’t brought to my attention for review by the wonderful publicist at Tor. After reading the synopsis, intrigued, I happily agreed to review it. Plus it had an awesome cool cover! I couldn't say no. And boy am I so, so glad I read it. I loved Game of Shadows! It was the perfect adventure novel, with the right balance of action, mystery and humor. I don’t think it’s too early to say this, but Game of Shadows is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year!
I thought Lewis did an incredible job with the characters and world building. Two important aspects needed in all novels. The world of Tara felt so real and most importantly believable. Tara is divided into six territories. Each territory has their own King, Sorcerer and Book of Spells. I enjoyed seeing the different parts of Tara, learning of each territories; their king, the history, and rules. Each kingdom is very distinctive in their habits and appearance which sets them apart from the others. For example in Gransmore, the Fomorian were like giants well over 7 feet tall and in Kilkerry, there were werewolf men. I’m not too familiar with Irish and Celtic mythology but the background/history of the kingdoms and characters were meticulous, well written and thought out. It clearly shows that Lewis did her homework/research. I loved all of the characters, even the villain Swaney Bean. I found the characters realistic, relatable, likable and most of them charming. I was a little surprised and worried that our main protagonist Ethan, was fourteen years old. I thought Is this story going to be aimed on the lighter and younger side of fantasy or will Ethan be an immature little boy?. Thankfully, the fantasy was just complex enough and Ethan was mature for his age. Ethan was funny, smart, courageous, loyal, and caring. He knew when to go with his head and his heart, which were pretty good indicators of the future king of Landover.
Game of Shadows was an action packed adventure that I didn’t want to end! Seriously, upon finishing the book I rushed onto Goodreads, scouring for any details whether or not this was going to be the beginning of a series…and I was ecstatic to find out it was! The book ended on a crazy cliffhanger where I am dying to find out what happens next. I can’t wait to see what Lewis has in store for Ethan and the gang. I highly, highly recommend Game of Shadows to everyone. It has something for everyone of all ages. Action, check. Adventure, check. Humor, check. A dash of Romance, check. Strong hero and heroine, check. Everything you love about Fantasy…check, check, check. Game of Shadows is a truly hidden gem in a sea of books. Read it now, you won’t regret it! If you like Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, or The Wizard of Oz then you'd like this book too.