ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Felicity Cole sells flowers in the streets of Victorian London to feed herself and her young brother. But she has a close-guarded secret–her brother is a Tainted, born with special abilities that society fears and a shadowy organization called the Hunstsman scours the country to eliminate. When Felicity becomes the target of one of these individuals, she discovers something horrible: she’s Tainted, too.
Rescued by a mysterious gentleman on the eve of execution, she’s whisked away to a school funded by Queen Victoria, established to train selected Tainted into assassins in service of the crown.
Struggling to harness her incredible strength, speed, and agility, and despised by her classmates, all she wants is to use her new position to find a cure so she can be normal and reunited with her brother.
But with the Golden Jubilee fast approaching and the discovery that there’s a traitor in their midst, she has no choice but to embrace the one thing she’s been fighting all along.
There was something that grabbed my attention about Game of Secrets. I always like a story that involves superpowers, but I think was more drawn to the idea of some secret organization involving those only with the abilities. Enter Felicity Cole and her brother. During one ordinary day, Felicity finds herself caught in some unwanted attention and discovers that she has some ability, officially making her a Tainted, just like her brother. They’re rescued and taken to some top-secret organization that works for the Queen Victoria.
My first thought was Kingsman. Kingsman is a comic that depicts a secret organization of spies and the like. If you heard of Kingsman, chances are that you know of the movie. The movies are filled with action scenes and cool props and weaponry and interesting details. (It’s a cool movie, especially the sequel, The Golden Circle. You should definitely check it out.) The second thought I had was of the X-Men, which I am sure that everyone has heard off. Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey are some of the members of the team. When you mix X-Men and Kingsman together, it sounds like a super cool idea to have a book about, right? Some may say this could describe Game of Secrets.
I would agree with having Kingsman crossed with X-Men would be a super cool idea. However, Game of Secrets fell short of that. I am not even sure if it could be the proper comparison. Game of Secrets is a good debut for the YA genre and it follows a typical YA story as well. It has the common feeling throughout most YA genre stories. I am not saying to avoid this at all. It deserves a chance. However, just don’t expect much anything new in the story.
I do have to admit that I was really interested during the beginning. There was something that was grabbing my attention. I really thought this was going to be something worth raving about. Instead, I started to get a little less interested in the story by the chapters. It was still enjoyable enough to read through the end, but I only wondered when I was going to see something new, or something interesting again. I don’t know if this is a series or not. I haven’t seen anything yet. Therefore, I am choosing to believe this is a just a stand-alone. If it ever becomes a series, there is need for a something new.
There is one other thing I also have to admit. I really liked one of the twists the story pulled on me towards the end. It wasn’t anything shocking or completely revealing, but I did not see it coming. I thought it was interesting twist. The twist did show that some hard work did, in fact, go into the story.
Game of Secrets is a good debut, but clearly shows the need of more work. It has the right plot and details, but both needed more emphasis and effort. Is the book bad? No, not at all. Is it worth reading? I would say so if you are a major fan of spies and super powers. If you’re looking for something new, perhaps try this book at a later time.