Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Game of Shadows” as Want to Read:
Game of Shadows
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Game of Shadows

(Game of Shadows #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  50 reviews
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 th
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Tor Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Game of Shadows, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Erika No :) I'll hopefully have more details on that to share very soon!…moreNo :) I'll hopefully have more details on that to share very soon!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  178 ratings  ·  50 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Game of Shadows
John Barrowman
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Put this on your TBR list. It's everything I love in an adventure story. Great world building, strong characters & maps!
Danielle N
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Game of Shadows originally lured me in with a promise of fantasy and mythology. It also seemed to be offering a nice dash of sword and sorcery which I can never turn down. Needless to say, I cracked the spine with a certain amount of enthusiasm and hesitation. I believe we are all somewhat guilty of over hyping titles to discover that they are not what we anticipate. So when I am truly excited, it can begin as an awkward encounter.. I want to love them, but I am afraid. Books are very much like ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martina Boone
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Game of Shadows is a riveting, page-turning adventure with a wonderful blend of Celtic mythology and deeply imagined twists. I adored Ethan and the way that Erika Lewis showed him realistically struggling to come to terms with his destiny and his plight, and I found myself plunging through this book at the same time that I hated for it to end. Can't wait for more! ...more
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I did not know about the novel before reading it but the synopsis, mixed with a touch of urban fantasy and fantasy, seemed quite promising. And did you see that cover? Really appealing!

Ethan is an overprotected boy, he can not step outside without his mother accompanying him… Even if he understands that his gift that allows him to see ghosts can attract trouble, he still wants to be free and go out at will. It is also what he finally does on his birthday, i
Lynn Williams
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Game of Shadows is a tale of adventure, a coming of age story that focuses on a teenage boy called Ethan Makkai. The abridged version of this review is that whilst I don’t think this book worked for me personally, I can certainly see the appeal for the target audience. This is undoubtedly a fun and fast paced read, maybe a little too young for my tastes but still very easy to read and with plenty of imagination.

As the story begins we make the acquaintance
Anindita,  A Bohemian Mind at Work
Detailed review: A Bohemian Mind at Work
The story follows a familiar arc. An unfortunate turn of events brings the reluctant hero closer to his destiny, fighting monsters and betrayals from close quarters in the process.
Readers, I think I missed something important. Oh, yes. Our hero, the gallant Ethan Makkai, can see ghosts. The power of seeing or calling upon ghostly beings for interviews or Radharc seem to have passed on from ancestors to the future heir to the throne. Obviously, our guy has
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-17
Sadly this didn't quite work for me, there are several reasons for this and to be honest I think I might like this as a movie. In fact this did remind me of some beloved childhood favorites...
Alas I ain't no child for a long time now so maybe I am just too old for this one? Who knows.

The storyline is the best and only redeeming part of this book in my opinion. It's fast paced, though some things are very predictable, it's never dull and has many entertaining twists and turns.

Now the writing st
Deborah Ross
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Game of Shadows begins brilliantly. Ethan, a sympathetic adolescent hero who can see ghosts, stands up to a school bully. It’s the first time he’s escaped from his mother’s close supervision, something he’s struggled against for as long as he can remember. When he returns, triumphant from his school yard encounter, he finds she’s been kidnapped. Not only that, but a mysterious, dramatic, wild-eyed man rails at him that the two of them should never be separated, that the mysterious Ravens have ta ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ethan Makkai is the awkward teenage son of an overly protective teenage mom living in a small apartment in Los Angeles. And he can talk to ghosts. Soon his mother is kidnapped and a strange old captain transports him to a hidden continent. There, he must rescue his mom from a sorcerer who plans to use her blood in a plot to take over the land of Tara.

This was an engaging, fast-paced fantasy novel. I particularly liked the world and magic-system based around Celtic mythology. Ethan does get a lit
Lyn Flanery
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very amazing book I love the Celtic mythology and the way the story brings them to life. I'm looking forward to the new book! :) ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Game of Shadows is an imaginative, non-stop action teen novel but with the main character’s abrasiveness and combativeness this story may not be for all readers.

Opening Sentence: “Ethan Makkai, freedom is a state of mind.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Game of Shadows is a YA teen fantasy novel geared toward the teen boy in your life. I only say this because I had a hard time really caring for the main character and the only way I could really understan
Over the years, fantasy has splintered into various sub-genres, urban fantasy, sword and sorcery, paranormal, and medieval. Stories involving magically enabled American who enters a magical fantasy world to save the day are abundant, some very good, others less so. Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis is a fun read that hits all of the high notes, while maintaining some restraint in the young hero's use of magic and showing a learning curve with respect to other medieval skills While we as readers wan ...more
Faith Rivens
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2017
I think that most of you know by now that fantasy is my go-to genre in my life, and I was excited to get the chance to discover a new fantasy series, especially one with a lot of promise, great world building and fun characters.

The story begins in a world we know well and a boy whose life is about to be changed forever. Like Percy Jackson and Clary Fray before him, Ethan believes himself to be an ordinary kid, except for the ghosts that he sees that no one else can. In fact, Ethan does share a f
Diane Lynch
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardcover
Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis is an exciting fantasy suitable for young adults. It is a unique story that is fast-paced and entertaining. Fourteen-year-old, Ethan Makkai, has an over-protective mother. He doesn’t feel like he fits in. He can see ghosts. Plus, he has found out his life is a complete lie.

I enjoyed Ethan’s character. His heritage has been hidden from him. After his mother, Caitriona, is kidnapped, he finds out the truth about the continent of Tara he never knew existed. He grows
Jan farnworth
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story was a great page turning adventure with a 14 year old boy who has no idea that he is destined to be king of a place he never heard of. The book starts out with the author showing us this sheltered 14 year old boy who mother basically shelters him like a 4 year old . I thought this was all very odd and almost cheered when he ran off trying to show his Independence and then was sad when it seemed it was all gonna end with him getting bullied by some jerk. In the end instead he finds out ...more
Lucy Saint-smith
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mother conceals boy's true identity from him and surprisingly enough it backfires, plunging him into an Irish-mythology themed adventure.
There was some good world building in this book, but otherwise I wasn't a fan. It was poorly paced - action sequence followed action sequence with no time for character development. The action was written as though the author had actually wanted to write a film. The dialogue was poor. I didn't believe in the characters - the main characters mother had knowingl
Frederick Allen
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, arc
Game of Shadows – Erika Lewis

I received Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis from Goodreads in return for an honest review, and when I had been informed that I was going to be getting this book I was somewhat excited since it was an ARC and in a genre that I am a big fan of, and I could drop my review before the publishing date. Unfortunately for me, the book was a major disappointment and I struggled to get through it. It wasn’t bad, such as a few books that I’ve read, but it was probably the biggest
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I'm tempted to give this one star, but that feels a little harsh. Erika Lewis has a long career in writing for television and has authored (or co-authored?) several graphic novels. Her inexperience with the longer format of a novel shows.

To my dismay, this book turned out to merely be the first in a series, the rest of which I have no intention of reading. I only struggled through the final chapters of this one because I'm generally too stubborn to leave books unfinished. I felt like Lewis got
Laurel Flynn
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I finished Game of Shadows but I do not think that I will be breathlessly awaiting its sequel(s). I generally enjoy quest fantasy, enjoy stories which involve speaking to spirits and magic, but this novel tries to bring it all in together as Los Angeles-born Ethan attempts to grow into the destiny he didn't know he had in hidden fantastical Tara. Because Ethan can see and speak to spirits of the dead (and, additionally, call the unicorns) he is the heir to the throne of a hidden country even tho ...more
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
So this really isn't my typical read, when I picked this to review it was because the young man sees ghost and that had me leaning more towards paranormal not fantasy. Although I must admit that I think I really needed a read that was not my norm because I really enjoyed it.

Ethan is feeling suffocated by his mother because he can't go anywhere without her, she walks him to school which gets him laughed at. It's his birthday and he wants to be able to just walk to school on his own and she refuse
Cory Firestine
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Game of Shadows, the debut novel from Erika Lewis is a fantasy heroic tale that is filled with action, witty dialogue, and Celtic folklore. A spellbinding, thrilling tale that opens the reader to an entirely new world within our own, spirits, sorcerers, and creatures unknown accompany an entertaining story that is difficult to put down.
Young Ethan Makkai, an impoverished kid who lives in Los Angeles with his overprotective Irish mother, thought he knew what his life would be—always poor, alway
Melissa Layton
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
*Review originally posted on She Dreams in Fiction!*
It has been said many times by me, but I love books based in mythology! One of my favorites is Celtic Mythology, so signing up for this book tour was a no-brainer. Not only did I love the mythological elements in this book, but I am so pleased to be able to say I thoroughly enjoyed Game of Shadows!

Where to even start? Well, let's start by saying this novel centers around Ethan Makkai, a teen living with his over-protective mother. He has the ab
Fantasy Literature
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars from Jana, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATURE

Disclaimer: just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishers

High school is hard enough on its own — there’s homework, bullies, unrequited crushes, and overprotective parents, just to name a few hurdles on the way to freedom and adulthood. But that’s nothing compared to the challenges presented in Erika Lewis’ Game of Shadows (2017); our intrepid hero must also learn sword fighting, diplomacy, and an en
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure: I received a review copy in exchange for a honest review.

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! And boy am I so, so glad I read it. I loved Game of Shadows! It was the perfect adventure novel, with the right bal
Shane Jardine
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Originally posted at

I’ve been looking forward to reading Erika Lewis’s Game of Shadows since I stumbled across it on Goodreads a few months ago while looking for something to read and thinking that it sounded pretty interesting. So I was excited when I received a review copy in the mail a few weeks ago, even if it did take me a few days to start reading it. It only took a few chapters before I decided I loved this book, yet by the time I finished it I knew I was going to st
Brian Palmer
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, young-adult, fantasy
Ethan is a 14 year old boy who's being bullied at school, starting to develop an interest in girls, and is intent on carving out some space from his overprotective single mother; but then she's kidnapped, and a man introducing himself as his grandfather appears... It turns out that Ethan might be royal and an adventure is just beginning.

The book as a whole reminded me of the Princess Diaries meets, oh, Percy Jackson; this involved more Celtic mythology and some other fantastic events. The writin
Christopher Taylor
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Erika Turner has done the Young Adult reader a good thing. This is a well written tale about Ethan, a young teenager that has an unusual gift. I enjoyed the book. It does have a few minor things that caused me to pause at times after clipping along at a great pace. That's not a bad thing at all.

I'm not one to drop spoilers on a review, so bear with me. I am looking forward to seeing Erika close some of those"issues" that cause me to pause. There is quite a bit to digest in this book and some mo
John Kaster
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fast-paced, entertaining story that bridges the “real world” with a mystic world. Erika portrays the cares, concerns, and thoughts of mid-teens while pitting them against world-threatening evil. The characters are strong and diverse without being two-dimensional caricatures.

It’s a gripping story with great heroes and villains that kept me from putting the book down. I started it on a Saturday evening and finished it the next Sunday. I didn’t even want to binge watch anything until I wa
John Adams
Jun 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
A Celtic YA portal fantasy with very little going for it: the prose is uninteresting, the characters are undeveloped cliches whose motivations, morals, and intelligence fluctuate according to the needs of the plot (and not just the 14-year-olds), said plot is by the numbers and serves mostly to set up sequels.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Review 1 11 Nov 02, 2016 05:24PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Half Way Home
  • Finn Fancy Necromancy (Finn Fancy Necromancy, #1)
  • Soleri (The Amber Throne, #1)
  • The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)
  • The Water Keeper (Murphy Shepherd #1)
  • WitchCraft Cocktails: From Aphrodite's Love Potion to Mercurial Grounding Elixir, 75 Seasonal Drinks Infused with Magic and Ritual
  • Save Me
  • Preparing Your Son for Every Man's Battle: Honest Conversations About Sexual Integrity
  • Joy for Beginners
  • Down the Long Hills
  • Crush the King  (Crown of Shards, #3)
  • Milo Talon
  • Modern Dreamwork: New Tools for Decoding Your Soul's Wisdom
  • The Shadow  Riders
  • The First Fast Draw
  • The High Graders
  • Crossfire Trail
  • North to the Rails
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Game of Shadows (2 books)
  • Game of Shadows Sequel

News & Interviews

  If you listen to NPR regularly, you’ve likely heard the voice of Shankar Vedantam, the longtime science correspondent and host of the radio...
10 likes · 2 comments