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Game of Secrets

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  77 reviews
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 somethi ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Sky Pony (first published May 15th 2018)
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Online Eccentric Librarian No. It's pretty tame other than violence - lots of throat slitting or holes blown in chests.…moreNo. It's pretty tame other than violence - lots of throat slitting or holes blown in chests.(less)

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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  278 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, 2018-reads, e-books
I usually start my reviews by a quote I liked from the book, well I didn't find anything spectacular here so I won't put a quote this time! That does not mean that it has a bad writing style, but it was just mediocre?!

I like fantasy and fiction standalones because there are not many of them and because I don't want to engage into a whole series every single time I read this genre -and I read it a lot since it is my favorite- and when I read the synopsis I was not very intrigued but I downloaded
Game of Secrets is a story that is set in London during the late 1800’s. In this setting the society is divided between the normal people and the Unnaturals. People who look normal but display abilities that are not possible for the average person are called unnatural. Or, they are also referred to as the Tainted because it is believed that somehow their blood had become tainted by something otherworldly. If someone was discovered to be tainted then they were usually taken away by the Peelers, s ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, fantasy, 2018-reads
**2.5 but rounding up**

This book is a bit of a wonder in large part because it stays pretty one note but there’s enough there that I could see it doing better in later books, the only question is whether or not they’ll be more.

‘Game of Secrets’ follows orphan Felicity Cole, a street vender hoping to make enough money to support herself and her kid brother when unknown enemies rip her life apart and while sitting in a jail cell waiting on a death sentence she is offered a unique opportunity to
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
You can also find my review herehttps://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

Game of Secrets was great. It was a book that combined some of my favorite topics to read about; spies and supernatural abilities. It was incredibly fast-paced and the plot was interesting. By the time I had reached the fourth chapter I was absolutely hooked. I tore through this action packed novel within 24 hours. 

 The pacing of the novel kept me turning the pages as the action rarely let up through the course of the book.
Jennie Shaw
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Historical fantasies are a sleeper genre for me--I don't read many, but when I do, they hit the mark. GAME OF SECRETS was a lighter sort of dark (if that makes sense haha) with violence of the PG-13 variety. The first half of the book felt a little rushed, and I wish the world building in regards to the powers had been fleshed out more. During the last hundred pages or so, I had to keep putting the book down to tend to adult responsibilities and it made me quite stabby because so much was happen ...more
Anthony ➳ KeepReadingForward ➳
Date Reviewed:
8 September 2018
This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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. D
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ugh, e-arcs

I can’t really talk about this book without including a few minor spoilers so – spoiler alert.

‘And no matter what else I may be, I will always be common.’

Literally this book summed up in a quote. ^ So this was kinda bad… It wasn’t terrible, it was just full of cliches and tropes we’ve all seen before, and had an annoying protagonist.

Felicity Cole is an orphan who is devoted to taking care of her ‘Tainted’ brother by selling flowers. One day her entire world is turned upside down and
heather - NightlyReading
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have a lot of feels going on inside of me over this book. My emotions are running wild and I am not exactly sure if I loved this book or just thought it was okay?? Hence the 4 star rating, I figured somewhere in between was good:)

Felicity (love the name BTW) lives in a world where some folks have special abilities and they are called "tainted". You do not want to be tainted because it is very much frowned upon and most of the time you are given a good hanging in towns square just for being dif
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Felicity lives in fear that the Peelers will discover her younger brother is Tainted and he will be ripped away from her. With both parents dead, she takes care of her brother by selling flowers in London's market. One day a carriage appears with two menacing men taking pictures of the poor residents trying to sell food, remedies, and items for their own survival. A brawl erupts between these men and her boyfriend/best friend Kit that results in Kit shot dead. Unbeknownst to her, Felicity discov ...more
T.A. Beasley
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great introduction to this author's writing. I enjoyed this suspenseful thriller filled with characters and their unusual abilities. The storyline was wonderful especially the action between the Tainted and the Huntsmen. I look forward to reading more from this author. ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an advanced reader's copy and we are always looking to expand our young adult collection and promote young adult fiction especially in high schools to involve more teens into loving reading again. This book in particular I was a fan of because it gave a twist on the Victorian Era and the adventure in the plot was very captivating. I hope Kim Foster makes this a series because I think our reader's will be asking about it. Truly a fascinating read that we are looking forwar ...more
Steff Fox
| Reader Fox Blog |

Game of Secrets by Kim Foster took far longer for me to finish and review than any book has a right to if it's less than 500 pages. And why was this? Well, Game of Secrets is your typical run-of-the-mill YA dystopian about a girl with powers who didn't know that she had powers. A novel with an interesting enough sounding premise, Game of Secrets really didn't do anything new with it. The novel, as a whole, was forgettable. Nothing about it ever really stood out or grabbed
Reader of Books
I'm dead. The ending, oh my GOD. DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.

My heart hurts.

I actually cried twice at the end of the book.

Kim Foster, WHY?!?!?!?!?

(When does book two come out?)
Online Eccentric Librarian
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

This is likely going to be one of my most disappointing reads this year considering the premise sounded so interesting and the book began promisingly enough. But by half way through, this began to hit every trope/cliche in the YA genre (and not even creatively at that) and the writing began to feel rushed and simplistic through to the end. It felt as if the author spent a lot of time on the beginning and then hurried
Stephanie L
ARC provided by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

--2.75/5 stars--

I always love me a good Victorian setting to a fantasy novel; it's somehow comforting--yet also anxiety-ridden at the same time. Maybe it's because of all the drama that inevitably follows, or the politics of the time, or maybe the way the steampunk genre always seems to be set in the Victorian era.

This novel does not fall into the steampunk genre in any way, though. It's an historical fiction with
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
*My gratitude goes out to Thomas Allen & Son for providing me with a copy for review!*

What I Liked:

I liked Felicity. She was headstrong and yet afraid of the new world she was thrust into. She comes from a lowly background which is much unappreciated by her new peers. She is one who looks for loopholes to get out of the world until she finally becomes a willing part of it.

None of the other characters really stood out to me. The love interest was really–in my opinion–bland. He had some substance
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, edelweiss
Game of Secrets by Kim Foster is such an interesting title and matched with that attractive cover, I thought, “Wow, this looks like a good book!” And so I went my way and read it. And it isn’t what I expected it would be.

The story unfolds through the eyes of Felicity Cole, a mere human. But her seven-year-old brother is a Tainted.

The Tainted. They are a plague to society. Having the ability to defy the laws of matter, these people are dangerous and needs to be completely annihilated. Anyone mani
The Reading Raccoon
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-as-an-arc
Thank you Edelweiss for this review copy of Game of Secrets by Kim Foster.

Game of Secrets is a young adult “magic academy” type novel with a teenage girl exploring her abilities and power. It isn’t a exactly a unique storyline and actually reminded me of a few recent novels. I did find the pacing enjoyable and it kept my interest throughout.

Although I did enjoy Felicity’s character arc she tended to suffer from the “watch me do something stupid” trope along with the “I don’t know what I’m doin
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
So, I'll keep this short. This is Victorian X-Men. I don't know how to elaborate more. The pacing is absolutely brilliant, the characters that are actually developed are great, and conceptually Victorian X-Men is pretty fun. On the other hand, several of the characters (namely most of the mutants, um, Morgana, and Stryker-magneto or Warwick) were not as developed as they should be. There is also the fact that it's so unoriginal. I predicted every step because it is literally Victorian X-Men! Als ...more
Jamie Coudeville
I did really like this book, loved the main character and the worldbuilding but it just all went a bit fast. I think the storyline progressed a bit too fast and maybe it would've been better as a duology though I wouldn't rule out a sequel since certain things were left up in the air. Also, the ending confused the hell out of me. Did that mean what I think it meant? Basically, gimme a sequel. ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The font size of this book threw me off; it made it feel like it was written more for a middle grade audience than a YA one. Other than that, the story was a pretty cool one, and honestly, it was about a spy/assassin school, and people with unique abilities who work for/protect the Queen of England. Learning more about the Tainted and how their abilities worked and everything made for an entertaining adventure.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine (allthingschristine)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A girl, trying to survive in Victorian London who doesn’t know she has a magical gift, that’s all I needed to hear to want to read this book. I think there is not enough historical YA, though there seems to finally be a shift in 2018, yay! I loved the idea of magical abilities, secret assassin schools and female empowerment (even though that’s kinda hard to achieve in this time period).

Unfortunately, though I loved the premiss and the first chapters, I feel that it’s poorly executed. I think th
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
GAME OF SECRETS is a sweeping, adventurous tale set in the glitz and glamour of the Victorian Era.

Felicity Cole is a poor, orphaned teenager who sells flowers on the street to support herself and her younger brother, Nate. The two live relatively isolated lives because they have to keep Nate’s secret --- he is a Tainted, or a member of society that possesses superhuman abilities. In Nate’s case, he can read minds and communicate telepathically with others. All is well, despite their financial st
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it

If I had to think of an easy way to describe the book, it’ll be a collections of things I’ve seen repeatedly before, but I’m so sorry for being a sucker for these things.


Last year I really enjoyed reading Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook which followed a very similar pattern to this one, and I think deep down it was one of the reasons why I had high hopes for this book to impress me if it was done right. Now while I don’t think that it was utilized to the fullest, I won’t deny tha
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this book. I wouldn't say I am completely disappointed but it didn't quite hit its mark, that's for sure. It didn't miss the mark, just fell short of hitting it. This book has some interesting elements, but it doesn't quite achieve its own goals. It just feels underdeveloped. I felt as if I was reading book 1 and book 2 but without the world building and depth that this story deserved. It is a fun and easy read with intrigue, spies and assassins. The only problem is that the ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to like this book. The premise sounded interesting and I thought that it could be a good pick me up for the fantasy genre that I needed. Sadly, this book didn't do any of that. It wasn't bad, but because it was such an okay book, I'm not fully sure how to put my thoughts into words, but I'll try.

Within the first few pages, there's already action happening and people dying and whatnot, and normally I love being t
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Game of Secrets is a magic book, but the historical setting is what really amped up the appeal.

Felicity is doing her best in Victorian London to keep herself and her little brother surviving. It isn't easy. Her brother must stay hidden since he is Tainted. His special abilities, if found out, will get him caught by the Huntsmen, and he will surely be killed.

As Felicity herself is in danger of being taken by a Huntsman, a mysterious man, Hawksmoor, rescues her and takes her to a special school to
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: standalone
Game of Secrets follows Felicity Cole, a uniquely talented and enigmatic girl from the poor side of town who's swept up in a world of magical powers, betrayal, and competition as she tries to piece together the mysteries of her past and present. The storyline is perfectly represented by the school motto: “You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute … and now and then stab, as occasion serves.” Is there really anything more that needs to be said?

Let's start with characterization. Majority of the
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Game of Secrets by Kim Foster - Starting June 13th 2018 10 19 Jun 17, 2018 07:23PM  

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Kim Foster writes YA and adult books about thieves, spies, and assassins. Her YA debut GAME OF SECRETS will be out in Fall 2017 and is a historical fantasy—a spy thriller set in an alternate Victorian world. Prior to becoming a writer, Kim went to medical school and practiced as a family doctor (don’t worry; it doesn’t make much sense to her friends and family, either).

Kim lives with her husband

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