Verdict: SHADOW GAMES is an engaging science-fiction romp that gives a nuanced portrayal of the cost of having preternatural abilities.
In the current glut of movies and tv shows featuring superheros, the main characters are usually thrilled to find themselves with super-powers. But for 15-year-old Emily Heart, those abilities aren’t always welcome or easy to control.
Emily lives on the streets, and when she’s kidnapped by scientists for genetic experimentation, she ends up with a highly developed sixth sense and the ability to “jump” through time. While her powers sound enviable on paper, they come with plenty of terrible side effects. Over the course of SHADOW GAMES, Emily is forced to confront her past and take hold of her future in an attempt to find some normalcy.
Author Falconer is at his best when it comes to describing Emily’s “jumps” and the futuristic technology she encounters. He has a keen eye, and his attention to detail allows us to feel as if, we too, have supernatural abilities and are struggling, like Emily, to figure out how to control them. Whether we are right next to the young heroine as she dodges bullets on the street or the stress of landing naked on a busy Phoenix street, Falconer is able to make the reader feel what Emily is feeling, allowing for plenty of empathy.
Falconer has also fleshed out secondary characters, including Jim Miller, a reporter who has been tracking Emily for nearly thirty years. There are no cardboard cut-outs in SHADOW GAMES, and each character in the novel has their own flaws and quirks, which makes for a fascinating read.
Aside from a few typical romantic clichés and some stilted dialogue, the plot of SHADOW GAMES will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Falconer’s action scenes are full of suspense, and make our hearts pound just as if we too were evading the bad guys.
SHADOW GAMES is an engaging science-fiction romp that gives a nuanced portrayal of the cost of having preternatural abilities.
~Written by Amanda Ferris for IndieReader.