Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Game of Triumphs by Laura Powell

Published: August 2011
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 288
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

At an exclusive Soho party one rainy night, Cat stumbles into an ancient and dangerous game of fortune. A mysterious quartet of game masters deal out challenges—moves that unfold in the Arcanum, a dream-scape version of our world. Success can earn players fame, fortune, inspiration. Failure can be deadly.

At first Cat is skeptical, but undeniably curious. And when a journey into the Arcanum reveals a shocking glimpse of her family's past, Cat begins to understand what drives people to play. Sometimes it's greed or longing—other times desperation. She must know more.

Right now, the game masters hold all the cards. But Cat finds others like herself on the fringes of the game. And together an unlikely group of chancers hope to change the rules in their favor.

In the Game of Triumphs, the risks are high, but the rewards may just be worth dying for. . .

Thanks to Special K for this review.

This will be a short review – there’s not much to say. Oh so much potential! A great premise - a real life RPG based on Tarot, and with great rules and stratagems. The embodiment of the tarot cards is fantastic, I think Laura Powell might be better suited to game writing than book writing.

Because Game of Triumphs utterly boring. There's no sense of build up, no urgency or massive events. (Everything just sort of happens). Maybe I need to read its sequel The Master of Misrule, and this was just outlining and getting you used to the game. But overall I was bored. Things happened quickly, but not in an exciting quickly. The characters were flat, with no development and no relationship between one another. You get a hint of one (Cat and one of the gentlemen...I won’t spoil who. Although it’s such a brief flicker, telling you wouldn’t count as a spoiler).

But so many possibilities! The game is well developed, and could prove to have rich world potentials. I might try the sequel, in the hopes that Game of Triumphs was just a really long prologue. But if the writing hasn't matched up to the possibilities a world and game setup like this have to offer, I'll call both books a pass. If however, Master of Misrule grabs me and shakes me – proves to me that it has some oomph! – I will give both books thumbs up. Without reading the second, I already feel like both books are tied together in a way that most series aren’t. I don’t usually hinge my view of one book on the result of another.

So – overall, underwhelming. But I did finish it. And I do think there’s promise. Fingers crossed for #2.
Thanks Special K. And don't forget to enter our GiVEAWAY for Pushing the Limits

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