Book Review: The Revenge of the Shadow King

The Revenge of the Shadow King
The Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia–who form the secret club The Grey Griffins–seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max’s backyard, Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong. And it’s up to them to stop the wicked creatures of the cards from destroying their town-indeed, their world. – GoodReads

I liked this book pretty well, but it wasn’t amazing or anything. Most of the characters, plot, and writing were very trite and redundant. But there were a few really good scenes that kept me interested enough to finish reading the book.

The writing keeps stating the obvious over and over again, and has a problem with “telling” instead of “showing”. The writing is mostly good and interesting, but I never really got lost in the story. I never forgot that I was reading a book.

I like the interactions between the Grey Griffins children- Max, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia. They all have distinct personalities that, while somewhat trite, definitely mesh well together for a dynamic group of characters.
I loved that while Natalia, the only girl in the group, is smart and fearless and capable, she is also very feminine. She loves ribbons and pink outfits and unicorns, and she still kicks butt!

I liked the story idea of a magical book, the Templar Knights, the evil King Oberon, and of portals to the fairy world! The overall story is wonderful, and the addition of fantasy RPG cards that train the young Grey Griffins in magical lore was just brilliant!

A good book, but not the best. If I had read this when I was younger, I might have liked it more.

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