4 out of 4 stars
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Shadow Game is the first instalment in ‘The Elle Anderson series’ trilogy written by A.M. Adair. The narrative is in third person presenting before us the dangerous feats that Elle Anderson , an American special ops agent encounters during her line of work. Elle along with her team is recruited at Baghdad in order to annihilate the supreme terrorist group , Daesh. She is given a list of targets who are to be taken down. Elle looks forward to accomplishing her missions by employing strategies wrapped with espionage , murder and ambush. Will she emerge successful in her act of juggling between blending in with the locals while simultaneously murdering their leaders?
I’ve been looking for novels with an unequivocally strong female lead and Shadow Game quenches my thirst. Elle’s description at the beginning as ‘intelligent , highly skilled in martial arts , an expert marksman’ had me hooked the moment I read it. When the story unfolds , her team mates are given only sufficient importance with the limelight always shining on Elle’s determination and her resolute character echoed in her words - “I just have a method and it always works for me”. But the author doesn’t dwell upon this and carves Elle to be realistic and humane by placing enough emphasis on her bossy side or her egotistic mindset. These elements add on to the novelty of the book.
Having absolutely loved the heroine , I shift my focus onto the author’s writing style which perfectly complements the genre due to its in-detail description of the missions or targets and the exceptional imagery of Iraq. The usage of the phrase ‘the hair on the back of her neck stood on an end’ every time something was off as per Elle’s instincts , produced a gripping sensation for the tale , over me. I also liked how the title of the book is completely justified during the narration. A.M. Adair’s subtle antagonisation of the baseless vindications that men provide for their heinous crimes under the veil of religion is commendable , upbringing the book to a level of societal significance. There is also a peek to Elle’s soft demeanour with her yearning desire for a family and her fear of failure which aids towards character development. I particularly liked the scenarios where music was played before and after the completion of a mission and the funny tones inserted to the exchanges between Elle and her teammate , Tex that helped me visualise the story as a movie running inside of my head.
The book maintains its zeal all throughout that I couldn’t find a negative point.
I give it 4 out of 4 stars since it is exemplarily well-edited and due to all the positive aspects mentioned above.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great adventure read that gets your blood boiling and to those searching for an uncompromising female protagonist. However , I’ve noted numerous instances of profanity along with gory and is therefore asking anybody not preferring these to refrain from reading this book.
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