Children's Books

Cardslinger by M.G. Velasco | ARC Review | Booksmagick

What’s it about?

Shuffle’s Dad has disappeared years ago on an expedition and is believed to be dead. But then Mythic – a card game he and his Dad invented – hits the market. Only, that’s impossible! Shuffle finds a mysterious card in his Mythic deck and realises his Dad is still alive. Shuffle follows the clues which take him on a dangerous journey across the plains of America. Soon enough not only bounty hunters are on his trail.

What I think about it

What first drew me towards the book was the cover which is amazing! However, I had difficulty finding into the story. It was told from Shuffle’s perspective whose entire world revolves around his father and the card game – Mythic – they invented together. When Mythic is suddenly sold at every corner and even features new cards, Shuffle knows his father must still be alive and sets out on his dangerous quest.

Mythic reminds me a lot of ‘Magic: The Gathering’, one of the most famous card games. Each card has abilities and is used to battle the other player. I never understood Magic and I don’t understand Mythic. I guess I’m just not cut our for card games. 😀 I got confuesed when Shuffle would explain Mythic and talk about different cards’ powers and abilities. More confusion ensued when Shuffle started solving his father’s riddles and leaving coded messages for his mother. I’m just not the type for riddles. They make me impatient.

Soon, Shuffle meets Atalanta, a Native American girl who becomes his friend and ally in his quest. She, too isn’t too impressed by riddles and Mythic and I could relate to her! 😀 Atalanta is a badass rider, tough fighter and excellent shot. Her idea of fun isn’t some card game but plinking cans. I agree.

Mythic is, as the name suggests, based on mythology and each deck represents a different mythology. Shuffle for example plays with an Athena deck but there is Norse Mythology, Egyptian and many more. At first I thought the story was set in some kind of fantastical world, then I realised it was the modern world – until the first gunslinger appeared. And then the cowboys and my brain couldn’t keep up. And then mythology happened. I was a bit overwhelmed and lost interest in the story halfway through the book and skipped pages in between.


Unfortunately not to my taste. Maybe the kids will love it more than I did. It overwhelmed my brain and I was at a loss with the concept of mythical card game in 1881’s America. It was adventurous but the story couldn’t keep my attention and I began skipping ahead. I really loved Atalanta and the book cover, though!


  • Author: M. G. Velasco
  • Pages: 360
  • For Ages: 11 and up
  • Publisher: Learner Publishing Group
  • Release Date: August 6, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781541554641

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