Cameron and the Shadow-wraiths: A Battle of Anxiety vs. Trust (The Order of the Stones Book 2)

Cameron and the Shadow-wraiths: A Battle of Anxiety vs. Trust (The Order of the Stones Book 2)
Publisher Name
Gameknight Publishing
Age Range
Release Date
April 15, 2024
When Cameron returned to Camp Pontchartrain, he expected to have a peaceful summer without terrifying monsters from another world trying to destroy everything he loves . . . he was wrong, dead wrong.

Shadow-wraiths from Agartha have crossed over to Earth and are executing an evil scheme, starting with abducting Cameron's friend, Jessie. Because of last year's battle with Malphas and his monster horde, everyone thinks Cameron is a heroic figure who can easily save Jessie from the clutches of the terrifying wraiths, everyone, that is, except for Cameron. His anxiety, or his Beast as he calls it, is still very much a part of him, filling him with fear and uncertainty. But Cameron knows, he has no choice. He must save his friend, even if it costs him his life.

With his friends at his side, Cameron will journey across the swamps of New Orleans, confront an army of alligators, battle against shadow-wraiths, and watch a dear friend perish before he finally reaches his goal, the Swamp of Forgotten Souls. At the Swamp, Cameron will be forced to confront his fears and failures in order to use the Earth-magic he desperately needs to save all his friends.

But does he realize Malphas is watching from the Void and waiting for Cameron's failure?

Just like in Facing the Beast Within, Cameron must confront his anxiety, his Beast, while fighting an army of Shadow-wraiths in a hopeless battle to save his friends.

Buckle up and get ready for a thrilling ride.

Editor review

1 review
Overcoming severe anxiety
(Updated: January 27, 2024)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Cameron is a classic, underdog character as he’s small in stature and has lived with anxiety and bullying since he was about six years old. His lack of confidence constantly negates any positives that might arise. He’s welcomed back to summer camp by well-wishers who call him a hero and savior of the camp. Cameron doesn’t feel like the comments are deserved so the stress, his Beast, builds in his mind. An interesting twist arises when Jamis and Jessie appear at camp. Jamis tormented Cameron when they were young and he resumes his constant negativity toward Cameron. This helps Cameron’s brain predict the worst outcomes and he fears he’ll let everyone down. He might be a formidable warrior if he only had the same confidence in himself that his friends have for him.
The early chapters share plenty of information about what’s already happened in the previous book. Some chapters share reports from a secret organization, the Order of the Stones, that summarize the threats brewing from an alternate universe. Last summer, Cameron rallied the campers to stop Malphas from leading an invading army of demons from Agartha. Readers will also await the return of a helpful imp from Agartha since everyone on Cameron’s team comments about how much they miss him. However, Cameron’s success last summer only puts more pressure on him to do it again. High expectations from his friends result in his mind predicting a precipitous fall.
A big difference from the first book occurs when Cameron and his four friends begin to learn elemental magic. Wielding the magic requires the Caster to remain calm and in control so Cameron obviously struggles. His friends make rapid progress to master their elements and they constantly tell Cameron they believe he can do it too. However, his negative thoughts block his ability to relax and connect with Earth-magic. His power is the key to stopping Malphas and the Agarthans but readers will wonder if Cameron will ever master it. Readers will experience his roller coaster of emotions as Cameron goes through periods of feeling hope but sees them quickly squelched by self-doubt.
What didn’t work as well:
The reminders of Cameron’s anxiety get repetitious as the words and descriptions sound very similar. The recurrent descriptions and coping mechanisms may have readers feeling déjà vu. Also, Cameron wears Malphas’s shrunken fist on a necklace but it’s annoying that he ignores the negative impact it’s having on him.
The final verdict:
This elemental adventure should be well-received by middle-grade readers and Cameron’s severe anxiety is a significant complication. The description of his internal conflict gets redundant but it also helps accentuate the problem. Overall, Cameron is an engaging character and I recommend you give this book a shot.
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