Title: Ace of Shades
Author: Amanda Foody
Series Name: The Shadow Game
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2018
Pages: 408 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harlequin Teen Aus
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.
Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.
This cover is great! It is eye catching and perfectly represents this book! I love the addition of the shadow taking the form of the city in the background and the card suits right at the back. I also loved the little quotes on the back and front of the book. Before I started the book it made me really interested in the book!
“Take a card and stake your soul. Survival is your only goal. Surrender to the vice within. Bet your life – hope you win.”
Amanda Foody’s writing is absolutely superb! After reading Amanda Foody’s debut, Daughter of the Burning City, she was straight away on my auto-buy list! The world building in this book is amazing. It is such a vivid and unique world. Some of the ideas that came to life in this book were just so interesting! I’m so keen to see how this world will expand even more in book 2 & 3. I honestly feel like, given the chance, Amanda Foody could create a world as vivid and in-depth as the worlds in Harry Potter, LOTR and other similar books. I’m so glad we got a trilogy from her this time where she can expand her world so much more (don’t get me wrong, her stand-alone debut was still amazing and the world was so detailed as well).
The book is written in multi-POV, following Enne & Levi. The multi-POV was awesome. It was really easy to differentiate between the two POVs, which is one of my main issues with a lot of multi-POV books. But in this one, the two characters showed different personalities within their perspectives and it was really easy to tell whose POV I was reading from, even without reading the name.
Her characters are also really well done! She has left a little to still be discovered in the next book, which I also enjoy. The characters are well rounded and complex and it was awesome seeing them develop throughout the book.
As someone that is not a romance fan, I didn’t mind this one. Even though the whole book took place in 10 days, it didn’t feel like insta love. For the most part, it was just attraction, tension and genuine care, so that is the main reason why I don’t see it as instalove. Either way, she does write the tension really well!
I also loved how she wrote the diversity in this book! There was no questioning, it was just completely normal to be a person of colour, LGBTQIAP+, etc. There were a couple LGBTQIAP+ characters that popped up throughout the book which was great!
The plot was really addicting complex and kept me hooked for the whole book. There are so many aspects of the plot in this book and every one of them was really well done. There were tonnes of twists and turns to keep it interesting the whole time. There is also a mystery that keeps you guessing all the time.
Enne is the first main character that we are introduced to and she was an awesome character. She developed amazingly throughout the book, but we also see the struggle within herself as she develops and changes away from how she thought she was meant to be or how she planned to be. She is a realistic character, she doesn’t have these unbelievable skills, bravery or anything along those lines. She has insecurities, fears, and she makes mistakes but that doesn’t stop her, she learns from her mistakes and overcomes her fears, she is brave when she has to, to save herself or others, and I just found her a joy to read from.
Next, we have Levi, who is the other MC we follow. He is made out to be dark, dangerous and devilish and he plays those rolls when he has to. However, we see him open up as he comes to trust Enne and he is so much more than just a street lord. He is such a warm and amazing character. He is always trying to help out rather than actually start trouble, whether that be saving himself, trying to look after the Irons, trying to save a friend or helping out Enne. He is such a caring person and I love him for it. He is one of those people that you could always rely on if you were friends with him.
There are a couple side characters that we meet that were also really interesting. First, we have Jac. His friendship with Levi is amazing. He is always there when Levi needs him and he trusts him completely, but he also questions Levi if he thinks Levi is doing the wrong thing and calls him out on stuff. Which is how a real friendship should be. Jac also has a dark past but he and Levi will always have each other’s backs. He also learns to trust and open up to Enne as Levi begins to trust her more.
Next, is slightly a spoiler I guess, it isn’t a full-on spoiler but this character isn’t how they first are shown, so if you want to know nothing then maybe skip this paragraph. I’m talking about Lola. At first, she does not get along with our other characters but she develops over time and becomes an awesome side character. She is another one with a dark past and is just trying to survive and help the people she cares about. Her friendship with Enne is quite amusing throughout most of the book but she turned out to be a reliable friend in the end.
Well, those are the main characters I want to talk about as the others had a smaller roll. Most were still well developed for a character that didn’t get a tonne of page time, but they are still smaller rolls. All the characters were so well done though!
I love this book so much! The world is amazing and unique and the characters are complex and well rounded. The book rounded off amazingly to lead up to the sequel. The epilogue is a direct lead up to the events in book 2 and its mystery makes me so keen for book 2 to come out!!
“She had entered New Reynes as delicate as glass. She had even shattered. But as it turned out, beneath the dust and shards, something stronger lay within her, a substance less easily broken.”
*I read a finished copy that I had already pre-ordered before requesting the eARC. I did plan on reading the eARC before release but I just didn’t have time and the physical copy arrived before I had a chance to read it*
I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Harlequin Teen Australia & NetGalley for this opportunity.
You can purchase this book at any of the below links!
Some of the links are to the alternate cover which I will put a pic of below and I will put a (*) next to the ones that have the alternate cover.
Paperback // eBook
Hardback // Paperback*
Paperback // Hardback // Paperback* – Pre-order
eBooks // Hardback // Paperback // Audible
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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