Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – Spoiler Free Review

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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
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

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Goodreads Synopsis (1)

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.”

Goodreads Synopsis (2)

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!

Goodreads Synopsis (3)

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.

Goodreads Synopsis (4)

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!

Goodreads Synopsis (5)

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.”

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

*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.

Harlequin Website
Paperback   //   eBook

Book Depository
Hardback   //   Paperback*

QBD
Paperback

Booktopia
Paperback   //   Hardback   //   Paperback* – Pre-order

Amazon (Aus)
eBooks   //   Hardback   //   Paperback   //   Audible

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Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Daughter of the Burning City
Author: 
Amanda Foody
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harlequin (Australia)
Rating:
4 and a half Star

You can find this book on the Harlequin Australia page HERE and you can preorder from Dymocks or Book Depository!

Blog Titles

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

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*THANK YOU TO Harlequin (Australia) & NETGALLEY FOR GIVING ME AN EGALLEY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.*

Cover Image taken from Goodreads.



Blog Titles (1)

Both the cover above and the other cover are gorgeous. I especially love the colour and how simple most of it is except the city of tents at the bottom. I also like the smoke around the text representing the smoke over the city.

Blog Titles (2)

I’m loving Amanda Foody’s writing, especially for a debut author, this book is amazing. The world building in this book was amazing, Foody created a crazy and unique world that was so easy to vividly imagine. I also really enjoy that this is a standalone book, stand alones are unique in fantasy writing and having a book that was this well done and rounded off in 400 pages is remarkable and also refreshing. I can’t wait for what she comes up with next!

There was one little thing that confused me a little, and this may be a little spoilery. But our main character has no eyes, yet she can still see. At first, I was so confused because they didn’t actually say at the start that she has no eyes yet can see, it was just said that she had no eyes. So when they said that she saw something or noticed something I was so confused. And then there was a point where she was crying and I was just thinking HOW?!?!? It wasn’t until later in the book that it said she was crying but then said well actually she was sobbing because she couldn’t actually cry. I think overall that could have been explained a bit better from the start.

Blog Titles (3)

This book is not only a YA fantasy but also a mystery! This book was unique in every way and had so many unexpected twists and turns that it was hard to put the book down at times. When going into this I wasn’t expecting such a mysterious book so I was joyfully surprised because of it. This book was a bit slower at times, but during those times it allowed for that amazing world development that this book had.

Blog Titles (4)

I really enjoyed that this book was mostly about family. Sorina was an enjoyable character and I liked seeing her develop. She also always felt real, her struggles were still there, she didn’t just one day wake up as badass female as it seems like most YA characters do after something bad happens.
Luca is a mysterious and interesting character and I won’t share much as I don’t want to spoil anything. But I did enjoy his character, he was loyal even when everything was kinda going to crap.
Kahina was the kind and caring motherly figure that always knew what Sorina needed to hear, even if she didn’t want to hear it.

I also loved all of her illusions, they reminded me of the Peculiar Children in some ways as their gifts and powers were just so unique. They were all so loyal to their family and would do anything to keep each other safe. Some we got to know more than others. Venera was the fun reckless sister and Nicoleta the one that held them all together. I liked Hawk’s gift the most out of them all, I mean who wouldn’t want to be able to fly?!

Blog Titles (5)

Overall I really enjoyed this book! The world building, the characters, and the mystery are all amazing in this book. This book was beautifully written and I can’t wait to see what’s next from Amanda Foody!



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