Book Reviews

Book Review: “Ace of Shades” by Amanda Foody

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Series: The Shadow Game #1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Not sure
Favorite Quotes: “But she’s spent her entire life fighting for next to last. So if she had to play, she would not lose. She would not break. She had other business in this city.”

“Sometimes we’re not who we want to be because we’re supposed to be something else.”


ABOUT: 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, Enne has only one lead: the 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.


My Review:
I sorely underestimated this book. Whatever I thought this book might be about or allude to I was completely wrong. The City of Sin grabs the reader from the start and, even after reading, still hasn’t let go. This dark, edgy, dazzling book is one you won’t soon forget.

I do have mixed feelings about this book and was hesitant to give Ace of Shades the rating that I did.

My interest dwindle after a few chapters, which is probably why it took me so long to read this book. But sheer stubbornness to finish is what kept me reading. I didn’t want to read a story like this anymore but eventually I was hopelessly enthralled.

Ace of Shades, I have to say, is a well-structured book. It couldn’t have been easy to write it during all those long years. The world Foody has developed is rich in visuals, painful in emotions, and sinfully humans in its rough and rugged characters. Breathtaking in its pacing and unapologetic in its tone, Ace of Shades is by far one of the most idiosyncratic young adult novels I’ve ever read. But that’s what makes it such a good novel.

However, that’s where the mixed feelings come in. I don’t know if I liked this book. I certainly don’t dislike it. Amanda Foody is a writer to be reckoned with and one an aspiring novelist like me can learn from. I just don’t know what to think after reading this.

I didn’t like was being led a seemingly wild goose-chase with frustrating dead ends that offered very little satisfaction in the end. Too much letdown with very little payout. And maybe that’s the point. Readers are left unsettled by their journey through the corruption-soaked city of New Reynes.

I don’t know if I’ll read King of Fools – not eager to start nor ready for more of this series – but I will keep book 2 in mind.

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