Title: Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)
Author: Amanda Foody
Rating: ★★★☆☆(3. Stars)
Publisher: Harelquin Teen
Release Date: April 10, 2018
“People don’t play this Game to win, my dear. You play the game not to lose.”
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.
I feel like Amanda Foody crafts these creative and compelling fantasy worlds that pull you into their dark and mysterious ways. And boy does she succeed at it. Ace of Shades follows Enne, a proper lady who must venture into New Reyes, the City of Sin, to find her missing mother. Once she’s there, Enne is pulled into a deadly game that might hold the answers to the secrets of her past.
Things I Liked
As I’ve said before, I always love quotes at the beginning of the chapters. I thought the guidebook quotes really helped establish New Reyes and set a fantastic vibe for the story.
I like how the story was structured. We see everything broken into the days that have passed and Enne’s experiences in New Reyes. This made it really fast-paced and the story never felt weighed down.
I really liked the talents and powers that are showcased in the story. We get to see some really unique and creepy magic – like the blood gazers – and I love how powers were inherited. You get a talent from each parent, one dominant and the other weaker. It was unique and I liked it a lot.
I LOVED the epilogue, it honestly brought the whole book up and I’m excited for book 2 because if it. The book ended on such a high note for me that I look back on it happily because I’m excited.
‘We’ll get mugged walking around with a map. That tourist nonsense is an affront to everything I stand for.’ “What do you stand for” Bravado?” ‘Obviously.’
“The worst hurt in the world was the kind you grew to accept.”
“Avarice, pride, and lust – these are all modest desires. What the city of sin craves is destruction.”
Things I Didn’t Like
I feel like the worldbuilding was very focused and precise, but didn’t create a cohesive world. And there was definitely some gaps that made things confusing. We learn a lot about talents (my favorite part) and the gangs, but I feel like I don’t have a lot of info about New Reyes and it’s history and everything about the Mizers and the revolution.
I did not like Enne at all. She was so whiny and couldn’t stop crying. It actually got frustrating. I understand that she’s in this new place and is desperately trying to find her mom, but I wanted her to adapt and use the city more. Play the part when you have to, and you can fall apart later. But she didn’t and that made her seem naive and not that smart. . None of the other characters wowed me – they were mostly forgettable, or I feel like I didn’t know them enough (I honestly kept forgetting some people’s names)- but I was annoyed by Enne.
This was way more plot focused than character focused, so as a character driven reader it wasn’t my favorite. But I am excited for book 2 and I do appreciate the worlds that Amanda crafts so well. And it’s definitely worth checking out.
I received a copy of the book from HarlequinTeen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
About the Authour
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.
- Prize:5 copies of ACE OF SHADES (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody
- US/Canda Only
- Starts: 3/26
- Ends: 4/19
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Thank you, thank you, thank you to the FANTASTIC FLYING BOOK CLUB for hosting and organizing this blog tour! Make sure you follow along with the tour to see what these amazing bloggers have to say about this magically captivating darkfantasy read!
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