Title: Ace of Shades
Author: Amanda Foody
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Page Count: 416
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
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 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.
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody is the first book of the young adult fantasy The Shadow Game series. I saw a lot of comparisons to Six of Crows before I began to read this one and my first hope was that it wouldn’t have that same slow pace as Six of Crows but of course, yes, it did. They are rather similar in having that slow build, darker young adult tale.
The book begins as Enne Salta arrives in New Reynes or what is better known as the City of Sin. Enne’s adoptive mother had often visited New Reynes claiming to be seeing friends and with Enne busy with school she never questioned until now. Enne had been told if her mother didn’t return in two months something would be wrong and if she needed help to contact Levi Glaisyer.
When Enne tracks down Levi she doesn’t understand how her mother could direct her to this street lord and con man. But with Levi being her only connection in New Reynes to her mother she has no choice but try to convince him to help her find her mother. With Levi owing a great debt of his own he sees Enne as a means of making what he owes and goes along with her quest even though he’s sure her mother is already dead.
Now of course I’ve already said the slow pace within this series is one that I struggle with quite often. I knew there’s a story buried within the pages but it’s just tough holding my attention with any slow build novel. The story was what I expected though as I went along, think Las Vegas but darker (or at least darker than advertised to tourists) and give it a magical side and we have Ace of Shades.
This wasn’t bad by any means but it also didn’t shock or wow me just yet either. I would have also like a bit more depth given to things as it went along which with the length and pace I was surprised to find it lacking on occasion. So while I see some absolutely loving this one for me it was just an alright start to the series with of course a bit of a cliffhanger to lead readers into the second book.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.
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About the author:
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. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.
ACE OF SHADES is the first novel of THE SHADOW GAME SERIES, releasing April 2018. Her debut, DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY, released in July 2017.