Another month, another OwlCrate book review.
For the April box, themed ‘Shadows & Secrets’, the book included was a much anticipated new release, Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody.
Did Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) live up to the hype? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (April 10, 2018)
Print Length: 416 pages
Audiobook Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
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.
Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) is an engrossing tale of loss, love, and sin in a city that leave no one uncorrupted.
Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) follows the fantastical tale of the characters of Enne and Levi as they embark on a desperate search that weaves them in and out of the deadly City of Sin.
While the premise of this novel was slightly reminiscent of Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Six of Crows’ series, Foody was able to pair quick pacing and and excellent writing to distinguish herself and her characters from the much beloved Crows gang. I think what set Ace of Shades apart from ‘Six of Crows’ was the talent system. As Foody’s form of magic system, each character, depending upon their families stature, is gifted with two varying talents. Some talents represented in this book include dancing, counting cards, and magic. The only issue I had with the writing, as did many other reviewers on Goodreads, is Foody’s choice to make slight variations on actual curse words. I, personally, am not a fan of this because if you want your characters to swear, just allow them to use the actual world.
The characters of Ace of Shades had amazing character development. At the beginning of the novel I found Enne, a young girl focused on finishing school and social standing, to be quite annoying. However, as the novel progressed she realized that survival is more important than the way society sees you, and starts making choices for herself rather than for others. Equally, the other protagonist of Ace of Shades, Levi, goes through quite the transformation. Originally introduced as the stoic, threatening, card dealer of New Reynes, he developed to a point where he was not afraid to show his feelings. The only thing that left me wanting more was in the relationship between the two.
As I see the potential in this series based off of the things I loved in Ace of Shades, I will be picking up it’s sequel, King of Fools, when it is released in Spring of 2019.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Ace of Shades (The Shadow Games #1) by Amanda Foody. Have any fantasy reads you think I should check out? Leave your recommendation below and help my TBR grow.