Hello everyone, today I will be reviewing Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody! I recieved an early copy of this book from an ARC giveaway hosted by the author herself. Please keep in mind that I read an unfinished copy and the quote I included should be checked against the final version of the book. Also, this is my first 1000+ word review so I hope you enjoy! This book was truly amazing and I hope you will pick it up when it is released in April 2018!
Release date: April 10, 2018
Hardcover page count: 400
My rating: 5/5 stars
“To be frank, reader, you’d be better off not visiting the city at all.” - Ace of Shades
Arriving in the city of New Reynes, the so-called city of sin, prim and proper Enne Salta only cares for one thing: finding her missing mother before it’s too late. Alone and unprepared for the city’s dark corners, she searches for the only clue given to her, the name of Levi Glaisyer. But Levi is as far from a gentleman as you can get as he is a notorious street lord and con man. But being only one payment away from the end of an unraveling scam, he agrees to help Enne in the promise of a payout of his dreams. Yet the search for Enne’s mother is not how she expected, bringing her through the darkest depths of the city of sin. And as traps snare around them and secrets are unveiled, it becomes clear that neither of them will be able to make it out without losing something, or someone, dear to them. With lives as the prize and betting souls the token, the game of death is one that they must play until the end.
From the very first words, I was addicted to this book. Written in a descriptive style that seems to bring the words off of the page, I was in love with every word. Foody has a way of writing each and every detail in such a way that the words seem to come alive. Every detail in the book seemed purposely placed, every word adding to the meaning, and every gesture one of hidden meanings. In a book such of this with a smoky city of mystery and suspense, this only made me question what I thought would happen next. This type of writing goes greatly with another aspect of Ace of Shades, the world building.
Even within the first few pages of this book, I can already tell that the author is a queen of building new worlds. When I first read through her opening scene of Enne entering through the city and being asked about her family, I was confused. But then the author quickly explained the reason for it: each family has a particular inherited talent and while it is sometimes something like dance (like the main character) or math, it could also be something like fire or electricity, it could be magic. When I first discovered this I literally mumbled to myself ‘oh my god she’s doing this’. It’s safe to say that I was incredible impressed with this. I know that this is something often done in fantasy books and an element like this should not be something so unexpected for me; but I still found it so incredibly unique that it almost felt like the perfect fantasy element for me, if authors could create things for specific readers. Besides this, the author created this great universe with an amazing backdrop and history that went well with the setting. Foody clearly knows how to outline a story.
The next aspect of the book that I really liked was the character development. So many books nowadays have books with plain beginning to end character arcs where minimal character development is achieved. But in Ace of Shades, Foody clearly put in time and effort to make each character perfect. One example of this is Enne, who started out as a prim and proper young lady who I just could not stop despising. It wasn’t just who she was that bugged me, but her personality. But throughout the book, I actually began to like her and I felt like she truly was a main character that I can enjoy. While her personality did not change so much that she felt like a different person, it did change enough that it was clear that she grew with the story. Another character who did this was Levi whose entire moral standard changed through the book. This type of character growth is hard to come by in books and even though it is often attempted, it frequently comes off half-baked. Another thing that I enjoyed about the characters was that Foody made sure to stay away from the stereotypes that they could easily be associated with. Levi was not your typical street lord baddy whose only thirst is for guts and gold. Enne is not your typical graceful dancer who seeks grace and cleanliness over survival. Foody paid special attention to her characters to make sure that they don’t become their stereotypes and instead stay as their own personalities. And just because Foody spent so much effort on her main characters, does not mean that she spent any less on her side ones. I truly cannot imagine better written side characters. She clearly did not waste any effort with them as each grew into their own spots in the book and left it feeling like the book would be incomplete without them. Each of them were well written and incredibly entertaining leaving me to laugh, smile, and cry beside them.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the plot. With hidden agendas and unexpected betrayal at every turn, Foody keeps the reader constantly entertained throughout the book. I was so entertained that I even stayed up all night to finish it. The author also made sure not to only have one main plot as she created numerous subplots that all intertwined at some point. Reading Ace of Shades felt like I was in a giant maze and with each page, I got closer to the middle. Though one aspect of the book was a bit obvious, it was still minor and so much of the book still shocked me with each chapter.
I would recommend this book for fans of Six of Crows because Ace of Shades has a familiar atmosphere to it. If you a seeking a book that will grip you tight and won’t let you go until the last page, this one is for you. Through this book, it is obvious that Foody truly is a master of her craft. Ace of Shades is a fantastic book of mystery and suspense that will not let you go until the last page.
I hope that you enjoyed that review! If you pick up a copy of this book in April and what to discuss it with someone, don't hesitate to comment! Also, if you have any suggestions for books that you would like me to review next, please let me know in the comments!
Until next time!
Welcome to the Book Enigma! I review different genres of books from young adult fiction to sci-fi. Enjoy!
Aspiring author who, along with reading YA and with other genres, also fosters kittens, and play the piano and cello!
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”