I can bet that I will pick up the next book in this series!
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody follows Enne Salta, a refined young lady, who ventures to a fantasy Las Vegas-esque city in search of her missing adoptive mother. Meanwhile, a young gang leader Levi struggles to pay off a debt that could lead him into a dangerous game where no one survives. When Enne offers to pay Levi for assistance in navigating the city and locating her mother, their live become intertwined with deadly consequences.
When I heard the synopsis for Ace of Shades, it quickly became one of my most anticipated reads of the year. It seemed to be pitched similarly to Six of Crows, which was one of my favorite fantasy books that I read last year, but with the glitz and glamour of a place like Las Vegas. I know some readers were disappointed because they felt misled by the Six of Crows claim. However, I think if you are able to go into this story without those expectations, the story will be more enjoyable.
Enne and Levi, the two main character of this book, were two of my main reasons for enjoying this novel. Both are unique, have interesting stories, and are very likable characters although the side characters are pretty standard for a YA fantasy. Enne is described as a “proper young lady” and initially turns her nose up at the city of New Reynes. However, underneath she is definitely a fighter and I enjoyed seeing her adapt to city and find her true passions. I was worried Levi would be a carbon copy of Kaz from Six of Crows, but I was happy when I saw this wasn’t the case. Levi is very personable and charming, and his plans aren’t always as detailed or successful. I really enjoyed watching their relationship change and progress throughout the novel and I m excited to see where it goes in the future.
One of the other selling points of this novel to me was the world. I really love the idea of a fantasy version of Las Vegas. I think Enne’s guidebook that popped up through the novel helped me understand the world a little better in nice snippets while going along with her characters personality. That being said, there were some aspects of the world building which I felt needed some improvement. One aspect of this that I thought needed a little improvement was a little more background on the rebellion that occurred and the history behind the Shadow Game. While this may be fleshed out later in this series, the fuzziness of the details sometimes left me a little confused.
Another aspect that made me enjoy this book was the pacing. I found myself flipping through the pages to see what happened next. As a result, it makes me want to continue on with this series to see what happens to the characters and the city. For me, it’s difficult to get invested into a series because many series that I read are very similar. However, this book was so much fun that I can see myself picking up the next book.
Overall, Ace of Shades was an enjoyable reading experience. This isn’t my all-time favorite YA fantasy series, but it has enough interesting elements to encourage me to read the next book in the series. I give Ace of Shades four out of five stars.