Book Review: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Posted March 10, 2018 by Amber in Reviews / 5 Comments

Ace of Shades

Ace of Shades

by Amanda Foody

Series: The Shadow Game #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen on April 10, 2018
Genre: Crime, Fantasy
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★½

Check out this book on Goodreads

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, 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.


Disclaimer: I received this book for free from The Author and Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Don’t take the City of Sin lightly – it will change you.

Ace of Shades sets up a world where nobody is what they seem.  Everyone wears a magic, everyone has a talent they hide, and everyone has sworn an oath.  Whether it is to a street lord or one of the powerful casino families, oaths mean blood is spilled, loyalties are split, and nobody can be trusted.  It makes the city fascinating, because you never really know who is a friend and who is going to pull a knife on you.

Amanda Foody’s second book does not disappoint.  She remains a world building master.  New Reynes sparkles.  Her magical systems are as fascinating as in Daughter of the Burning City, but in Ace of Shades we’ve only touched the surface of the amazing things the characters can do.  Every street, every building has a personality and life of its own.

While New Reynes breathes, it is really Enne and Levi’s growth that spurs the story forward.  Erienne Abacus Salta enters the city cringing from the muck and corruptions, but as she seeks out her mother and becomes involved in the city, she slowly becomes a part of it.  There were moments with Enne that completely took me by surprise.  I expected a sweet, mild girl but Enne was anything but.  This girl is fierce.  Levi is a great match for her – he is both comfortable in his skin and cautious of the tricks of the city.  There was a lot going on in Levi’s storyline – from Enne to Vianca to Chaz.  I really look forward to seeing more of Levi in this series, because I think his character has a lot of untapped potential.

Lola, Jac, and Raymond all deserve mentioning as excellent side characters.

My favorite part of this story was the Shadow Game itself.  Amanda Foody is amazing at building a tense situation.  It was completely not what I was expecting, but it was excellent.  I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of this Game and the house in the future (I mean, the series is called “The Shadow Game”) and I cannot wait.

All in all, Ace of Shades lets us get acquainted with the players and the game board, but I have a feeling that the game is just beginning.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★ 1/2
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★ 1/2

4.5 stars overall rating


Ace of Shades Stays On The SHelf

I was so lucky, this was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018 (I loved Daughter of the Burning City and was dying for more) and I won a signed ARC of this book in a Shadow Gang raffle.  I neverwin raffles (legit, this may be my first one) and I cannot BEGIN to tell you how pumped I was about this.  A small amount of squeeing may have been involved.  OF COURSE Ace of Shades is staying in my library – I’ve also got a final copy preordered and can’t wait to get my hands on it in April.  FUN FACT.  It will have a map.  Who doesn’t love maps?!


Have you read this book or anything by this author?  If so, did you enjoy it?  Tell me all about your experience in the comments!

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5 responses to “Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

    • Amber

      This may be a bit traitorous since I’m part of Amanda’s promotional team for AoS, but I did like DotBC better. AoS is great, but it’s just a start. I think book two will be out of this world and I understand the necessity of setting the stage. I’d still suggest both! 🙂