Author: Amanda Foody
Age/genre: YA fantasy
Published by: HQ Young Adult
Publication date: 17/05/18
My rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis from 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.
I have to say it was a bit slow for me to begin with, and I wasn’t sure if it would go anywhere. It soon picked up and by the time I had turned the last page I was in love! The world, magic and characters are beautifully written. I couldn’t get enough of It, I want to sit and read the whole book again!
Ace of Shades is told from the perspective of Enne, who has come to New Reynes looking for her mother, Lourdes Alfero. And Levi, one of New Reynes street lords who has agreed to help Enne find her mother in exchange for volts to pay off his debts before his ten days are up. As they embark on their search they hit many a dead end, make unlikely allies, uncover a string of lies and secrets that could possibly lead them on a path to the deadly Shadow Game, where you play for your life.
Some say the City of Sin is a game, so before you arrive – ask yourself, dear reader, how much are you prepared to lose?
Amanda’s world building and plot is so vivid and brilliantly crafted. I spent most of the second half of it on the edge of my seat scared about what might happen, but equally as desperate to find out. I love the character development, especially the development between Enne and Levi and it’s many complications. Levi’s relationship with his gang was also interesting to to read about, how events impacted on them and how they dealt with things. I both love and loathe Vianca Augustine, she is such a great character that I love to hate, you’ll see why.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book and see what happens next. It’s definitely worth grabbing a copy to read asap! I will definitely be picking up a copy of Amanda’s previous book.