Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

ace of shades graphic

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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.

This book started off reallllllllllly strong. I was allllllllllllll in for this Six of Crows meets Godfather 2, and the vibes it was giving me. Morally Grey Characters! Intriguing Fantasyland in a non-Disney way! Super pretty chapter headers, because, I mean, come on, it totally matters.

However, it kind of died out on me, and now I’m kind of just so much eh for this book. Where did it go wrong? I think the issue lies with just how unmemorable this book is. I mean, when I try to even begin explaining my feelings about this book, I literally can only say one word: eh. Meh. EH AGAIN.

This book has a lot of comparisons to SOC, and the truth is: the only thing that they share in common is the gritty town and the street gangs running it. However, that is it. It does give you a super cool vibe and has a fantastic atmosphere, though. This was honestly such a winning point for me and kept me reading when I was so bored and wanted to stop. I was 200% down for this wonderful world that was a mix of Las Vegas and Ketterdam with a splashy splash of magic. However, the vibe and the street gangs are it with the similarities.

The worldbuilding was a bit…conflicting for me as well. I mean, I liked it. I thought it was cool. I liked the details behind it and it was good. However, I still did a lot that I was kind of confused by it. I mean, I never really got the purpose of the two talents? And I’m still slightly confused how they got them in the first place? And volts??? Did they never think about idk, paper, instead of weird ball things? But it was pretty good.

cinderella tag
Cinderella is feeling the eh.

The biggest disinterest for me was the characters. I just was so eh about them. Levi was okay. Seriously, just okay. Enne made a lot of stupid decisions I thought that didn’t really fit with her personality because honestly I can’t even tell you her personality besides naive? I got her in the beginning, but I mean, she was just asking for some major trouble. I thought the street gang aspect would be a lot more interesting and bring an epic team of side characters, but they were boringgggggggggggggg too. Everyone was just boring, and I just didn’t care about anything they were doing.

The writing was okay. It was good, and Foody came up with a super cool atmosphere that did keep me reading the entire time. It was quite slow paced, though, since I mean, all of these pages were for like a total of 8 days or something? I’m not sure. I JUST KEEP WANTING TO SAY EH, BUT I NEED TO FIND OTHER WORDS AND I CAN’T.

Overall, it was okay. It’s definitely not very memorable. I can’t even come up with a good sum up. It has a cool world and atmosphere, but it wasn’t enough to save it for me. 2 crowns and a Cinderella rating!


What do you think? What was the last book that made you super bored? Can atmosphere really save a book for you? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


23 thoughts on “Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

  1. I at least enjoyed it in general, but yeah it was pretty underwhelming. I can’t even blame promoting it for 3 months, because most of what I found wrong with it were flaws in the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Accidentally hit reply. I felt like this was basically a book of world building. Like what even really happened in those 8 day besides wandering New Reynes? There was also stuff like how Lola says some words to Enne, and Levi informs her she is now a street lord. What? First of all, how would she even know that, and second of all, why is it that there are only 3 gangs if it’s that easy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I really do agree that it was a book of world building. I think that’s what got me is that it started to drag out too much. But I really do agree! But I am glad you enjoyed it in general since I know how excited you were for it. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Tank you!!

      And oh no!! I can imagine it just staring you down from the shelf. D: But I agree – I think the SOC comparison made me want to read it instead of comparing it so much. But I agree that it has to stand on its own at the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouch. Sorry this one didn’t do it for you. Although, so far all I’ve been reading have been mixed reviews for this book so maybe I should consider going into this one with lowered expectations LOL. It’s always the worst when you can’t connect with the characters. And even though it sounds like the world-building didn’t completely fail, it sounds like there’s more than enough room for improvement. I always get a little wary when books are compared to SoC now because, I mean, come on. It’s Six of Crows. Something’s gotta be pretty spectacular to actually be similar to it haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been seeing that too – either people go 2 stars with it or they absolutely love it. It’s so strange. And I did think some of the world building was just fantastic! And it really is so hard for the books when SOC comparisons get drawn. Slightly lowered expectations could work out good for it. 😉 Hope you enjoy it, though, Azia! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm, I’ve heard so many conflicting things about this book, but I’ve also heard it’s not that much like Six of Crows, which is good to hear since I’d hate to read a rip-off. However, it sucks that this wasn’t that memorable for you either! I’ve had so many instances where I was just “eh” on a book and couldn’t muster up enthusiasm for it, so I feel you here. 😂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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