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Monday, April 9, 2018

I Need The Sequel ASAP: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

ACE OF SHADES

by Amanda Foody
Series: The Shadow Game #1
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: 
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

Amanda Foody's debut novel Daughter of the Burning City majorly impressed me, so I was couldn't wait to get my hands on her sophomore novel, Ace of Shades. Additionally, with comparisons to Six of Crows, one of my favorite books, it was hard for me to not want the book. As with her debut, Amanda Foody wowed with her fascinating and unique story.

Ace of Shades began with the protagonist, Enne, arriving on the harbors of New Reynes, the City of Sin, in search of her missing mother. Enne's characterization was one of my favorite parts of Ace of Shades. At the beginning of the story, she was a sheltered, young, very prim and proper young woman who had never experienced much darkness in her life. She was essentially tossed into the middle of this city known for its sinfulness, with the gambling, the gangs, and the wars. Watching her navigate this city was a little scary at first because I wasn't sure if she would make it out alive. Sure enough, she easily fell into pitfalls throughout the first half of the book, a major one being when she became magically tied to a notorious and sinister leader of the city. It made her character growth realistic for me. So many times in novels you come across these heroes/heroines who don't seem to struggle when they find themselves in a new world and it irritates me, so I found it quite refreshing here that the heroine came across many obstacles and most of the time didn't overcome the obstacles. As she searched for her mother and became more familiar with the city, she grew by leaps and bounds, becoming a stronger and braver version of herself. Along the way, she also discovered more secrets about not only her mother but also herself. Though her mother wasn't physically present in the book, Amanda Foody managed to flesh out her character through Enne's memories.

Besides Enne's POV, we are also privy to Levi's voice. Levi was a mysterious Iron Lord who had his own gang despite his young age. I was pleasantly surprised by his character over the course of Ace of Shades. He initially came across as this tough and hard-to-gauge character, but underneath all the roughness was a boy with a very soft heart. Though he thought Enne was a nuisance in his side, he quickly became protective of her and helped her on her mission. There was a romance between the two that slowly started brewing and simmering in the book, but as of now, it was very much to the sidelines. I am entirely too eager for more of these two though because the potential there is amazing judging from all the banter. There was also a whole slew secondary characters here, who though not as compelling as Enne and Levi, made for an interesting addition to the story.

The world building here was also well-done. Amanda Foody has a gift for creating atmospheric settings and she certainly managed to bring New Reynes to life. I will sometimes the world went right over my head, but I didn't find that to be too jarring. I was also completely fascinated by the magic system in the book - everyone is born with talents that are indicated by their last names and as with any magic some had talents that were powerful than the others. The gang dynamics and the politics of New Reynes was another element that I completely dug. I also appreciated the diversity in the story and how natural and thoughtful the diversity was - there were people of color and characters who identified as LGBTQ.

I had a really good time reading Ace of Shades and I'm definitely excited to read more of this series. Ace of Shades ended in a good spot with parts of the storyline wrapped up but also left threads open-ended for the subsequent books which I appreciated because I'm not one for cliffhangers. I definitely recommend this one if you're in the mood for a more unique and rugged YA fantasy series!

Are you interested in reading this book? What are some recent favorite YA fantasy reads of yours?
Let me know in the comments below!




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