Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Series: The Shadow Game #1
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance, Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult
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.
Not as bad as I expected
To be honest, I really thought ACE OF SHADES would be a flop. I hadn’t read many reviews, and Foody’s first novel had a pretty mixed reception. I was worried that the potential of the unique concepts (talents and volts) would not be executed well. Luckily it was actually decent for most of it! It was slow at the beginning and struggled to capture my attention until at least 15%, and there were a few meh bits. But overall it wasn’t bad.
I loved Enne’s character story
There was so much mystery surrounding Enne and the fate of her mother, I loved it! I did predict some of the twists unfortunately but it was still a really interesting mystery. I enjoyed it a lot more than Levis’s personal conflict story line anyway.
20’s Steampunk Vibes
The world of ACE OF SHADES is relatively unique for me. I’m used to reading fantasy novels whose worlds mimic more historical eras with no modern advancements. The world of ACE OF SHADES has more of a steampunk vibe of the 1920s, especially the scenes set in the casinos. There is no magic per se (some specific talents are closer to magic than others), but guns and cars and high rise buildings.
The comparison’s to The Dregs aren’t fair
The biggest comparison I’ve seen for ACE OF SHADES is SIX OF CROWS. That comparison is in no way fair. Firstly, SIX OF CROWS is insanely good and sets the bar crazy high. Secondly, even though Levi is a gang leader, we don’t really see him interact that much with his gang. There were three Irons that got decent page time, and even they were barely in it. The focus is more on Levi and Enne’s personal conflicts.
I can’t wait to see the consequences
A lot of plot events in ACE OF SHADES are going to have massive ramifications for the world. I’m really excited to see how the consequences of the characters actions play out, particularly the political changes.
ACE OF SHADES was more entertaining than I expected. It doesn’t live up to the same standards as some of the books it was compared too, but its mystery and atmosphere was still very much enjoyable.