5 Things About Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

May 8, 2018 Review 14 ★★★

5 Things About Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 416
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.2

14 Responses to “5 Things About Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody”

  1. Amber @ The Literary Phoenix

    I’m gonna be that person – I’m sorry! <3 Levi, not Lewis. :)

    I enjoyed Ace of Shade personally, but it definitely felt like an introductory story to me, and I felt the minor characters to be far more interesting than Levi and Enne themselves. And I feel sort of bad about it, since I was on the Street team to promote it? I think her debut was better, but I also think that book two will be stronger than this one was.

    Glad to see it exceeded your expectations!!!
    Amber @ The Literary Phoenix recently posted…Today is Brought to You By the Color Purple – #TTT

    • Bec

      I have no idea how I managed to mix his name up! I thought I’d checked it but apparently not. Thanks for catching that mistake!

      I haven’t read her debut yet but I’m interested to at least check it out. This certainly set up many big world events that are going to be interesting when the stories continue. With any luck maybe Enne and Levi will become more interesting too (Enne should be at least, with the plot twist developments from the end)

  2. Joy // Joyousreads

    Oh, okay It sounds like you relatively enjoyed it – enough for you to come back for the next book in the series. I’m really curious about this book.

    • Bec

      It was a fun read :) Definitely piques my curiosity to see where it goes next. I hope you like it if/ when you read it!

    • Bec

      I couldn’t pass Miss Fisher gifs for a book with a 20s vibe!! I hope you get to read it soon.

    • Bec

      It was slow, definitely. But being used to epic fantasy, the pacing didn’t bother me too much. The setting helped the time pass a bit faster!

    • Bec

      It’s great when a writer improves over time! If you decide to check it out I hope you enjoy it :D

    • Bec

      I can see why they did the Six of Crows comparison, but it definitely isn’t anywhere near the same quality. I hope you enjoy it :D

  3. Lindsi

    I’ve heard a lot about this one! It’s on my list, so I’m happy to see you enjoyed it more than you thought you would. I do like the idea of a 20s Steampunk! I haven’t read Six of Crows, so I won’t have that comparison, but I am a little bummed the beginning is slow. I’m sure there is a lot of world-building, but it should still be engaging. :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?
    Lindsi recently posted…Stacking the Shelves [6]

    • Bec

      Steampunk is such a fun genre! I wish it was more mainstram.

      Oh man, you definitely need to check out Six of Crows some time! It’s brilliant and everything this book tried to be almost.

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