“Ace of Shades”
The Shadow Game #1
by Amanda Foody
Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary: Ordinary and well-behaved Enne Salta enters New Reynes, the City of Sin, in a desperate search for her mother. As she is swept up into the depraved lives of those that cheat, steal, and con, Enne comes to find that her mother may not be who she thinks she is and that her whole life is a lie. Teamed up with the notorious gang leader Levi, Enne and Levi make gamble after gamble trying to stay ahead of their enemies, until their time runs out and the deadly Shadow Game finds them.
OwlCrate Book April 2018: “Ace of Shades” by Amanda Foody
(May Contain Spoilers)
1. Six of Crows meets Caraval
Being set in a sinful city filled with gambling, gangs, and crime as well as elements of magic, “Ace of Shades” felt like a mix of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series with Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series. As both these series are absolutely amazing and I loved them, “Ace of Shades” was an instant like for me!
One of my favorite things about the Shadow Game world is that each person has an ability, a primary dominant one and a lesser secondary one. As someone who devoured comics growing up, with the Uncanny X-men being my all-time favorite, I really enjoy stories involving people with powers. In The Shadow Game series, a person’s primary ability is usually identifiable by their last name and abilities are passed down from parents to child.
Professional conman and gang leader, Levi Glaisyer is irresistible in looks, “with his dark brown skin, his calculating gaze and his signature coarse curls—bronze at the roots, but black at the ends, like a burnt-out match.” But more importantly, he is devastatingly charming and while he is arrogant and seriously egotistical, he cares deeply about those he considers his friends. This is also my first experience having a male bisexual MAIN character in a book, which was appreciated as well as that his sexuality was not an “issue” in the Shadow Game world as it should be in our own.
“Ace of Shades” really follows the coming of age story of Enne Salta. Not only do we see her struggle with the conflicting accounts of her mother, Lourdes, we see Enne grapple internally with what she wants to do versus what she thinks is the “proper” thing to do. As a girl who was brought up being taught etiquette to become a lady, Enne has stifled many parts of herself, including her sexuality and brilliant, ambitious mind. It is a pleasure to watch her blossom into a more confident, assertive woman as she navigates the City of Sin.
5. The Mysteries
Probably the most intriguing part of The Shadow Game series is the Shadow Game itself. I am so curious about who is involved with the Shadow Game, what the purpose of the Shadow Game is, what kind of magic it involves. I just have so many questions!
6. Sedric Torren
This asshole! While we don’t see much of Sedric Torren thankfully, the little we do see and hear about him is enough for me to want to kill him. There are not enough negative adjectives to describe this sleazy, disgusting, perverted pedophile. The reason he is on this list? He fucking dies and it makes me so happy to think about. While slow painful torment would have been more justifiable for his crimes, I will accept death as a fix to the overall problem that was Sedric Torren. Hope he rots in hell!
7. King of Fools
Thankfully with all the questions and concerns I have with Enne, Levi, and the Shadow Game, the series continues in “King of Fools”, Book 2 of The Shadow Game.