Book Review: ACE OF SHADES by Amanda Foody (Owlcrate Book April 2018)

“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.

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7 Amazing things about ACE OF SHADES by Amanda Foody (Owlcrate Book April 2018)

(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!

2. Abilities

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.

3. Levi

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.

4. Enne

“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.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

Book Review: 5 Charming Things about COVET by Melissa Darnell


The Clann #2

by Melissa Darnell

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: Being watched by both the Clann and vampire council, Savannah knows that she cannot be with Tristan. To do so would start a war again between the two powerful forces. But as they fight against their love for each other, bodies start turning up and the Clann is screaming for blood. As Tristan tries to maintain order amongst the Clann and save Savannah, he pays the ultimate price for his love.

5 Charming Things about COVET by Melissa Darnell

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Supernatural

The Clann series is filled with the supernatural. Vampires, witches, and “Covet” introduces shapeshifters. The best is that Savannah, being born from a witch and a vampire, has all the perks of being a vampire while also being able to use magic.

2. Best Friends

Anne is Savannah’s best friend and she takes this role very seriously. Not only does she accept Savannah’s tales of the supernaturals as truth, Anne doesn’t think any different of Savannah when she reveals that she is a vampire-witch hybrid. And although she is just human, Anne rushes into the battle between the supernaturals to protect her friends.

3. Tristan

In “Covet,” Tristan Coleman continues to show what an amazing fictional boyfriend he is, he is willing to give up everything for Savannah. Regardless of Clann and vampire council rules, he wants to follow his heart and be with Savannah. He goes so far as begging Savannah’s father to turn him into a vampire, knowing that it would be the end of his current life. He even takes over the Clann, something he never, ever wanted to do, in order to protect Savannah.

4. Vampire

Faced with losing him forever or turning him into a vampire, Savannah thankfully chooses the latter. While not the life she would have wanted for him, this does fix a lot of their problems. Now Tristan is no longer part of the Clann, there is no way for the Clann or vampire council to oppose Tristan and Savannah from being together as they are both vampires. The other success is that now Tristan is immortal and Savannah will not have to face watching Tristan grow old and die, facing eternity alone without him.

5. Consume

With Tristan now a full fledged young vampire with strong magic capabilities, The Clann series continues in Book 3, “Consume.”

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

Book Review: 5 Creative Things about CRAVE by Melissa Darnell


The Clann #1

by Melissa Darnell

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: Ostracized by the Clann, Savannah Colbert is just trying to survive high school without drawing the ire of her old friends. But her biggest secret is that she is still in love with her childhood sweetheart Tristan, the future leader of the Clann. As Tristan and Savanna spend more and more time together, they have a harder time denying their feelings. But if they give in to their forbidden love, they risk an all out deadly war between the Clann and vampires.

5 Creative Things about CRAVE by Melissa Darnell

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Supernatural

As a lover of the supernatural, “Crave” was a fun read simply because it featured vampires and witches. It is always interesting to see what myths and legends the author will draw upon for their supernatural world. In The Clann series, vampires are immortal, have increased senses and physical capabilities, can’t eat food, must drink blood, but due to evolution can go out in daylight. They are also descendants of Lilith. I also appreciated that there was a little role reversal as the male protagonist Tristan was the witch and the female protagonist Savannah was the vampire.

2. Tristan

Tristan Coleman is an absolutely wonderful fictional boyfriend! Not only is he charming, thoughtful, and kind to Savannah when they are dating but he was also protective of her before that too. Doesn’t hurt that he is also a hot football player who knows how to do magic.

3. Romeo & Juliet

The Clann is ultimately a retelling of the timeless classic Romeo and Juliet with supernatural beings and taking place in the modern world. Being a hopeless romantic, I loved the premise and I’m really hoping for a happily ever after for Tristan and Savannah.

4. Playlist

Melissa Darnell includes a music playlist in the back of the book featuring songs that go along with each chapter. It’s a fun little bonus to help set the tone and capture the emotions of the characters. Darnell also shows that she has good taste in music, many of the songs were already in my Itunes library.

5. Covet

As things really aren’t going their way, Savannah and Tristan’s story continues on in “Covet,” book 2 of The Clann.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.