ARC Review: Ace Of Shades By Amanda Foody

Hey, my name is Swetlana and I was finally able to read one of my most anticipated releases of 2018 and now I don’t know what to do while I wait for the sequel. It’s nice to meet you!

Genuinely, you guys. I don’t know what to do with myself right now because I have been talking about wanting to read this book since June of last year (and I’m sure so many of you are more than just tired of hearing me talk about it) and now that it has finally happened – what am I supposed to do? It’s not like I’ll get my hands on the sequel any time soon. Or that we’ll be getting any more information on what the sequel has in store (probably) – but I need more.

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But now, let’s get some actual structure going here and let me tell all of you guys why you should be reading Amanda Foody’s sophomore novel Ace Of Shades too.

ace of shades ukPlot

In Ace Of Shades, we follow 17-year-old Enne Salta, who, after receiving a letter from her mother, travels to New Reynes to try and find her. She enlists the help of Levi Glaisyer, the 18-year-old lord of the Irons – as her mother instructed her to do. Levi, meanwhile, has some problems of his own as he tries to get from under the thumb of Vianca Augustine who he is running an investment scheme for and is just one debt away from completing.

We join Enne and Levi as they search New Reynes for Enne’s mother, get in trouble with a number of people running the streets and casinos of New Reynes and end up finding themselves in much more trouble then they could have anticipated.

I absolutely adored this story so, so much. I got my hands on my copy on Friday and by Tuesday I had finished reading it because I always wanted more. More of the story. More of the characters. Just more. And I’m honestly so glad that Amanda delivered with this particular book because if we’re being 100% honest, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t love it as much as I wanted to, and boy would that have sucked.

Characters

For the entirety of this book, we follow the perspectives of Enne and Levi who both had such interesting story arcs going on!

enne salta

Back home, Enne is enrolled in finishing school and is training for her debut into society and when she finds herself at New Reynes’ harbor she pretty much is a fish out of water and you can tell by the way she approaches situations and people around her. But what I loved most about Enne is her willingness to fight and to train and do better – something she has had to do all her life already.

You can really tell how everything that Enne has learned from both school and her mother slowly moves her into a position where she is more equipped to deal with New Reynes and everything going on there. She doesn’t shy away from confrontation and is willing to risk quite a bit for people.

levi glaisyer

Levi, on the other hand, grew up on the streets on New Reynes after coming to the city at the age of 12. With the help of Reymond, he learns everything about gangs and how to run them, before starting his own gang with the Irons. When we first meet Levi, he is desperately trying to pay off his final debt and Enne’s proposition might be just what he needs to do it.

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I kept trying to say what Amanda managed to do with Twitter’s old character limit, but I couldn’t, so I’m including her Tweet here so you guys can see what I couldn’t get across.

To me, that story arc was so fascinating to read and follow along with because it put the characters in some really unfortunate positions and seeing them get out of them was so satisfying to witness!

I went into this book already feeling quite attached to these characters so I was constantly worried about them and their well being (and I had a good reason, apparently) which is a super fun reading experience, I’m telling you guys!

jac mardlin

Apart from these two, we also meet Jac, Levi’s second and yet another character on my list of characters that aren’t allowed to get hurt (too much). He really did grow on me quite quickly and his dynamic with Levi was always so fun to watch and I’m already looking forward to more of him and Lola (who we meet also) and their banter.

And while New Reynes is a city run by organized crime, we don’t get to know too many of the other gangs and their members, apart from maybe a handful of people. I do wish we had gotten more information and background on the different gangs (especially the Doves, because that’s the gang me and a bunch of other people were sorted into for the Ace Of Shades promotional street teams) but I feel like there is definitely more potential for it in the sequel (especially considering what the epilogue sets up)!

Writing

I don’t know if I didn’t pay as much attention to Amanda’s writing in Daughter Of The Burning City or what, but I absolutely loved it here! She had such a great way of setting the scenes and describing the world we found ourselves in – I actually used a bunch of sticky notes just to mark some of Amanda’s writing that I loved (which I don’t do often)!

And a big bonus for my lazy reading self (the whole preferring having someone read to me versus reading myself thing) was that Amanda’s writing was so, so easy to follow! I kept turning page after page unwilling to close the book for the night.

Enjoyment

I feel like there is absolutely no question about whether I enjoyed this book or not, right? Did I make that clear enough with this review? I hope so! But yes, I absolutely and wholeheartedly enjoyed this book and everything it had to offer me!

Some aspects that made me love this book as much as I did were (for example):

  • the character dynamics between Levi, Enne, Lola and Jac but also each of these people and their dynamics with other people separate from the group
  • the banter and sarcasm. We all know I love me a good sarcastic protagonist and between Levi and Jac we definitely had that covered really well!
  • unexpected moments that made me actually laugh out loud, or show any kind of emotion that went beyond just thinking something was great. I laughed out loud, I yelled ‘I KNEW IT!!!’, I yelled ‘NO NO NO NO NO’ and I wanted to give Amanda a big high five for including both talk about and an actual scene about female masturbation. When is the last time you read that in a YA novel?
  • the history of New Reynes. We find out quite a bit about this city and the way it used to be and the people that used to rule it and it was just so fascinating to read about and I can’t wait to learn even more in the second book!

I know when I first heard about this book, it quite often reminded me of Six Of Crows and while some aspects may still remind me of it, this book definitely stands on its own for me now. But I do think that if you enjoyed Six Of Crows, you’d like this book too!

Release Date

US: April 10th, 2018 | UK: May 17th, 2018

How To Get Your Hands On This Book

Amazon US / UK / DE | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Waterstones | Indigo!

lets chat 1

How about you guys? Are you planning on reading Amanda Foody’s Ace Of Shades? Is it already on your TBR or are you going to add it and make sure you actually read it? If not, what do I need to do to convince you guys? Do I need to yell? Do I need to beg? WHAT IS IT.

And if you’ve already read this book, what did you think? Did you enjoy it? Did you love it with your heart and soul??? Do you want to yell about it together???

Either way, let’s have a chat in the comments down below!

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12 thoughts on “ARC Review: Ace Of Shades By Amanda Foody

  1. I love how much of your passion for this book came across in your review! Reviews like that give me life ❤

    I totally agree with everything you said here. There was so much to love about this book, and I really did like how the writing style was so easy to follow, but the world building and characterisation never suffered for it.

    It would have been great to learn a little bit more about the gangs and stuff of New Reynes, but I guess this was the first book, and it had a very pointed plot that didn’t much focus on the greater world of the city. So I think there’s opportunity for more exploration in the next two books!

    I’m really excited to see how the characters grow over the arc of this series, and I honestly want them to end up happy because they’ve already been through too much in their short lives.

    Lovely review, Swetlana! I loved your graphics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH! Thank you so much for saying that, Chiara! I’ve been obsessed with this book for almost a year now so I’m really happy that it came across in the review!

      I feel like the end of Ace might’ve set us up to learn more about the gangs and whatever else is going on in New Reynes and if that’s the case – I AM HERE FOR IT.

      Me too! Though I am so, so worried these people will have to go through so much more trouble first and I don’t think I am ready for it. I went into this book already SO attached to these characters and now that I know them? My heart. My poor, poor heart.

      Thank you, I’m so happy to hear that! ❤

      Like

  2. YES HELLO since I’ve finally read Ace of Shades thanks to you, I’m here to fangirl with you 💗
    Your Review is amazing and very well written (mine will probably fangirling and screaming xD) and I LOVED the aesthetics that you incoporated into the text 😍

    Oh my god I was so worried and stressed about all those characters that I loved, you could say that I was 100% invested and rooting for them! 😀 [I LOVE ALL MY BBYS] I definitely wanted to see more of the gangs as well, so I really hope that we get to see some more of them in the sequel!

    Liked by 1 person

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