Book Review: “Ace of Shades” by Amanda Foody (The Shadow Game #1)

‘Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.’

Entertaining. Magical. Mysterious.

“Ace of Shades” read to me like a darker version of “Caraval”, considering all the magic and performances going on in the story.

The perfectly imperfect characters – I was smitten with Levi, committed to the cause he believes in. Adorable, inexperienced kid playing adult’s game with beginner’s luck, trying to make a name for himself. Then we have Enne, ballerina who went rogue. Such flawed characters that suit each other perfectly. It was amazing to peel the layers off of these characters as I read along, getting to know them. The personality of secondary characters have also been a pleasant surprise.

The pacing of the story was excellent, however the author failed severely in terms of world development. Everything was thrown at the reader right at the start as a matter of fact rather than having the protagonist discover that knowledge methodically. It took me too long to wrap my mind around the City of Sin and its workings.

I’m having trouble with rating the writing itself. On one hand, having the Guide to the City and adding a lot of wit to the characters made for a unique read. However, whenever I came across the word “muck”, it took something away from the novel. Having a story where the protagonists are able to justify murder yet cannot swear properly is not a good mix, stops the story dead, forces a reader to realise that it’s only a book and the author is trying not to offend someone. Also, I wasn’t satisfied with a vague explanation of the card game that everyone was playing in this book, called Tropps. It seemed to be too much of a big deal to be skipped over like that.

Overall, I enjoyed the read and I am looking forward to this novel’s sequel, even though there is room to improve.

Hope you guys enjoyed this review, if you read Ace of Shades, let me know what you thought down in the comment section 🙂

Until next time, Dream On, Dreamers!

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