[ARC] Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Rating:

3half

Review:

Enne is a society girl at a finishing school in Bellamy, awaiting her mother’s return from a trip. When her mother doesn’t return from New Reynes, Enne takes the advice of her mother’s last message which said:

”If a storm were to further delay my return or another unforeseen circumstance occurs, you can speak to Mr. Levi Glaisyer, a friend of mine who lives in New Reynes. He will be glad to assist you.”

New Reynes is nothing like the Bellamy that Enne grew up in, it is full of gambling, vice and gangs. Armed with The City of Sin: A Guidebook, Where to Go and Where Not To, Enne sets off to discover what happened to her mother. Along the way, she discovers the truth about herself and her past.

Levi is in a bind, he works for the St. Augustine casino and leads a gang known as the Irons. He needs a lot of money and he needs it now. Levi agrees to help Enne look for her mother in exchange for the money he needs to pay off his debts. Levi helps Enne navigate New Reynes (Though honestly – between the number of mistakes he makes, and the things he doesn’t know…I’m not sure what kind of gang leader he is. He even doesn’t know about an important location IN HIS OWN TERRITORY)

This book took me a little while to get into. The first 30% or so of the book is heavy on the world-building, some of which is confusing (Mizers, Monarchists, inherited talents – some of which manifest physically? Do all of them manifest physically? Also, why does the leader of a gang work for someone else?) Most of my questions were answered latter in the book. It’s also kind of awkward to pronounce a character’s name like the letter ‘N’ in my head and most of the character names are one letter away from ‘normal’ names, which makes them weird to read.

  • Enne – Anne
  • Reymond – Raymond
  • Jac – Jack
  • Etc.

My main complaint is that the book felt a bit superficial. The relationships between seemed oddly stilted and I didn’t feel much of a connection between any two. We’re told certain characters like each other, but it’s not really demonstrated. I just didn’t feel their relationship.

Overall, it was an interesting read, and if you get a chance, I’d pick it up, especially if you’re into cities full of sin and vice. Personally, I think this is more of a library borrow than a shelf buy though.

Recommended for fans of:

Daughter of the Burning City, Caraval

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