Thank you, NetGalley for the chance to read this ebook for free in exchange for an honest review
This is the first book I've read by Amanda Foody and I look forward to discovering more of her work. I think Amanda has a talent for edge-of-your-seat writing and when the story gets going it’s wonderfully spectacular. This is a fast-paced book, brimming with excitement and thrills, romance and violence, and sees the transformation of the female protagonist (Enne) grow from a naive young girl, into a brave, and potentially dangerous, young woman. Despite the fast pacing there was a good amount of plot twists along the way, a few I didn’t see coming. Then we have the world building which was very detailed, complex, and interesting which made the world easy to picture.
Amanda has created a rich world, teeming with life that reaches out from its pages, you almost feel like you’re one of the characters witnessing the events that unfold. The story takes place in New Reynes that is deliciously sinful and seductive world, similar to the gritty extravagance of a Las Vegas-style capital. New Reynes is split in two,, almost all the events take place on the North side which is basically a crime den with different gangs and crime/mafia-like families
The characters take a while to get to know, but it meant I appreciated it all the more when a detail was revealed. The character’s development was a big part of what kept me reading and also part of why I’m really curious to see where the story will go in the sequel. The characters all beautiful and flawed and fantastically unique in their own way. The book is told through two different alternating points of views (Enne and Levi).
Enne Abacus Salta
Enne is a great heroine. She comes to New Reynes scared, naive and a little snobbish and is thrown into the City of Sin where everything goes. By the end of the book, her development is believable and it flowed smoothly, there wasn’t a moment where she was her old self and then suddenly the next moment she was someone else entirely.
Levi is the second main character and he might be one of my favourite male protagonists in YA that I’ve read this year. He takes great pride in being the Iron Lord and he genuinely cares for the kids in his gang. He dreams of being “king” but he’s broken and trapped and but keeps his poker face in front of the world. He’s also bisexual (there aren’t labels for sexuality in this world but it’s pretty clear) and let me tell you how happy it made me to see male love interest and shows attraction to both boys and girls in a book.
The story revolves around the search for Enne’s mother, Lourdes. Enne and Levi meet early on and they both realize they need to stick together for different reasons. Their search leads them to dangerous places where nothing is as it seems. Enne is being introduced into the world of dark secrets, shadowy casinos and risky jobs. Levi helps Enne get a job but he unknowingly puts her in even more danger. Enne has to adapt quickly, she needs to be tough and resilient to stay alive and she has to find allies among strangers. The story is split into ten sections a countdown of the ten days until Levi has to pay back a sum of money or give his life is forfeit this helps the passing of time in the book. I enjoyed the countdown aspect in this book as I find in some book it can seem like a couple of days has passed next thing you know it’s months if not a year later. From the moment Enne sets foot in the city her life becomes a gripping whirlwind that kept me on the edge of my seat. Maybe a few things were a little bit too convenient , but I personally I found it didn’t really affect the story enough to destroy the suspension of disbelief and didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book.
The story is enchanting and unusual and I would highly recommend Ace of Shades, it's a marvellous dynamic and unpredictable adventure.