Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Series: The Shadow Game
Published by Harlequin Teen
Release date: April 10th, 2018
Top 3 Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk
My rating: Set it on fire/If you have nothing else to read/you need to read it/Run and buy it.
Source: ARC on NetGalley
To buy the book: CA • US • FR
Add to: Goodreads
Hey guys! Care to take a trip with me to New Reynes? To play a little with your soul in the City of Sin? Come on! Take your chance! You won’t regret it!
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.
Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.
The City of Sin…
« Don’t reveal your emotions.
Trust no one.
Never find yourself lost. »
If the discovery of New Reynes was slow at first, it quickly became addictive. Amanda Foody created here a dangerous and dark city, where secrets have more power than money and where you can lose your life before you know it. Imagine a world of smoke and poisons, songs and pistols, games and tricks… and there you are, in New Reynes. We enter it as tourists, just like Enne at the beginning of the book, cautious but curious. But as the book goes on, we become players. And the city plays a dangerous game! That is what Enne will learn, just as Levi, who thought he knew the city well. But what he knew was only the beginning, and a new game just started!
A steampunk/magical vibe
While reading this book, I felt like a mix of old Far West towns, steampunk, and magic. I won’t lie, it also reminded me a lot of Six of Crows, sometimes a bit too much, but not enough to be a real bother. Like, there were similarities, but enough differences too.
In this world, people have two talents, inherited from their parents: a blood talent, stronger, and a split one, weaker. These talents can help them with their job, like being a math genius or making orbs (a part of what represent money in this world). Others can get you killed. During this book, we will discover more about each character’s talents, as well as the most dangerous one. I really enjoyed the part magic had in this book, present, but not too much. Just enough to tip the balance and make things more interesting!
Characters you can only love!
I will be honest, at first, I hated Enne, I could not stand her, her thinking, her reactions. She was always crying and complaining. But then, she transforms through the book, like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. She becomes so much more than what she was (or maybe, she just uncover it). And in the end, I loved her and I wanted to keep following her adventures.
As for Levi, the second main character, I loved him from his first appearance. His doubts and his hopes, still so pure even after years in the City of Sin. He was great from the start, and stayed great all through the book!
» Her guidebook had been wrong about one thing: the most dangerous part of the City of Sin wasn’t the beckoning of the card tables or the threat of the gangs. it was the allure of Levi Glaisyer’s roguish smile. »
We also meet Jac and Lola, sidekicks that I hope we will learn more about!
As for the enemies of our heroes, they are simply terrifying and ruthless! Their powers are dangerous and you’d better stay out of their way. Unfortunately for Enne and Levi, they have a third talent: to make powerful enemies!
In a few words
New Reynes was magical, dangerous and dark. It twists all souls that enter and we will follow how it changes sweet innocent Enne into something else, someone else. After a slow beginning where it was hard to really get into the world and the story, I was captivated by the plot, the characters, and the City itself! The Shadow Game just started… and I can’t wait for the next move!
See you for a cup!