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.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Alright, chums, strap in because I’m about to get a little bit ranty in here. I generally like to start my reviews off with a little intro – something about my personal connection to the book, or something humorous if I’m really feeling myself that day. Today, for the first time in my blog’s history, I will rant.
There are a lot of people saying that Levi, one of the MCs from this book is trying too hard to be Kaz from SOC. Now, I consider myself a SOC super fan. As I type, I can see the NMNF tattoo on my forearm, and my cat Kaz is grooming himself on my bed. So when I say that Levi is not like Kaz, I know what I’m talking about here. Lets break this comparison down:
-Is the leader of a gang
-Has a band of extremely loyal followers, the Dregs
-Likes women (exclusively to our knowledge)
-Doesn’t like to be touched
-Is relatively quiet, contemplative. Doesn’t speak unless he has something to say
-Has no magical ability
-Always wears gloves
-Is the leader of a gang
-Has a band of sort of loyal, but not really that loyal followers, the Irons
-Very much likes to be touched
-Is sarcastic and kind of brash, says what he wants when he wants, and is usually trying to annoy someone or bait them
-Has magical abilities
-Does not always wear gloves
Now that I’ve said what I needed to say on this matter, let’s discuss the book Ace of Shades. First off, the world building was fantastic. It was so creative and well done – kind of a dystopian version of Vegas, but with magic and Lords. I absolutely loved it. Foody even went so far as to create signature cocktails. There was a certain drink you ordered if you needed good luck at the tables, a different drink if you were on a winning streak, etc. Additionally, the way that she built the magic in it was pretty fun. Your magic was passed down from your parents. Your first name was your own, but the other two names indicated your magical abilities. It was a really clever way to set things up and I can’t wait to see where Foody takes it in the next book.
The main character, Enne, is someone that quite a few people found annoying at the start of the book. I’m not sure why, but I understood why she was the way she was. Imagine taking the most prissy girl you know, and sticking her in the middle of a debauched gambling city. She’d probably act exactly the way you’d expect her to. Unlike the most prissy girl I know, however, Enne quickly toughened up, doing what she needed to in order to reach her goal.
Levi was charming and fun while also managing to be a deeper character than I expected. I thought he would be kind of a player, the character to offer comedic relief. While he did offer that a number of times, his motivations were deeper and he turned out to be a well developed character in my opinion.
The only thing that irked me in Ace of Shades was the romance. Levi and Enne just kept coming up with the dumbest reasons not to kiss. Their inner monologues went something like this “If he leaned his forehead against mine, I knew I’d kiss him.”…ummmm just kiss the dude! If I were in a life threatening situation, and the person I cared about was standing in front of me? I would be on that boy like white on rice. It was just frustrating and something I hope is remedied in book two.
My Takeaway: Ace of Shades was fantastic – the world building was fun and entrancing, the main characters were well developed, and though their romance was flawed, I can wait to see what they do next. (Holy run on sentence Batman)