Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
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 review will probably be a bit of a rambling mess (yes, I know, what else is new). There were so many things that happen in this book that would be spoilers and I’m doing my best not to give anything away.
I really loved this book! Amanda Foody created such a cool world full of gambling, danger, and death.
“Some say the City of Sin is a game, so before you arrive-ask yourself, dear reader, how much are you prepared to lose?”
New Reynes, the City of Sin, reminds me of a more dangerous old school Las Vegas with magic. There are mobsters, street games, gambling, and danger everywhere you go. There really is no one you should fully trust and there are rules to follow.
Enne Salta finds her way to New Reynes because her adopted mother is missing. Enne is determined to find her and get back to her finishing school before fall. But Enne finds out that everything she believed was a lie. Her mother, Lourdes, was very deep in New Reynes and was a reporter there. She told Enne very little about her birth parents. Each person has a split talent. One from their mother and one from their father. Enne’s should have been dance and arithmetic. But she wasn’t very good at math and she had to work very hard to be a decent dancer at her school. She was never the best. Still, Enne trusted Lourdes and assumed she told her the truth.
As soon as Enne arrived, she found herself in trouble and got a little bit of help from Jac, an iron. He brings her to his lord, Levi, because Lourdes told her to find him if she was ever in trouble. There are three gangs in New Reynes. The Scarhands, run by Reymond, was the biggest. The scarhands were the counterfeits and handled weapons trade. The Doves were assassins. Their lord, Ivory, had white hair and all the Doves dyed their hair to match. The Irons were the gang of gamblers and cheats run by Levi. They were the smallest gang and lived in Olde Town. Levi was found as a child by Reymond and they remained friends when Levi became a lord of another gang. But their relationship was kept quiet. Jac was Levi’s second, and also his best friend.
Levi knew Lourdes and owed her a favor. He agreed to help Enne find her, but at a price. Levi had been running a scam for his boss, Vianca, and he needed volts (payment) within 10 days or he would be killed. He owed Sedric Toren, the don of the Torren family who ran a drug and gambling empire.
As Enne spends more time in New Reynes, she starts to realize that she’s not as naive as she really seems. She ends up working for Vianca and is surprised at the things she is able to do. Enne goes looking for more information about who she really is and not just for Lourdes. Every day in New Reynes is dangerous, but she’s always finding new clues. Enne also finds herself getting closer to Levi and she wants to protect him as much as she can.
There is a dark history of New Reynes and Enne and Levi find themselves in deeper trouble than they expected. In the end, they have to play to live.
I loved everything about this book. There is a lot of action, great characters, and an interesting game to learn about. The pacing was good and I cannot wait for book two. I ship Levi and Enne. Jac and Lola were such great side characters and I adored both of them. There is also a decent amount of diversity in the book.
Warnings: I would recommend this book for 15+. There is some talk of sex and there is a man who is a pedophile. There is also drinking and drug use. Really, a lot of crimes and violence. Some of it was a bit graphic.
I gave this one 5 stars and highly recommend it.
Thank you to Amanda for sending me a copy for review. #AceofShades #Irons #ShadowGang
Don’t forget that Amanda has a pre-order special for Ace of Shades. I already have mine ordered and can’t wait to see the finished copy.
Are you excited for Ace of Shades? Have you already read it? If so, what did you think?