Amanda Foody created a world full of mystery where the characters fight for their lives and try to survive in a society hunted by rich people, gangs and political people who are empowered to decide for the whole town. The Ace of Shades is the first book from The Shadow game trilogy and from my perspective is one of the best young adult books so far. Amanda did a great thing with the action that is very well built. Also, the characters are interesting and they follow such a complex course and the world building is so well described that you will fall in love with the book from the first page. I think the plot is original and unique and based on a world very different from what we know from classic young adult books. The world from this book is an expression of what reality looks like lately so I think it's kind of a mirror or a metaphoric description of modern life.
The action put emphasis on the main character, Enne, a very beautiful teenager who is going to school and doing random things as a tennager should do. Everything was normal until her mother went missing and since then she has to follow her mother’s trail to a city where everything is corrupted. The action is concentrated on finding her mom or at least some answers about her past while she is developing herself. Becoming a part of the city is something that she never wanted but something that she gained.
“All you know are stories, Enne told herself. And not all stories are true.”
The world building
City of sin can be easily tagged as “Alter Vegas” because of the games that are played there and we are not talking about the usual casino games known to such as: starburst slot, table game, blackjack or many others. No, they play a sort of a poker with their lives as a stake. "People do not play this game to win, my dear. They play this game not to lose." The city is corrupted, the political system is too and there are many secrets that are about to be found by our main character Enne.
We will follow her to this city of sin where she has to find Levi, a very good looking man but very dangerous as well. He is the Iron lord. He has to lead the iron people who are by the way one of the three gangs that rule the city. Unfortunately because of a scam he got dragged into a few years ago he cannot fulfill his duties regarding the Irons. He works with Enne to help each other and follow their personal interests. Beside that, they fall in love with each other, a thing that cannot be undone. Their chemistry is visible but they deny it because of the abundance of problems they have to confront. The first and most important one is Vianca.
If the first book did not give time to develop the love story between Levi and Enne, the second and third book really put this on the main plan. While they improve their abilities and discover more information about Vianca, Ennes mothers parallel life and city rules, they also try to remain together. Enne is really brave, she makes her own team and tries to rule the city. She becomes a strong woman who makes her own decisions. This is why the following books are really intriguing because they bring new characters into the story and give them an important role as well.
Parts I did not like
To be honest, I did not like that the love story velopet so hard in the first book. I don't want to say it was boring but it was a slow burning one. Also i wish Vianca wasn't so present in their lives but i guess that was the beauty of the book.
Recommendations from Amanda Foody
I strongly recommend reading the entire series of The Shadow Games. Beside this, Amanda Foody also has some interesting books such as: Daughter of the burning city, All of us Villains and the Weeping tide.
Also, If you need more young adult books now as the winter is coming I would recommend Red Queen, Six go Crowns and the Silver Serpents that has an upcoming book which will complete the “ Absent Gods” series.
Also, you can try The winner's curse with a really original plot, or Serpent & Dove that became very popular among books lovers this year. For lovers addicted, I would say to try ``From Blood and Ash” which will really blow your mind as the chemistry is really strong and the plot very well constructed.
So, keep on reading good quality books. There you have the recommendations and most important, read the Ace of shades, you will be impressed by the dynamic of the action and how the situations change from one chapter to another. You will be thrilled by everything. Also follow their journey to the other two books: King of fools and Queen of Volts.