Author: Amanda Foody
Series: The Shadow Game #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: April 10th, 2018
Warnings: Control, drug addiction, pedophilia
The Shadow Game begins in Ace of Shades. Written by Amanda Foody, this is a series that swept fans off their feet. I’m admittedly joining the party late, as the last novel in this trilogy is set to release any date now (as I write this).
The City of Sin is an aptly named location. It’s full of casinos, corrupted politicians, seedy businesses, and plenty of entertainment. It’s no place for a debutante like Enne Salta. Yet this is the exact city she has found herself in.
Why? Her mother has gone missing, and she’s on a quest to find her. The only clue she has is a name: Levi Glaisyer. That scrap of information, and a bucketful of hope, is all Enne has to go on.
For his part, Levi had no idea who Enne was before she walked in his door. All he wanted was to bring the Irons, his gang, to a new level of riches and fame. To prove himself to the world – and to himself.
“People do not play this game to win, my dear. They play this game not to lose.”
Warnings: There are some strong themes in this series, from control (magical abilities that grant varying degrees of control), to drug addiction, as well as pedophilia (which is rightly shown in a negative light here).
Ace of Shades is a novel I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about. As such, my hopes and expectations were raised fairly high. I was worried that I had raised them too high, but Ace of Shades proved to be a pleasant and delightful surprise.
Let’s start with the world that Amanda Foody has created here. It’s intense and brilliant, and I love it. I love the magical systems, the inheritance of magic, and just how comiplcated it all is. I love every single detail, and honestly I wouldn’t complain about learning a little bit more.
As for the City of Sin, that is likewise fascinating, but for a different reason. It’s the perfect place to showcase a variety of characters and abilities. All while putting Enne well outside of her comfort zone. Intentionally, of course.
Enne’s character is complex and comes with many surprises. She is nothing like what she appears, and every time it seems I’ve got a grasp of her personality, she goes and surprises me all over again.
Then there’s Levi. He’s everything that Enne is not, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. They’re two sides of the same coin, yet are about as different as that coin would ever allow. It took longer for me to appreciate his character, though I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
That being said, I did instantly take to some of the secondary characters. In a way, I feel like the series shines through those characters. I’m not sure if that was intended to not, but I appreciated it regardless.
“All you know are stories, Enne told herself. And not all stories are true.”
Ace of Shades came with a thrilling ending, and it made me so grateful (for once) that I’m behind on a series. After all, now I’m able to dive right into King of Fools, no waiting necessary. Perfect.