C.G. Drews's Reviews > Ace of Shades

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, best-of-2018, epic-fantasy, young-adult, read-2018, read-2019, reread
Read 2 times. Last read June 15, 2019 to June 25, 2019.

Right. So I've found my new book to be so utterly and absolutely OBSESSED WITH. I need at least four dozen heart eyes and sixty-two stars, is all I'm saying. This book is like an ode to Slytherin schemes and my little heart is just beating so fast. It's twisty and madly addictive and the characters are ones I absolutely love love love. I'm sobbing. Do not mind me. This is a good one.

(And yes I did like 540 status updates while reading it and I AM NOT ASHAMED.)

+ The first thing to know is that this mixes magic and con artists to PERFECTION.
I see a lot of comparisons with this to Six of Crows, and yes! It works! But also this isn't a heist book. It's about con schemes and card games. And I frikkin loved it. This is coming from someone who gets confused playing Snap and Uno, but you know. I do my best. I live vicariously through books like this.

+ The world building was so detailed and exquisite.
I can't even?!? It was flawless??? It's set in city with a sort of 1920s vibe, so it's all gangsters and casinos and grubby crime kids running around. But with MAGIC. Now it took me a while to get the hang of what the orbs/volts were, but I caught up. But everyone basically has talents, or two, and it's just super cool how it's a whole WORLD of magicked people and how they use that. And how it affects everything. I was just absolutely caught up in the City of Sin and I couldn't look away. Plus the writing is so visual and delicious that you can really see the whole thing. It's a special book that sucks you in and makes you forget you're even reading.

+ The characters?! MY HEART.
No joke, I'm absolutely smitten with both Levi and Enne. Usually with dual-narrating books I have a favourite: but not this time??? I literally can't?!? They are BOTH utter Slytherpuffs and entirely conniving little snakes, but also soft™ and caring. And their stories entwine SO beautifully. Plus the tension between them...YES. I loved this. I also will nominate this for the best slow burn romance ever because it burned so slow it was scarcely not a romance. And I liked that! The book is set over 10 days and it has SO much more story to tell. I wildly ship them but I love what the book did with it.

LEVI: your most precious and favourite cinnamon role bisexual badass how is so soft™ and also the mum friend. I can't even with this boy. He is PRECIOUS. He gets confused when people he loves betrays him because, hello, he is their mother how dare they. He's an Iron Lord and street lord and absolute con man and will cheat you out of your socks. BUT !! he loves !! his crime kids !! And knows the way to Enne's heart is to feed her cookies. All the cookies. And then some more.
ENNE: Alright, I can't even with how much I love love love this girl. She starts off as a "proper lady" and I was like "ohh she's not going to do much for me" bUT THEN SHE TURNS INTO THE BADASS OF A CENTURY. She is so cunning and will nOT sit down and be walked over. She reapplies her lipstick before saving her boy, and she will stab you with her high heeled shoe. And she's still really well mannered at the end of it all, so what can I say. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Enne is a glory and kind of terrifying. Bless her.

I also loved our little secondary characters. Include Jac who is Levi's bff and hits people who hit Levi but is secretly a giant stuffed bear. And Lola who is badass and terrifying and her and Enne's friendship is LIFE.

And I'm going to just slam my cards on the table and say OBVIOUSLY the villains were glorious.And by "glorious" I mean: what the heck someone poison them now thanks.

+ I also just loved the writing and pacing.
I've gushed about the writing already, and how it sweeps you up, but the pacing of the book was also AMAZING. The plot is full of twists and turns, the foreshadowing is excellent, and it sets the scenes so well: murder card games, con schemes gone wrong, cabarets, magic and mayhem and murder, casinos and card games and gangsta hats and cherries and lush hotels and absolutely disastrous curses.

SMOL LIST OF OTHER THINGS TO LOVE:
☆ every time Levi and Enne breathe
☆ Raymond getting frustrated because Levi and Enne are supposed to be scheme but Levi's off kissing boys and Enne's getting drunk and girl-advice about lipstick and murder
☆ every time Enne stabs something and is like "well they had it coming"
☆ unapologetic love of cookies
☆ beautiful and respectful diversity rep (POC, bisexual lead, gender-fluid secondary character)
☆ every time Levi is a sweetheart
☆ every time Enne exists
☆ the delightful twists
☆ card games of DEATH
☆ my heart beating out of my chest



+ Honestly there are no downsides.
Ohhh well I mean I laughed at the "muck" instead of fuck, but I do understand. But it just felt funny to have gangsters yelling "MUCK!" when they get shot but ya know. It was not the worst swear-swap I've ever read, so I'm okay with it.

Is this book in your life? No? THEN GET ONTO THAT. It's definitely going on my "best of the year" shelf and my heart is just so full right now. It delivered characters I fell in love with, an excellent plot, excruciatingly highstakes, a lot of magic and murder and mayhem, and a wicked city of schemes and backstabbing plots that you just can't look away from. 10/10 and I need the sequel like yesterday omg.


Leaving him to cool down for a moment, she brought in a plate of cookies from the kitchen. Six for her, two for him.


He stood up awkwardly and picked up the glasses and the now-empty box of cookies. "You ate all of these." He tossed the box back on the table.
"You had some."
"Yeah. Maybe two."
"You said they were just for me." She stuck out her tongue.
He laughed. "I'll have to steal more for you tomorrow from the breakfast room."
she liked the idea of him keeping cookies here for her. It gave her more of a reason to come back.


(Also if you need hilarious meme/textposts go to this twitter thread it's such a thing of beauty. I'm dYING OF LAUGHTER.


*:·゚✧*:·゚✧

REREAD 2 | June, 2019

Look I loved this book a lot last year but that does not mean, under any circumstances, I will remember it enough to read a sequel. 😂 So I went BACK, before King of Fools, and tried the audiobook this time! I wouldn't say it was my favourite audio? But tolerable. And I always absorb details better via audio so I felt I had a better grip on the magic system, the orbs, and the talents, etc.

and may I just say...yes. very much yes. I adored it. Like crime families, cities of sin, antiheroes, knives and lipstick...absolutely all my favourite things. Also Levi is so so Soft™ I just spent half the time trying not to laugh. Enne is tougher than him in like 7 days in New Reynes. I maintain Enne has one of the best ever arcs, with being such an innocent schoolgirl at the start and in the end she's just "POWER. LIPSTICK. MURDER. 👏🏻 LET'S GET IT DONE LEVI. 👏🏻" While Levi has a panic attack. Iconic duo.

(However I did have a few more hesitation moments in this reread, including how it insinuates a lot of potentially rapey scenes (also it seems to indicate subtly Vianca is sexually interested in Levi which...doesn't feel YA lol oh) and the "muck" really bothered me aaaaand...I didn't realise it the two main secondary character deaths were both queer people. 😐)

But otherwise, it's still the 1920s style epic fantasy of luscious wickedness, plot twists, and highstakes that I quite need. Ok ok bring on bk 2 now.
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Reading Progress

September 28, 2016 – Shelved
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 3, 2018 – Started Reading
May 4, 2018 –
page 92
22.38% "everything about this is addictively glorious 😍😍and SLYTHERIN"
May 4, 2018 –
page 162
39.42% "LEVI IS THE MUM-FRIEND."
May 5, 2018 –
page 220
53.53% "Enne: I made some cookies.
Levi: aww so nice can we share them?
Enne: yes of course
Enne: [gives herself 6 and him 2]"
May 5, 2018 –
page 290
70.56% "Levi: I'm a nasty criminal street lord.
Person: [is mean to Enne]
Levi: ok listen here you little shit you be nice to her show some compassion she is just doing her best and"
May 6, 2018 –
page 378
91.97% "I'm sCREAMING and shall continue for absolutely forever ok that is all"
May 6, 2018 –
page 390
95.59% "Levi: how long has that body been here?
Enne: oh..you know...a bit
Levi: since yOU KILLED HIM?????
Enne: *shrugs* yeah he was bad tho"
May 6, 2018 – Shelved as: 5-star
May 6, 2018 – Shelved as: best-of-2018
May 6, 2018 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
May 6, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 6, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
May 6, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 15, 2019 – Started Reading
June 25, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
June 25, 2019 – Shelved as: reread
June 25, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Leona (new) - added it

Leona  Carstairs This is like the first fangirly review I've seen of this book, AND IT MAKES ME WANT TO READ IT EVEN MORE THAN BEFORE.


Lexie Ooh wow this is making me want to try this book sooner it seems good! :D


message 3: by AHHHHHH (new) - added it

AHHHHHH I’m adding it to my TBR because it seems to have a healthy dose of cookies in it, which is something I want in books.


Britney Dillon I loved this one, too. Amanda Food is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors. It's like she just gets me and my inexplicable desire for sassy, stabby characters who will poke your eye out without chipping her nails, and then go home and drink tea...


Britney Dillon FoodY. Stupid auto-correct.


C.G. Drews @Leona: sooo much fangirling from me. ALL THE FANGIRLING. 😂

@Lexie: YES YES DO IT!!


C.G. Drews @Ahhhh: It has a hugely healthy dose of cookies, like the cookie appreciation here is beautiful and noteworthy.

@Britney: I'm glad you liked it! (3stars must be high for you then?) I adored her debut as well.


message 8: by Charley (new) - added it

Charley Robson I need this book yesterday.


C.G. Drews @charley: yOU DO. Everyone does. I'm just going to be shouting about it for years tbh.


message 10: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Ginny: YESSSS


Morgan Radley You forgot to add: SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION


message 12: by Carolin (new) - added it

Carolin Wahl Sounds amazing.


message 13: by Adriana (new) - added it

Adriana "what the heck someone poison them now thanks." - lol.


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