Ace of Shades
Shadow Game #1
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.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Drug Addiction, Gambling, Torture, Violence, Pedophilia
First book of 2018 and I’m mad. I’m upset that I waited so long. I’m mad at that ending… I’M MAD THAT I HAVE TO WAIT A YEAR FOR THE NEXT ONE.
Enne Salta heads to the City of Sin to look for her mother who has been missing for four months. She only has one source that her mother mentioned, Levi Glaisyer. Levi is a con man who is trying to pay his debts to get his gang back to where it use to be. He offers to help Enne find her mother because he thinks Enne will be able to help solve his problems.
First off, this book was wild. We have gangs and talents and desire and cons and a Shadow Game which honestly? Blew my mind?
At first, the plot was confusing— yes, Enne and Levi’s separate plots were easy to follow, but they kept foreshadowing this Shadow Game which didn’t make its full appearance until late in the book. And though I’m still kind of grasping what it is, that whole scene was amazing. But, there are still some things that weren’t explained, though I guess that’s what we have the sequel for.
The magic system was so interesting— there are varying gifts that people master in from dancing to mathematics to fire and metal… there’s a large range. Seeing how people inherit them was something I looked forward to learning.
But the world building in general was easy to grasp, gangs and casinos and basically a really messed up Vegas. And watching our main character navigate it with a ominous note her mother have her and luck was a ride.
I think the best part of this book was the characters. I’ll start with Levi because I instantly clicked with him. This chaotic bisexual- charming, young and though a street lord, had some issues that ultimately led to his downfall. I just loved him so much. His kindness in this city that takes and takes was a bit of a surprise because of course I was expecting a Kaz Brekker type of character.
And Enne easily became one of my favorite characters… of all time
no it’s not too early to decide these things. Her character development was so fluid and believable and I cheered my ass off. And when you put the two together? THE SPARKS.
They had chemistry and their relationship is still in the we shouldn’t, but I want to phase… but the book takes place in a span of ten days sooo…. it hasn’t been that long I’m just impatient.
And the relationships of course grabbed my heart. I loved the dynamic between Enne and Lola; how it went to enemies to begrudging acquaintance to friendship. Even the relationship between Enne and her mother— who is genderfluid, the love between them was something you could clearly see despite her mother being missing.
I am a little confused on the villain, she was definitely creepy, but I have an almost solid feeling that there are bigger chips in the background. But, this was a great start to the new year.