After finishing Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, I have to admit that I’m somewhat at a loss for how to express my feelings about it. It’s one of those situations where I can see some of the glaring problems with it, but I also enjoyed reading the book far more than I enjoyed reading some others that might not have had these problems. And I have absolutely no idea why. I personally didn’t care at all about Six of Crows–didn’t hate it or think it was bad, just didn’t care–and so all the comparisons are, I think, a bit ridiculous. This is an entirely different book with an entirely different plot and simply because the characters can be slightly compared doesn’t mean that they should. I don’t think they are similar enough to warrant everyone referring to this novel as trying to be Six of Crows. That said, I do recognize merit in much of the criticism that has been given for this novel. It was decent, but it was nothing mind blowing.
Ace of Shades follows Enne Salta as she navigates the world of New Reynes, or the City of Sin, in order to find her now missing mother. A dancer with no real connection to the world of crime, Enne goes to find a man mentioned in one of her mother’s letters with the intention of having him help her find the woman who raised her. Levi Glaisyer, a gang lord, is in way over his head with a scam he’s been working and is in debt to a rather dangerous man for 10,000 volts, the rather fascinating form of money they have in this world.
Now, I know a lot of people have criticized the world and the magic system, but I frankly found it fascinating. In fact, I think it was one of the higher parts of the entire novel and certainly earned points from me. The idea of a currency being the electricity stored in one’s skin and pulled out into orbs called volts was just wonderfully fascinating. The story itself wasn’t anything phenomenal, but it was definitely enough to keep my attention. I agree that Levi doesn’t really seem strong enough as a person to be the lord of an entire street game, however considering the fact that he appears to have had help I am willing to suspend my disbelief here.
While the book is not one that I will read again, I am did enjoy it enough to spend some time reading the upcoming sequel.