Today I am really pleased to take part in the BlogTour for Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody. It is an exceptional dystopian tale with elements of urban fantasy woven into the intricate world-building and fascinating plot. Definitely an author to watch out for!
About the Author
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.
About the book
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…
Enne is thrown into the deep end of the big city dirty world of New Reynes when she sets out to search for her mother. Her search leads her to some surprising secrets about her own identity. All those years of being mediocre and sub-par at her inherited talents makes sense, because she isn’t who she thinks she is or who her ‘mother’ told her she was.
Unfortunately her real identity not only makes her one of the most hated people in the city, it also makes her one of the most wanted. This would be enough trouble for any innocent in a cruel, harsh and ruthless environment, and should put her in a permanent state of fear, but something strange is happening to Enne. She feels herself rising to each challenge.
Instead of fear she feels a natural instinct to survive, instead of backing down she defends herself and attacks. Her natural born instinct and talents are slowly but surely taking over, which also means other people will start to realise the truth too.
This reminded me a wee bit of The Lies of Locke Lamora, in a big city gang sense, but with a focus on elemental magic and talents. The characters are strong, memorable and the plot is provocative and innovative. I really enjoyed it.
Foody combines a dystopian world with an element of urban fantasy, and she does it exceptionally well. I am also glad the author didn’t feel the need to meld fantasy and dystopia with the en vogue teeny romance aspect we often see in the YA sub-genre. It is usually detrimental to an intricate fantasy with complex world-building. So kudos to Amanda Foody for steering clear of that particular overused storyline.
Amanda Foody is definitely an author to watch, an emerging talent on the YA scene and building quite a fan-base as we speak. I was intrigued by the reading of the blood in regards to genetically inherited talents, and the association of talents through both maternal and paternal name-giving. I am looking forward to King of Fools (Shadow Games #2). This series has a lot of potential.