Update (June 12, 2018): I have decided to lower my rating to 3 stars. The previous disclaimer come out as hostile because I originally gave the book the rating I wanted to give it, and not the rating I felt it deserved based on my review.
Number of pages: 416
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 3
Disclaimer: I was a part of the street team for this book. I pre-ordered it with my own money and did not receive anything I wouldn’t have had I not be a part of the street team. My thoughts are honest and my own.
I’ve been avoiding writing this review, but I am not going to lie for this book. Before I get into this, I really did like Ace of Shades. I don’t have many substantial reasons for liking Ace of Shades, but I did like it. Without further ado, on with the review that is nowhere near as positive as I wanted it to be.
First let’s talk about the world-building, since that’s mostly what this book is. This is very obviously a set up book. It introduces the characters and explains the world. And boy does it ever explain the world. Within the first few chapters we have Enne explain this complicated thing with these people who were kings and that the world is now a republic and how these kings created this thing called Volts that you eventually have to figure out for yourself is what the currency is called. I was very close to calling these explanations (which are frequent) “info-dumps”, but that isn’t really accurate. It’s a lot to handle at once because it’s so complicated, but the entire world isn’t explained in the first few chapters because that was what the whole book was for.
And after the many explanations we got, I still have questions. I can’t put any of them here because they would not only spoil the book, but they would also take a long explanation of the world to understand.
Nothing really happens. Like the search for Enne’s mother kind of felt like an excuse to wander around New Reynes and explain some more stuff. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but if you’re looking for an action packed plot I’m not sure you’re in the right place.
I will say that once we got to the game the tagline refers to (which took place near the end) I was hooked, but it spans like 3 chapters and then it’s over. I stayed hooked for the rest of the book, but the staking of souls in a deadly game was very limited in my opinion. I feel like the book as a whole should have felt more high-stakes than it did.
If you hate made-up swear words stay far away from this one. I didn’t mind the use of made-up swear words, but I have seen a lot of angry reviews upset about them. The main one used is “muck”, which my brain kept trying to replace with another word, but “muck” isn’t used like said other word. If that is going to bother you are going to have a miserable time reading this.
I did like the characters. With everyone excluding Enne, I feel like there wasn’t much substance to them (yes this includes our second POV character Levi), but I just immediately liked them.
Enne was by far my favourite character. Not only do I feel like she actually experienced a lot of growth in the book, but it was also nice to see a female character who actually wants to be a lady. It’s so common for girls in YA to reject the rules they have to follow based on their place in society, but Enne actually wants to be a lady and follow those rules. She also likes wearing make-up and dressing up. It’s fun for her, and now girls who like stuff like that get to see themselves in a character instead of being shamed for liking what they like.
Overall, Ace of Shades wasn’t perfect and I have a lot of critiques, but I did enjoy it. I’ve decided to give it 3 stars out of 5.