Thursday, March 29, 2018

Author Spotlight: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody + Interview

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
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.

DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is her first novel. Her second, ACE OF SHADES, will follow in April 2018.

Title: Ace of Shades
Genre: YA Fantasy
Author: Amanda Foody
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication: April 10th 2018
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Provided ARC

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody is one heck of an adventure story about a girl, Enne, and her journey to find her mother that vanished after going to a place called New Reynes, AKA City of Sin. This place happens to be a much darker version of Las Vegas with much higher stakes.

Enne is not the type of girl who should be visiting a place called the City of Sin. She is a proper girl, enrolled in school for etiquette training in order to become a Lady. But when her mother isn't back after she told her "If I'm not back in two months, I'm Dead.", Enne feels the need to go searching for her. She doesn't believe her mother is dead. Enne thinks she would be able to FEEL it if her mother was gone.

Aside from Enne's mother telling her if she wasn't back, she was dead, she also leaves a note saying a man could help her. A man named Levi Glaisyer. But Levi turns out to be a teenage boy. But this teenage boy happens to run part of New Reynes and is a pretty big influence. So Enne goes to him for help. He decides to help her but he is really just in it for the money to get himself out of a con he agreed to do a while ago. Enne is his ticket to freedom. But things start to change and maybe Levi really does want to help Enne find her mother. After all, her mother helped him out, once upon a time.

This book has such an interesting plot. The world basically feels like a giant casino run by mafia bosses and gangs. There is also this fantastical element in the book where money is called Volts and these Volts are stored either in your skin or in these little orbs that only people with a special "talent" can make. There is a huge storyline for political happenings and I think that part was the most interesting to me. Plus, people have things called talents. They get one from their mother and one from their father and something about their last names tell their talent and which talent happens to be the strongest. Enne's talent happens to be dancing. 

In the end, this book was really good. I am not the biggest fan of casinos/card games/crime apparently but I still enjoyed the book. I will definitely suggest reading this if you are a fan of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. With how much I enjoyed this book it makes me really excited to go back and read her first book, Daughter of the Burning City and it makes me even more excited to see where the next book in the series goes!

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

1) Where did you find your inspiration for Enne, the main character in Ace of Spades? 
As a teen during the height of the paranormal romance and dystopian phase in YA, I felt like all the heroines who were praised for being "not like other girls." I struggled to identify with these protagonists--not because of their interests intersecting with mine, but because of this mindset. It was refreshing to write Enne, who is very vulnerable, who has an aspiration that many other heroines in other books have scoffed at. She always felt real to me. And that made the highs and lows of her journey that much more emotional for me. 

2) Have you always written? Did you always think you wanted to be an author? 
There has never truly been a time I haven't been writing. I don't remember starting! I just always have, at every stage of my childhood. I was always unapologetically ambitious about it as well. I remember checking out the Guides to Literary Agents from my local library when I was eleven years old. Not much about me has changed.

3) If you could have any 3 literary wishes, what would they be? 
Endless space for bookshelves, the ability to read twice as fast as I do now, and more hours in the day to write! 

4) What do you think the Young Adult book genre has to say to young readers today? 
I think the YA genre specifically focuses on empowerment. It's more than about the story--it's about seeing a character like you represented in a book, about following the journey of a girl against impossible obstacles and realizing you have that power within you, too. 

5) Are you working on any new books? 
Yes! I'm giving a go at an adult fantasy novel, and I also am polishing up another YA fantasy project I'm very excited about.


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