Title: King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2)
Author: Amanda Foody
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Date published: April 30th 2019
Page Count: 602
Source: ARC via NetGalley
In the sequel to Aces of Shades, Amanda Foody brings us back to the hectic world of rebellion, opportunities, and deadly secrets.
In New Reynes, City of Sin, Levi and Enne have gotten away from the Shadow Game with their lives intact. But their infamous actions will bother hinder there new lives while at the same time driving their lives in the North Side gangs. With the senator dead, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son to help him win the next election in return for Levi’s freedom from Vianca. Meanwhile, Enne finds herself building her own gang of women from the ground up, combine both who she was with where she is now, and show everyone who she can be.
Here are some thoughts from my friend, Christina, as she read the book.
What I Liked
- Good character development
- You see Enne grow a lot as she transforms into a notorious gang leader, building her gang of women from the ground up.
- New Reynes is much more fleshed out. It’s an interesting society, probably akin to early to mid 1900s London or New York
- In the first book the city seems really exciting with similar vibes to Ketterdam from Six of Crows (city with an underworld, crime, gang rivalry, casinos, policemen, violence, vice, etc) but more modern
- Impressive range of new characters introduced with equally cool names:
- Narinder Basra, Sophia Caro, Bryce and Ivory and Scavenger and Scythe
- Amanda Foody does and amazing job with the writing and action scenes.
- The plot always keeps you in suspense
- I loved how the story is told in small snippets and not a long dragging plot where every small consecutive event is covered. This maintained a fast-paced rhythm that was in sync with the plot.
What I Didn’t Like
- Many questions remain unanswered from Ace of shades ending:
- Who are Mizers?
- Enne’s history and background
- Who is Lourdes?
- And what about her money???
- Expected Harrison to have more of a role as the villain (think Pekka Rollins from Six of Crows)
- The story splits into 3 separate side stories which gets a bit confusing at times since the politics of New Reynes are also introduced
- Especially since many of the characters actions and plot decisions become dependent on certain things happening and those things are also dependent on other events happening so there are so many layers and layers which is a little dizzying to comprehend at times.
- (ie. Levi’s bet to further Enne’s scheme to fulfill Vianca while Levi is simultaneously helping Harrison not telling Anne this and Anne not telling Levi that and keeping it a secret from Vianca and what???)
- Too many characters and alliances
- We have to remember the candidates’ names and which side they belong to and who’s helping them and which of those people are double crossing them/ have separate agendas and which gangs are behind these people and the people they interact with in other gangs who happen to support other candidates
- Ivory reveal was so anticlimactic (like you walk in and she’s just like hi)
- Wanted more Levi-Enne romance but they kinda grew apart for majority of the beginning
- But actually at the end it was better
The main issue was the plot. Like the first book, it takes a while to get going. However, because Foody is trying to flesh out more of Enne’s world while advancing the character development of everyone else, she juggles too many things at the same time. As a result, the book left me a LITTLE bit confused at the end.
Don’t get me wrong, I really really wanted to enjoy it. But the disoriented state that it left me in really didn’t help. I’m hopeful that Foody will be able to wrap everything up in her final book.
Did you guys already read the first book, Ace of Shades?