Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody
From Goodreads: Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.
Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.
After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.
Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.
Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…
Once again, I’m trying to do better with regular posts! I’ve gotten so far behind, but in all honesty recent pandemic stuff has just sapped my ability to focus on anything. Thanks to all the followers who are still reading my reviews, it really does mean a lot to me!
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book, even though I didn’t get around to posting before the release date!
I really really loved Ace of Shades when it first came out. It was a combination of a lot of things I love, including a good dose of Six of Crows vibes, which definitely sold me on it. Plus, it was different enough from those things to draw me in and keep me hooked. When King of Fools was released, I was a little bit less impressed, if only because I felt like the story was a touch too convoluted compared to the relatively simple and riveting first novel. So when the final instalment in the trilogy came out, I was a but apprehensive- I wasn’t sure if it would live up to the hype I felt when I finished the first book.
Thankfully, it was a really good read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were definitely the element that held my attention- I love how Foody crafts her characters to seem so multifaceted. Enne is simply fascinating, and it was interesting to see how she was coping with the fall out from the previous novel. It was nice to see some of the vulnerability shining through, especially since she’s grown so much since the start of Ace of Shades. It felt like a good and satisfying character arc, to see her go from slightly naive to cunning and seemingly ruthless, to scared and trying to survive again. And then obviously there was Levi, who I just love. Again, having an insight into his thoughts was riveting, and I thought Foody did an amazing job of showing how he was grappling with his feelings for Enne, while also hating what she’s done. I did like seeing bits of Lola and Sophia and some of the other characters too, but while I thought they were well-developed and interesting, they didn’t quite hold my attention as much as the main characters, but there’s probably a reason for that… (potential minor spoiler ahead)
And that reason was likely the romance. I have two romance tropes that are a true guilty pleasure- fake dating and hate to love stories. Somehow, this book gave me both of these things wrapped up in a neat little bundle. AND I WAS LIVING FOR IT. There was something truly delicious about seeing Enne and Levi angsting and pining all over the place and it was just amazing. 10/10 for the romance.
In terms of the plot, it was a touch confusing at times, and hard to follow in places. The whole concept of Bryce’s game was really awesome, and when I first realised the huuuuge stakes involved in this game of what is essentially Assassin, I was giggling with glee trying to figure out how the hell this was going to pan out for all the characters. It was a little bit like that episode of GoT when all my favourites went beyond the Wall for a whole episode- I was terrified of taking my eyes off the page in case I missed anything. I was sure I was going to have to watch some of my favourites dying in one another’s arms. It did turn out to get confusing in places though, as people tried to find loopholes or just played the game. It was hard to always know what was happening, and I think that definitely made the ending a little fuzzy for me. While I enjoyed it, it was convoluted at times, and I think the ending could have definitely done with a bit more fall out from the game itself. Without giving away too much, it felt a little too neat.
For me, the politics was a definite highlight. All of the intrigue and manipulation and things really added to the worldbuilding. It’s a city full of people playing games and a load of criminals tricking one another, so the politics combined with the game added so much underlying tension to the plot and I craved it so badly! In all honesty, I’d love to read some spin-off stories set in this world, because there’s so more to be tapped into here!
Overall, I’m giving Queen of Volts a 9/10. I really loved seeing all the characters again, and I was so invested in them living through the Shadow Game that I was on the edge of my seat reading this book. And the romance arc was simply amazing. However, I found the ending a little too neat and the plot (particularly as the book headed towards the ending) convoluted in times. However, the game itself was so intense and I loved it a lot. I’d happily recommend this series to anyone who loves to read about criminals and high stakes!
Has anyone else read this book already or plans to? What do you all think of it? Let me know in the comment section down below