filled star filled star filled star filled star filled star
eve23 Avatar


can quite honestly say that Ace of Spades blew my mind. I went into this book with high expectations after seeing so many people rave about it and somehow it still managed to exceed them. Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé has crafted a truly unputdownable thriller that expertly builds and draws out tension all while exploring institutionalised racism and the power found in fighting back.

I don’t often read thrillers but if they were all as brilliantly written as Ace of Spades I don’t think I could ever put them down. I was gripped from the very first page and constantly in awe of this book’s ability to up the stakes and build tension, without ever feeling ridiculous or unbelievable. In fact, what makes this book so intense is that it’s all too real. Peeling back the layers of insidiousness present in this book invoked physical reactions in me, especially once we reached the truly rotten core.

Each of Aces’ attacks on Chiamaka and Devon left me reeling and sure it couldn’t get worse but get worse it did. I don’t want to go into too much detail with this because I think it’s best to go into this book blind and just let it blow your mind. What I will talk about though is the characters. I really appreciated the dual POV and felt that it was used very effectively to carry the story while also creating two distinct, convincing perspectives. Firstly, Chiamaka, the head girl with everything going for her. I adore popular mean girl characters and find them really fun to read about, especially once they’re given depth and Chiamaka did not disappoint. Her journey with owning her Blackness rather than squashing it down to fit in was a joy to read and a narrative clearly crafted with extreme care. Quiet Devon was really the stand out for me, which is not what I had originally expected. His character development and the exploration of how Blackness intersects with queerness, particularly in the rougher environment he lives in, was really touching and so gracefully written.

Ace of Spades left me unable to form any thoughts beyond “holy shit ?!?!?!” upon finishing and, honestly, that still stands. The exploration into the rotten core of institutionalised racism provides the perfect, insidious backdrop to this high stakes thriller. Ace of Spades is an unforgettable master class in building a palpable tension that relentlessly propels its readers forwards, all while filling them with an ever present dread. This stunning debut is a must read that deserves to become the next big thing. I cannot wait to see what Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé does next – she’s definitely one to watch.