Book Reviews

Review: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

I predicted I was going to love Ace of Spades, but then when I started I became high key obsessed. Talk about a book that picks up momentum and thrills. I finished a few days ago and I cannot get over it! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: outting, racism, racial slurs, homophobia, police stopping, mention of suicide attempt

I am obsessed with the emotional roller coaster Àbíké-Íyímídé put me through in Ace of Spades. This dual POV story is full of intrigue, suspense, and action. The narration style of both Devon and Chiamaka is unique and compelling. I immediately empathized with the way Devon felt like a side character. At the same time, I loved how driven Chiamaka is from the beginning. Àbíké-Íyímídé is able to balance character development and detail with a story line that will captivate you.

As soon as the pace begins to increase, I could not stop reading. I read Ace of Spades in two days because I was enthralled. All secrets will slither to the surface. And what other secrets are lying in wait? Not only did Chiamaka’s drive resonate with me, but her experiences as a biracial POC really got to me. While I’m not biracial, there were so many twinges, so many moments, where I thought, “oofff that gets me”. Ace of Spades is not only about intrigue and thrills, it’s also about racism and power. About the ability of rumors and what people will do to those out of cruelty.

I can’t even really comprehend the powerful thrills of Ace of Spades. Even days later. There are so many things I’m absolutely itching to talk about in this review, but there are so many spoilers involved so to save us both the heartache, I’ve abstained! But what I can say is that if you want thrills and dark academia, then Ace of Spades has to be on your list. It will intrigue you from start to finish.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find Ace of Spades on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite dark academia book?

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