Book Reviews

Review: Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt

Move over heist stories. For fans of Oceans and Las Vegas Casino thefts, you’ll have to read Aces Wild. All types of fun, DeWitt’s debut is a fun nerdy and heartfelt story about friendship and family. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


What happens in Vegas when an all-asexual online friend group attempts to break into a high-stakes gambling club? Shenanigans ensue.

Some people join chess club, some people play football. Jack Shannon runs a secret blackjack ring in his private school’s basement. What else is the son of a Las Vegas casino mogul supposed to do?

Everything starts falling apart when Jack’s mom is arrested for their family’s ties to organized crime. His sister Beth thinks this is the Shannon family’s chance to finally go straight, but Jack knows that something’s not right. His mom was sold out, and he knows by who. Peter Carlevaro: rival casino owner and jilted lover. Gross.

Jack hatches a plan to find out what Carlevaro’s holding over his mom’s head, but he can’t do it alone. He recruits his closest friends—the asexual support group he met through fandom forums. Now all he has to do is infiltrate a high-stakes gambling club and dodge dark family secrets, while hopelessly navigating what it means to be in love while asexual. Easy, right?


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

Aces Wild is a book that I kind of fell in love with immediately. From the get go, I loved the set up and the tone. It felt like a direct conversation to us. Because of that we really get a close sense of who Jack is. Above all, Aces Wild is a story about revenge and (found)family. The stakes are high not only because Jack is trying to save his mom – and his family – but also it can be nerve wracking to meet our internet friends irl. Just from the premise, I adored the queer cast of characters!

Their friendship dynamics truly soothed my heart. Groups of friends and characters are always going to be a soft spot for me. What can I say? I love the banter, the teasing, the inside jokes. And these friends will really be put to the test in a trial by fire. Aces Wild is, in some ways, about a house of cards about to tumble down. Can Jack truly save his family before they fall to the ground? I loved the mix of chosen friend family and family throughout Aces Wild.

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Sure there’s plots and a heist, but it’s also a love story to family in all forms. To the people who have our back, who realize it’s a choice to be with someone – even our family. Aces Wild is a book I finished in a few days because I needed to know if Jack would be successful, but also how the friendships would develop. Find Aces Wild on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite literary heist?

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