Author: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Rating: 5 Stars
Devon and Chiamaka are students at the elite Niveus Academy. They are both smart, talented, and the only black kids at this school. This is not by concidence. However, Chiamaka and Devon haven't thought about the why of this until their senior year when they both get assigned to be the head students. After this happens, things start to get not just scary but downright terrifying for these two kids.
Devon was a surprise vote for the head boy, because up until that point he went through school with only one person he called a friend, but it was more like someone who was just friendly so Devon called it a friendship. Anyway, that's how he and Chiamaka get to know more about each other. It's also how they realize they are both getting messages from someone calling themself Aces.
I don't want to give away what happens throughout the book because if you haven't read it yet, I want you to be surprised and to enjoy every minute of this book. So let me say this:
I loved the characters in this book. Let me be more specific: I love Devon, Chiamaka, and Devon's mom. I hated all the other characters. The characters are so well written and really show how fear and terror can affect people. The two main characters also show a lot of smarts in this book as well because they research and learn so much about their schools twisted history.
The characters also played well with and off each other, in the sense that what happened between them and what built up worked. Each character was also very distinct (and in many cases was a complete fuckwad in their own right.)
Ace of Spades did a great job of setting up the story and ramping up the terror and the twists with each passing page. There were so many holy crap moments in this book that I wanted to throw my kindle across the room. The book was gripping and terrifying and so horrific and I loved it all.
This book also did a great job of delving into the world of systemic racism and the way white people have really gone to great lengths to push down black people (you know it's true. We have not been good.) The way this book looks at how education has impacted black people, the way poverty has impacted black people, and the way all of that has continued to benefit white people is not surprising, but it is a topic that we all need to continue to talk about and read about.
I was shocked at just how deep the events in the book went, and how every single person at the school, and the alumni, and so many more, were involved in the events that happened to Chiamaka and Devon. I kept thinking it couldn't possibly get any worse, and then bam - it was just truly terrifying.
I highly recommend this book to all readers. This is one thriller every single person needs to get their hands on right now.
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