Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt
Published on November 28, 2022
Reviewed by Jayde Valosin
Jack Shannon is practically Las Vegas royalty. His mom, Aileen Shannon, owns the Golden Age Hotel and Casino while Jack spends his time running a semi-illegal student gambling ring at his expensive and exclusive New England private school. Life is good, until Aileen is arrested for fraud. Now, the family's money is tied up pending investigation, Jack's stuck in Vegas, and there is a strong likelihood that Aileen's rival and onetime family friend, Peter Carlevaro, is responsible for providing the evidence leading to Aileen's arrest. Jack knows there's more to the story, and he believes that sneaking into Carlevaro's secret gambling club will give him the information he needs to help out his mom. Along with his four best friends (who he's never met in person), Jack is prepared to go undercover, break some rules, and find out the truth in order to bring Carlevaro down.
Aces Wild is fun from start to finish. While there are definitely some heavier moments and themes in the book (which is, after all, about Jack's mom's arrest and involvement in scandal), Jack's humor and sarcasm keep the book light and focused on the adventure of discovering Carlevaro's secrets. A lot of time is spent on getting to know Jack's friends, who are all members of their online asexual support group, and it is interesting to see how these characters interact with one another and Jack during their first meeting. As they are thrown into impossible circumstances, readers will love watching them overcome their differences and disagreements to help Jack. The ending isn't exactly the "happily ever after" readers might be expecting, but as Jack comes to learn more about his family, and what family means, it's certainly the perfect ending to his story.
A funny, heartwarming, wild ride!