REVIEW: Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide

December 10, 2021

Ace of Spades

Faridah Abike-Iyimide 

Our narrators Chiamaka and Devon are Queer, Black, Muslim, women, gay although these are how other people perceive and treat them, to each other they are friends who share. The plot follows the threats and sabotage of these two brilliant students by the shadowy Aces, who hunts down indiscretions from their pasts, posting them publicly to try to drive them out. They are the only two students of colour in this otherwise all white, and very rich Academy. The powerful storyline takes a solidly intersectional viewpoint of the institutions, narrative and characters allowing us to feel the pressure and positioning of our two main protagonists as they cope with the situations they find themselves in.

It’s a story not just of jealousy and privilege, but also of bigotry,  targeted hate, entitlement, fear and exposes the deep secrets of the British prestigious educational institutions– here presented as the  fictional academy Niveus. It’s successes are rooted in systemic oppressions of Black peoples and who benefited from slavery, colonialism, Empire and the continued silences of the privileged moneyed classes who maintain their hold on society and were complicit in that historical exploitation.  Think ‘Get out’ mixed with ‘Gossip Girl’. If that sounds heavy, it is, so step up, but this thrilling narrative – which is one of the fastest paced books I’ve read in a while – will genuinely grip you.

If you like books about sinister powerful elitist organisations who use all sorts of nefarious tricks to keep their holds on power you’ll love this book, but look in the mirror as it’s not a conspiracy thriller but the fictionalised narrative of institutionalised racism and individual prejudice focused against  brilliant students told by a loud proud Queer Black voice.  The twist is audacious, and the writing keeps you close to the thudding heartbeat of this electrifying plot. Abike-Iyimide is a tour de force and her explorations of friendships and gay and bi relationships are done with a tender honestly. Although aimed at teenage readers, this is a book for anyone with an appetite for authentic British Queer Voices who combine passionate, thrilling narrative with a vibrant intersectional social conscience. More please!

Out now Paperback £8.99

For more info or to order see the publishers website here: