In an article about the asexual representation of "Aces Wild," a hand of Ace cards is on display in black, purple, pink, and green.
Illustration by Ani Jamison, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Opinion: Is ‘Aces Wild’ the Ace Representation We’ve Been Waiting for?

A brief review of the asexual representation in the Amanda DeWitt novel. 
September 23, 2023
7 mins read

Spoilers ahead!

It is a rare thing to find good asexual representation in the media, if any at all. Some fall into stereotypes and others are good examples. There has been more asexual representation coming to light recently, whether in books, shows or films. Asexuality is defined as having little to no sexual attraction. As with any other sexual orientation, it exists on a spectrum. Often referred to as “the invisible orientation,” there are scarce portrayals of it in the media relative to other orientations. 

Still, there have been notable instances where Ace representation is prominent. Some examples include novels like “Loveless” by Alice Oseman, and more recently, Amanda DeWitt’s “Aces Wild: A Heist” 

Released in September of 2022, “Aces Wild” is a heist novel focused on an all-asexual main cast. I picked up this book recently after seeing it at the bookstore this summer and I knew I wanted to give it a read. I have had my share of disappointments regarding asexual representation in novels. A book called “Beyond the Black Door” by A.M. Strickland depicts asexuality as being primarily about loneliness. The novel is still a good read and wasn’t the worst example I have seen . I wanted to see if DeWitt’s book would live up to the excitement I got when I first saw it on the shelves.

“Aces Wild” follows Jack Shannon as he gathers his all-asexual online friend group to break into a high stakes gambling club in Vegas. His mother has been arrested because rival casino owner Peter Carlevaro sold her out, and Jack wants to find out what Carlevaro is holding over his mom’s head. Jack recruits his group of friends to break into the gambling club and hopefully take down Carlevaro. Jack and his friends, Gabe, Georgia, Lucky and Remy, are all on the asexual spectrum. They have been Jack’s closest friends and support group for the past year. 

Overall, this was a fun book for me. It works well as a light, fun read. There was a mix of good and bad when it came to this book and its representation but it was good overall.


While one of the main draws to this book and how it’s advertised is that it has an all asexual main cast, even using an ace pun as the title and tagline on the cover (“Life’s a gamble. Always have an ace up your sleeve.”). “Ace” is a common shorthand for “asexual,” the book itself was more grounded in its approach and did not feel overwhelmingly like it was telling you that it was an asexual book. 

It had a story and plotline that could work for any book, and the characters just happened to be asexual. This was nice because it made the asexuality seem more normalized and grounded instead of anything odd. 

Another nice thing about the ace representation in this book is that it shows that asexuality is a spectrum. All the main characters lie somewhere different on the spectrum, with Gabe being aromantic (experiencing little to no romantic attraction) asexual, and characters like Georgia, who does not seem opposed to romance. The main character Jack seems to still be questioning whether he wants romance or not. They had a few discussions on their asexuality and the spectrum as well, which I appreciated, especially since it blended in with the conversation and didn’t seem jarring or out of place.


This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it shows that asexuals can still have a romantic relationship, but it felt misplaced that one of the beginning lines is “this is not a love story,” only for Jack to fall in love with Remy. Granted, it still wasn’t a love story, but it did include a romantic subplot, which it could have honestly gone without. It just seemed unnecessary and not much of the book would have been changed if the romance were removed. On one hand, it is nice to show that it is possible for an ace character to be in a romantic relationship, but on the other, it would have been more refreshing to not have a romantic side story.

While I appreciate that the representation didn’t feel forced and shoved in your face, I would have liked to see a little more on the characters and discussions about their asexuality and also discussions on anything, really. Perhaps just fleshing out the characters more in general would have helped with this. 

Unfortunately, the character backgrounds fell flat and did not have much going on for them aside from their names and a couple of facts. They had a fun group dynamic and nice moments, but it still felt lacking. This lack of character development made the book feel rushed and made it hard to connect with any of them. They had plenty of potential, but not enough to see it through and make this book memorable.

This book had its ups and downs, its flaws and good points, but overall it was a quick-paced, fun and silly story about a group of asexual teens breaking into a casino. It is nice to have the entire main cast be ace, but it would have been greater if these characters and their friendship felt more fleshed out. This book had a great idea going for it but it was simply a short, just-for-fun read with unfulfilled potential. With better execution, it could have really been a great, memorable book. 

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