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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
5 Stars
174 reviews have 5 stars
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All Book Reviews

  • A Darker Shade of Meh

    This was an interesting read. It's not the kind of story that drags you in from the beginning. Instead, it slowly wraps around you and quietly compels you to stay with it until the end. While there was tension at various points, it never seemed to make me feel it as much as the author may have intended. The main male protagonist is a blood-magician by the name of Kel who's job is to be an interdimensional postman. He was decently written and had a touch of the mysterious about him, but I didn't find him to be a very strong or interesting character overall. In fact out of all the named characters we encounter over the course of this book, I found him to be one of the most boring. The most intriguing character, on the other hand, is an ordinary (non-magical) street rat by the name of Delilah Bard or simply Lila. Lila has lived quite the hard life and has had to fight and scrape at every single turn in order to survive and carve a spot for herself in the harsh world that she calls home. At virtually every step of the way she's surrounded by stronger, more powerful, more ruthless individuals and yet somehow she always makes it through. I believe this to be because Lila has one simple focus - to survive. I don't know if I'll read more of this series or leave it alone, but if I do it will be to find out what trouble finds Lila and not necessarily caring about the ongoing pursuits of Kel.

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    6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • This is definitely a book to be experienced!

    This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk. I really don't know how to put my thoughts into words right now. This book was amazing! I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have high expectations going into this one, what with all the hype surrounding this series. There is such high praise for it, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I think that the hype, in the end, kind of tainted my expectations a bit. Don't get me wrong because I loved this book. But I feel that without all the heightened expectations I may have enjoyed this book more. Expectations aside, this is one fantasy world that you won't want to miss out on experiencing, that's for sure. The world building in this is phenomenal! It was so atmospheric and complex. The magic system in this book is very distinct and alive and interesting. I am still in awe of Schwab's flawless, imaginative world. I very much loved the way that fantasy was woven into history to create this unbelievable world. I think that the area where I had the only disconnect was with the characters. Which is odd for me to say because I loved the characters. I loved them, yet I felt very detached from them at the same time. I don't even know how that is possible, but that is how I felt while reading this. I think that the characters were very real. They had flaws, problems of their own, and they could stand on their own in terms of the story. I think that what made them feel so isolated from me was the way they interact. I think that if there were more emotion between the characters then I would have felt more invested in them. The relationship between the two main characters just felt underdeveloped. Though, the author must have done something right because they are also extremely likable. The plot was convincing enough as a whole. There were many moments that I felt compelled to know what happened next, but there were also moments that I wasn't. The story didn't exactly stand still though. It kept moving and the pace was adequate. There were definitely plot twists that I didn't expect, so things stayed interesting. I felt that the ending could have used more fire behind it. It felt like it just stopped at the end without any reason to go on to the next book. Overall, this is definitely a book to be experienced! Despite my personal disconnect with the characters, I highly recommend this read. Even with that disconnect, I absolutely loved this book! Schwab is a remarkable storyteller and a skillful weaver of worlds. I am excited to continue this series and experience more worlds by this author!

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Wow, what a story

    What an amazing book for her first adult writing. Action, magic, suspense and love in a story hard to put down

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Parallel Londons and Intricate Characters

    I adored A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab! I instantly connected with the main character, Kell and found the writing visually gorgeous! I didn’t have any expectations for this book, though it had been on my to-be-read for awhile now. However, I must have read something about the book that left the impression I wouldn’t like the writing and was pleasantly surprised when this wasn’t the case. I loved catching all the details of the worlds – yes worlds – Schwab shares with us. Most importantly, I could feel the differences of the four Londons and that just because a London exists in the same space doesn’t mean they’re not worlds apart. The POV is split between Kell and Delilah Bard aka Lila, but I’d say there’s more POV chapters with Kell. For this reason, I consider Kell the main protagonist and it was huge for me to instantly connect with him. I connect better with female protagonists and so prefer reading books with them. I was thinking to myself why was it so easy to connect with him and came to the conclusion that maybe I’ve never come across one that was believable to me. As well, when the POV’s change I can definitely read a difference in character when it comes to dialogue and thoughts. This can be difficult to attain because of that lingering similarity between character voices. Schwab is exceptional at writing relatable characters. In this book there exists four worlds Kell can travel to, though we only experience three of them: Red London, White London and Grey London as Black London was thought to be destroyed a long time ago. These colours haven’t been chosen randomly and the reader experiences that. Through Kell and Lila, I could really see the differences and learned the importance of remembering each London is vastly distinct. I have to be honest, White London seems like a very scary and bleak place to live, even when compared to Grey London, a world without magic. Kell is an Antari, a world jumper or magician able to travel between worlds and belongs to Red London. The only other Antari in existence is Holland, who comes from White London and their relationship is strained, both having dangerous secrets of their own. I loved that in this book, magic comes with a price and Antari must sacrifice blood and pain when world jumping. Another intriguing fact, these worlds exist on top of each other so when traveling to White London, you must already be in Red London. If you want to go to Grey London, you must be in Red. You can’t travel to Black London from Grey or Red, you need to be in White. This made the plot all the more difficult for Kell and Lila and interesting for the reader. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows and find out what’s next for Kell and Lila. Schwab is a master of secrets, so I hope one particular piece of foreshadowing I picked up on is revealed in book #2. There’s a lot of dark elements in A Darker Shade of Magic and I loved every moment of it! I recommend this title to readers wanting a darker fantasy, with incredibly original worlds and intricate characters.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Great

    Well written, good characters, interesting world! I will read the next for sure. I love fantasy... This fits the bill

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    0 person found this review helpful

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