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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

Thursday, October 20, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: A Darker Shade of Magic 
     Author: V.E. Schwab
     Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction 
     Publisher: Tor Books
     Publishing Date: February 24th, 2015

          - Characters were all very well developed
          - World building both intricate and new, yet familiar 

    Things that could have been better:
         - Different points of views confused me a bit - due to my everlasting forgetfulness! 

Rating: 4.5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

All of the book blogging community pretty much screamed at me to reead this book! I finally took upon this opportunity when I found out about the ADSOM read a long on Twitter and Goodreads! Plus, Lucie from Tea, books and fun also decided to read this book with me (although for her it was a reread)~! 

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now. 

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'. 

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.


The characters were actually phenomenal in this book. I really liked how they were constructed - they were 3-D characters that had many different layers to them. Especially with Kell - I delighted learning more about him, because he was such a complex character with a complex past that isn't fully revealed, not even at the end of the book...but  I guess that will encourage me to read book 2! I also really loved reading about Lila - she was such a badass character, and she would be a wonderful role model! 

Especially with some of the more minor characters - their deaths were actually like tiny little blows to my heart. Even if I didn't like them, I still felt sad when they died because of the last few moments they had, which didn't necessarily redeem them if they were evil, just made them more human. 

I actually disliked the switching perspectives throughout the novel - it did make it a bit difficult to read the book, because I was constantly forgetting what had previously happened...but that's just me with books that have multiple perspectives!  


The rules around magic here really made me think of Chemistry, but in a more instant form. One of the rules about magic was that it couldn't be created, and I just immediately thought of the Law of Conservation (the inner nerd in me is rising out!). I really loved how there were similarities between our world and the worlds that Schwab has created - it made it easier for me to follow along with the story! I think that the strongest aspect of this book is really its worldbuilding, with how it is both intricate and yet has links to our current everyday life. 

Writing Style

V.E. Schwab writes flawlessly. There were no huge info-dumpy sessions thankfully, and the words in this book had a poetic feel to them - every word used seemed to be in just the perfect place. It was really nice to read, because not only did it flow well, but it was also understandable. Sometimes you get these novels which sound nice, but you actually have no idea what's going on. This wasn't the case here - and I was so glad to experience this. 

Entertainment Value

For me, it was just hard to connect with the book. I don't know if this is because I read it in short little bursts - three or four parts a day, over the weekend. When I talked to Lucie about it, she said that she got to connect with the book and the characters more with her reread, so maybe it's because it's because it's the first time I've read it. 
As I didn't connect with the book, it made it hard for me to resonate with the characters and fangirl over this book. 

Final Thoughts

It's a book i would definitely reread, if anything to try to connect with the readers more. I love the world-building and I'm so excited to start reading A Gathering of Shadows soon! I need more of this universe!! I rate this book a rough 4.75 stars out of 5 (let's just say 4.5 stars) 


Thoughts in a Phrase 

Next book please! 

Keep reading and loving books!

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Reader Confessions Tag!

Thursday, October 06, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

I was nominated for the Reader Confessions tag by Denise @ The Bibliolater,as well Erin @ The Book Archive! Thanks so much, Denise and Erin - I've been wanting to do this tag for so long! :D 

1. Have you ever damaged your own book?

Yep, I definitely have! I have a tattered hardback copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The spine has actually come off, and some of the pages are falling out! As you can hear, it's in a pretty miserable state! This was before I became an intense book collector though, and this experience really changed how I treated my books!
2. Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

Oh gosh, YES >.< I was younger, loved reading books, and I'd read books at the dinner table. I think I splattered some pasta sauce over a copy of The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan :S And I've also doggy eared lots of library books too, because they just weren't mine, so I didn't care how I treated them >.< I am shocked by how badly I used to treat my books >.<
3. How long does it take you to read a book?

It honestly depends on the book. If it's an awesome 300-500 page book, then a day. If it's an awesome book longer than 500 pages, probably two days. If I'm ehh about it, maybe three days or so? But if I don't like it, then I'll drag it out. Oh, and if it's an ebook, I usually read those faster than physical books, just because I can bring ebooks around more than physical books, most of the time :)
4. Books that you haven’t finished?

AHAHA there are a couple of these! Some of them include Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Passenger by Alex Bracken and All The Bright Things by Jennifer Niven. Honestly, I've DNF'ed them, but I keep clinging to hope that I'll pick them up again some day...when I'm really bored.

5. Hyped/popular books that you don’t like?

Anything by Rainbow Rowell, John Green and most of the Throne of Glass series.
Rainbow Rowell
I read Eleanor and Park, and I just didn't connect with the characters. It was an alright read for me, but I just didn't find it amazing, and it didn't encapsulate what I really felt with my first love, which is something a lot of people have said it did for them?
I tried reading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and like I said earlier, I DNF'ed. I don't get what's so amazing about it - I can only see it as a poorly done HP knock-off, because I got so bored, that I didn't even reach the part that most people love - the Baz and Simon relationship.
John Green
I think his books are alright actually - they just follow so many tropes/stereotypes, especially the Manic Pixie Girl stereotype. There's just nothing distinctive about them, and I don't connect with his characters either.
Plus, with The Fault in Our Stars was super over-hyped imo - the experience was just ruined for me, when I went to the movies, watched it, and had girls hysterically crying over it. As a non-emotional person most of the time, that hysterical level just annoyed me a bit >.<
Throne of Glass books
Oh my gosh, I'm so sad I have to put this here. I LOVED THRONE OF GLASS, I really did. But I hated Crown of Midnight, and I'm in the middle of reading Heir of Fire, and I'm just not enjoying it. I feel like a lot of it is unnecessary, and that Sarah J. Maas has just done everything to make it more "high-fantasy-ish". For example, I don't get why Baba Yellowlegs (I think that's the name) was in Crown of Midnight - she seemed super unnecessary. I just don't like these characters at all anymore, and there are now too many characters that I just don't care about. Plus with Celaena, I don't like her character anymore. Sorry :(
6. Is there a book that you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

Umm, I don't think so! I think maybe Fifty Shades of Grey, like what Erin and Denise have said in their Reader Confessions Tag, but apart from that, no, not really!
7. How many books do you own? 

You're asking me to count how many books I own? NAH that would honestly take so much time! I'm going to estimate, maybe 400 books or so? There's honestly a LOT xD I keep buying more and more books, and my parents just get so mad, because my room is just filled with books!
8. Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?

I'm a fast reader, compared to all my friends that I interact with in real life. I think they probably only read ~30 books at most a year? I usually read about ~90 books a year, so yeah. But compared to a lot of the book blogging community, I'm a slow reader - I've seen lots of people read 200-300 books a year, and I'm just blown away!
9. Do you like to buddy read?

Yes, I love to buddy read! I've done it with Sierra @ Nerdgirl Review (Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell), as well as Lucie @ Teas, books and fun (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder), along with Tina @ Tina the Bookworm (Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky)! I tried doing it with Cilla @ Paved With Books, but it didn't work out, mainly because I lost interest in our book :(

10. Do you read better in your head or out loud?

In my head. Out loud takes too long, although I do process the book more, and visualise it stronger. I just get too impatient with reading out loud, because I want to just go faster than what my voice can go with!
11. If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

This question is too hard to answer! If I absolutely had would be Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. It's the book I've reread the most (about 10-12 times?) and I still love it - so I really think I need it!

12. Who do you nominate?

This is honestly the hardest question every time, because I don't know who actually likes doing tags! Let me know in the comments below if you'd like to be considered for tags - because I hate nominating people who don't like being tagged!
1) Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books
2) Sophie @ Sailing Through Books
3) Jesse @ Books at Dawn
4) Anyone else who wants to do it!

Keep reading and loving books!

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