Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab (#1)

This.  Book.  Was.  Insane.

I loved it.  It didn't quite make 5 stars for me (you'll see why below) but it was an incredible read, and one I can't wait to dive into again.

The characters.  GUYS.  I'm 100% a character driven reader, and these characters were mineminemineMINE from the start.  Kell is sexy as hell a gorgeous example of a well-written male MC.  Totally three dimensional, completely lovable, and still human.  He doesn't do everything "perfect" and "heroic" at every turn, and it worked only to make me love him more.  And can we just talk about that coat?  YES PLEASE.  I want it.

And let's talk about my favorite character, Rhy.  RHY.  RHYYYYYYY.  Let me love you, Rhy.  This young man is just....a delightful person to read about.  I love the characters who give off a frivolous air but actually feel really deeply and passionately underneath.  Rhy was so fun and flirtatious and hilarious....and yet his bond with Kell was so incredible and immediately made me yell out BROOOMMMAAANNNNCCE!!!!  I couldn't control my love for him the entire book.  Plus, my favorite twist in the story revolves around their brotherhood, soooo....I am one happy chica.

Lila is awesome as well, although my least favorite of the three characters.  I typically don't fall in love with her type of character (think Dani O'Malley from the Fever series, but older).  However, I did enjoy her POV and everything she brought to the table.

My favorite aspect of the story (aside from Rhy and Kell and their bromance) was the Dane twins.  Scary. As. Hell.  I was in love with the atmosphere they gave to the story, and the conflict they brought, and *screeches in agony*.

BUT.  They also presented some problems for me.

Let's talk about climaxes, and deux ex machina.  I DO NOT WANT CONTRIVED ENDINGS, PLEASE.  I HATE THEM.  I DESPISE THEM.  I also hate when characters I loooooove (whether villains or heroes) are terminated (whether killed or removed from the equation) way earlier than I would like.  Something like this happened with the Dane twins (I'm trying to be discreet and non-spoilery here) at the end and I was unsatisfied.  Like, what?!  That's it?!  I wanted SO MUCH MORE from these incredibly powerful magicians, and I felt like their potential was wasted.  I was actually so confused and disappointed that I missed something important that happened right after the climax, and had to have another reader explain it to me.

Also (although this is a minor complaint) I would have liked a little bit more clarity on the magic system and how everything works.  BUT.  I have hope more of that will come with the next book.

So, that's my beef.  While I was really disappointed with that one aspect of the ending, I have hope that the rest of the series will be as epic as the first 90% of ADSOM.  A Gathering of Shadows really cannot come out fast enough!

What about you?  Have you read ADSOM?  What did you think of the characters, and of that ending?
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.
Actually, fairly clean.  Some sexual references (Rhy is bisexual) but it's all handled tactfully and I would recommend this book to older teens.  It is rather dark, however, so that is something to be considered.


  1. I've been wanting to read A Darker Shade of Magic for the longest time. I've been hearing so many great reviews. I'm glad you liked it!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. Rhy sounds like a wonderful character and one that I could really enjoy reading about as well

  3. This sounds just like my cup of tea! *says after putting down my cup of tea to type this* I love sexy heroes with awesome coats. Great review!

  4. Definitely read it!! It's a wonderful book, and I can't wait for more! :)

  5. Ahhh I hope you give this one a go to see for yourself - because Rhy really is wonderful, and so is Kell, and well...everyone. <3 Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Yessssssssssssss sexy heroes with awesome coats are ALWAYS a good thing. Enjoy the book when you get around to it! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  7. I'm dying to get my hands on this book!!! Never been a fan of parallel universe but ADSOM sounds sooo intriguing. Plus I've heard so much about how great the writing in the book is.