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Dark Metropolis #2

Glittering Shadows

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The revolution is here.

Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers—and excuses—inside the Chancellery.

Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost—forever.

This action-packed sequel to Dark Metropolis weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore's lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published June 16, 2015

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About the author

Jaclyn Dolamore

18 books762 followers
Jaclyn Dolamore has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives in western Maryland with her partner and plot strategist, Dade, and three weird cats. To keep abreast of new releases, sales, and extras, please join her mailing list! http://tinyurl.com/JaclynDolamore

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5 stars
15 (17%)
4 stars
22 (25%)
3 stars
26 (29%)
2 stars
18 (20%)
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7 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Amanda.
494 reviews7 followers
March 24, 2020
I'm not using any spoiler warnings because I doubt that many people will read this book let alone my review.

I was actually pretty engrossed with the story when I started it, but my enjoyment decreased more and more the further I read.

Dark Metropolis was severely underdeveloped while Glittering Shadows was severely convoluted. For example, the name of the country the characters resided in wasn't even mentioned once in the first book. Now in the second book, we're expected to know that the country was called Urobrun all along, and that they're at war with King Otto of the country of Irminau over a mythical tree called Yggdrasil, who was protected by three reincarnating "Norns." It's essentially a war to end magic in favour of science.

The author should have introduced more information in the first book so readers wouldn't feel like they were being inundated with world-building, politics, and new characters all of the time. I don't even know what genre to classify this book because it had everything from historical fiction (the setting is apparently Berlin in the 1920s); sci-fi (serums are produced to keep the undead from going rabid); urban fantasy (since magic wielders like Freddy in Urobrun are walking around in cities and not a mythical land); and regular fantasy (as there is a king in a magical kingdom with magic wielders and a legend of three Norns who protect a magical tree).

Considering there's a war against two countries and multiple scenes with fighting, artillery, assassination attempts, military coups, and an actual war, you'd think it would be more interesting to read. It wasn't. Somehow these scenes were anti-climatic to the max. The final battle was a snooze fest where a magical wielder gathered everyone's attention to make a speech to the rebellion leader that she was on his side. Then she took a gun and shot King Otto - the enemy from the other country - and that was the end of the war. Like everyone on the battlefield just stopped to listen to this woman make some inane speech? No one shot her? I couldn't believe that this entire series led to that moment.

I think the only battle more anti-climatic and boring in YA fiction has to be Breaking Dawn, where the characters were gearing up for a war and it became a peaceful debate in the forest. Glittering Shadows is pretty close to having the worst final battle though.

The most disappointing part about this book, by far, was the introduction of a love triangle. After joining the rebellion, Thea had to choose between Freddy and Sebastian the rebellion leader. In a major plot twist, Thea cheats on Freddy throughout the book and ultimately ends up with Sebastian. Why was a love triangle necessary? Why didn't Thea and Freddy stay together? Why bother breaking up the central relationship from the first book? It didn't make sense. Thea claimed that she was unsure of her feelings and she felt uneasy around Freddy because it reminded her too much of the horrors they went through. And by that, she meant going underground to free the undead labourers and the government killing her father and the other labourers to hide their unethical practices from the public.

This explanation for Thea's wavering loyalty is weak. By that logic - if she fell out of love for Freddy because she conflated him with her PTSD and because of his involvement in the government's movement of raising the dead that led to her father's death - then the same argument can be made about Sebastian. Because Thea met Sebastian, Thea came into contact with Ingrid who was a close confidante and had high ranks within the rebellion. Ingrid sawed off Thea's hand and put her under a spell so she wouldn't speak to her mother. Wouldn't Thea develop PTSD from getting her hand cut off and being manipulated by people in Sebastian's command? But apparently after all of the trauma and physical pain she endured, Thea still loves Sebastian... because he's hot? And she didn't even have the nerve to tell Freddy that she didn't love him anymore. She just dated Sebastian in secret and only felt guilty because Sebastian was going off to war and wanted to grieve his death openly if Sebastian died without hurting Freddy. How selfish can you be?

Sigi and Nan's relationship also went nowhere. What point did Sigi even have besides be Nan's (sort of?) girlfriend.

Glittering Shadows was odd in the sense that so much happened yet it didn't feel important. It was bogged down by its gibberish - the author's attempt of world building? - and ruined everything that readers liked in Dark Metropolis in the first place.
Profile Image for Louisa.
6,905 reviews31 followers
September 12, 2015
Such a fantastic sequel! So many twists and turns, and the world gets bigger, things are explained, and I loved, as hard as it is to imagine, more then Dark Metropolis!
Profile Image for Jennifer Weedon.
8 reviews9 followers
October 9, 2015
I don't think this book Is my cup of tea. I managed too get halfway through and then had to give up. It just didn't grab me, so that is why I have given it a two star review.
36 reviews
January 1, 2022
Unsurprisingly and fabulously, this book had a super interestingly unique plot, like the first one, but it did have its flaws...

In the last book, there was not much world building and the war they talk about seems really distant and unrelated to them. Therefore, it comes as quite a 'shock' so to speak when they are suddenly thrown into it and there is wayyy too much world building in such a short amount of time leaving you slightly confused.

A bunch of new (mostly) loveable characters are introduced with interesting stories which surprise and excite. They added plot twists and intrigue and were really cool (and sometimes creepy). One character though, slight spoiler, did annoy me, ending up in a relationship with someone that I think should have been with another character; you'll never be worthy of her you fool!

Anyways, it was a overall nice ending to the duo with only a few questionable ending choices but due to the personal fact that I had a reallyyyyy hard time getting this book, it was a bit of a letdown.

SquigglesJr :)
October 1, 2017
This book isn't really my type.I wasn't really interested, it bored me. In my opinion i wouldn't read this again.
There is a girl named Marlis horn. she felt like she was being trapped behind a bullet proof glass. the world fell apart.A really bright light swept by and blinded her. The only thing that felt safe was papa's
Profile Image for Sarah Anderson-Pagal .
126 reviews3 followers
September 18, 2019
After reading Dark Metropolis I wasn't sure how the story would continue. I really like the direction the story took.

The three Norns. A prince in disguise. A war. And magic!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Profile Image for Cora.
158 reviews
January 8, 2016

the ending was a bit meh - and kind of predictable - but i'm glad it was a happy ending at least - if the author had allowed the reader to get closer to Ingrid it would have made her death more impactful for the reader, instead of her being cast as the villain all the way through
Also would have been nice to have marlis introduced in the first book so we could get more of a connection to her
also i don't think the whole "losing magic forever" was as big of a deal as it could/should have been - because we don't really get a connection to the magic, it's always seen as this burden to Freddy that not many other people have, and ultimately doesn't really affect them very much
also, i'm not sure why the author chose some Norse mythological elements (the Norns/Yggdrisil) without tying Norse mythology into the series as a whole
also why so many german names? Maybe this was supposed to be a take on WWI (king otto=ottoman empire) or something? - It would have been nice to have a firmer understanding of what the author was intending with these choices

But I still liked the series as a whole, and this book wasn't really -bad-, I was just a bit disappointed.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cecilia Rodriguez.
3,423 reviews34 followers
August 28, 2015
I think that Dolamore may have been listening to Wagner as she wrote this story, as it has a lot of symbolism in common.
The story picks up shortly after Freddie has "released" the workers.
Dolamore adds what I believe to be a Socialist type revolt as the people behind the revolution are primarily workers.
The other prevailing element, is the tragic cost of war. Dolamore poignantly describes how soldiers and Thea must adapt to their injuries and go on living.
A well written story that is very haunting.
Profile Image for Kel.
80 reviews8 followers
November 14, 2015
Glittering Shadows was a lot slower and more political than I had anticipated, though not at all in a bad way. Thought-provoking, expansive, and suspenseful at times. I definitely got the explanation for magic that I had wanted in Dark Metropolis as well as a scary new villain with it. All in all I enjoyed this and feel as though it was an appropriate and well done conclusion.
Profile Image for Michelle.
221 reviews19 followers
March 16, 2021
-Actual Rating 1.5 Stars-

This sequel had a lot of potential; however, the romance in it seemed forced and to me seemed like a big part of the story. Other than the romance, the action and battle scenes were not too bad, but it was quite anticlimactic. I found myself hoping and bracing for an epic battle between King Otto and the Revolutionaries, but.. alas....
Profile Image for ..
462 reviews
November 11, 2015
A decent conclusion to a two book series, though I do feel as though it would have worked better as a trilogy. There was a LOT of information stuffed into this book that I really wish we could have been given more time to explore.
294 reviews27 followers
May 4, 2016
I just flat out didn't like this one anywhere near as much as the first one. I spent most of the book (like...95%) disliking ALL of the characters. How much I enjoyed the first one is the only thing that kept this from being a DNF
Profile Image for Jenni Frencham.
1,284 reviews52 followers
May 31, 2015
Because of my work on the Stonewall Book Award Committee, I cannot publicize my opinions regarding any book with LGBT themes. I may update these reviews after the announcement of the 2016 Stonewall Book Awards.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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