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A Darker Shade of Sorcery

(The Realmers #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  130 reviews
The lonely and grieving Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters.

A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike.

Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to the
Paperback, 378 pages
Published September 2016 by Amazon Digital Services LLC (first published January 3rd 2016)
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William Collins Hey Tom, sorry for the late answer, I've only just seen your question.

Yes, I'd say Brooke is one of the strongest characters in the novel, and the wh…more
Hey Tom, sorry for the late answer, I've only just seen your question.

Yes, I'd say Brooke is one of the strongest characters in the novel, and the whole series. Her character growth manifests differently to Evan, the male MC. Unlike Evan, Brooke begins the novel already a strong character. She doesn't need to find her courage like Evan does, but does struggle more to accept the fact demons and magic exists.

Thank you for the question. (less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Evan was a normal guy from Great Britain. He lived in an orphanage and his biggest problem was to deal with bullies. Until the day some supernatural creatures tried to kill him. Similarly, Brooke was a normal US teen girl living a life of a typical US teen girl. Until one day she met a tall, dark, and handsome stranger at a party. To make a long story short both ended up in Veneseron, a school for demon hunters.

Venators, or demon hunters were supposed to be good at magic, proficient at any form
It occoured to Ethan why all these races lived harmoniously with one another, because they all fought for the same cause, against the demons, the Veneseron.

me while reading this book:

First of all, a huge thank you to author Will Collins for sending me this book in exchange for a review that I'll be more than happy to write!
I wish all the authors were this nice!

Enough with the pleasantries, already.
I really liked this book. Sure, it’s not the best book I’ve ever read and it definitely i
Fafa's Book Corner
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner !

Beware spoilers ahead!


I received this E-ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review.

When I got the email from Collins asking me to read A Darker Shade of Sorcery I immediately said yes! I love fantasy and paranormal books! This sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this.

The book begins with Evan mentioning that his grandmother recently passed away. He is constantly haunted by her death and has nightmares about her. It doesn't he
Sarah Elizabeth
Downloaded for free from

This was a YA paranormal/fantasy story, about a kid training to hunt demons.

Evan and Brooke were both okay characters, although I felt more for Brooke than I did for Evan. Not really sure why. I did feel sorry for Evan when he was being victimised by bullies though.

The storyline in this was about Evan and Brooke going to this school for demon hunters, and it did remind me a bit of Harry Potter at points. I found this story quite hard to get into though, and I
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
*** 2.5 stars ***

*Thanks again to the author for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

When the author approached me and asked me if I was interested in reviewing his book, I was very intrigued by the synopsis of it and felt like ‘A Darker Shade of Sorcery’ would be a book that would absorb me and keep me on the edge of my seat. I continued thinking that at the beginning of it because it started out being really interesting. You get to read about the world he cr
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it

This novel was provided free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Despite its parallels with Harry Potter, it was worth the read.

Students going to a school to learn magic only this time to fight demons. The plot was entertaining right from the beginning and, although there were a few slow spots that had to be pushed through, was fun throughout. The struggle I found was when the action ended for the description of environments or monsters or whatever. It's the

William Collins
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hey everyone,

This is an awesome community, I’m glad to be a part of it. :)

Just announcing that the cover with the white background is the actual frontcover.

Also, only the Amazon UK link seems to be above. Here’s the US one.

Thank you.
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
This book is free on Amazon right now if you want to read it!!:

Upon further reflection I would give this book a 3.5/5 instead of a 3, just because there is a lot in here to love!

I enjoyed the story definitely. It has the usual boarding at a magical school type vibes without feeling like Harry Potter and I really liked the plot and story. The writing was fast paced and easy to read.
I also love that from literally page one we are thrown into the action! Th
Len Evans Jr
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
4.5 stars rounded up to 5

OK want to start off by saying that this was a book that I had to literally force myself to put down so I could get some sleep. I started this book around 5pm yesterday read till about 1am, then woke up and immediately set about reading again and finished it a few minutes ago. This book has a few imperfections, none of which lessen the pleasure of reading it. I thoroughly loved this book. I thought the people are wonderfully complex, most were likable, some more than oth
Emma♔☯ (Bookishfix)
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I have mixed feelings about this book, although this felt like a mix between Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, and the Elder Scrolls (Xbox game) two series and a game I have really enjoyed, I am torn between what I should rate this. On one hand, there were a lot of things I liked and enjoyed, on the other, I struggled to get through some parts of it and then the ending had me like 'WHAAAAT!?' making me want the next book asa
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is simply a fantastic read. Evander and Brooke are abducted from their ordinary human lives on earth and taken through portals into another realm in order to protect them from evil demons and dark realmers. (And can I just say I was a Brooke and Arantay shipper from that first entrancement scene? Yes, please.)

Collins’ world-building is top-notch. You get a universe packed with supernaturals of every sort, the evil, the ones fighting evil, and the lovely gray area in between. Every realm is
Do you remember your first day at a new school? Will the kids like you, will they be smarter than you, will you find new friends? Evan has been selected to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters. Not just anyone can go there, one must have what it takes to become a Venator, a demon hunting, secret spy, wizard who can be trained to use enchanted weapons to protect all of the worlds from dark and evil danger. Welcome to the magical world of A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins, wher ...more
A Darker Shade of Sorcery was a pretty interesting read for me. I liked how it reminded me of some of my favorite books, like Harry Potter and like a mixture of other books all wrapped into one.

So Brooke and Evan, who are the two main characters, go to school to become demon hunters. Now at first, you definitely feel really bad for them. They were both taken from Earth all the way to Venerson on the same freaking day. Now what are the odds of that ever happening people? Well throughout their tim
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
A Fantastical World of Demon Hunters...

I really enjoyed the opening of this book. It reeled me in so that I wanted to hear more. I also think the premise and the world building have a lot of potential. Once I got about midway through though, the story became weighted down with a lot of unnecessary filler and I started losing interest.
I recently read a book where the writing didn't align with the projected audience and I think this is another book that fits that bill. The characters, the fantas
K. Elizabeth
Jul 04, 2017 marked it as lost-interest
Shelves: reviewed, no-rating
No Rating

I'm going to be blunt and say: This was not a book for me. It didn't grab my attention from the beginning and it pretty much stayed that way the rest of the novel - I kind of felt like I was trudging through snow: tired and bored. Quite honestly, I'm not into stories that move at such a quick pace and have ample gory scenes throughout - it's just not for me, unfortunately.

All right, so a big thing that bothered me was how quickly Evan obtained his power. It was like one moment he was a
2.5 Stars

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by the author (Thank you!).

As a disclaimer, I’d just like to say that my review is based on my opinion, and I do not mean offence to anyone.

A Darker Shade of Sorcery follows the story of Evander Umbra (I thought that was a really cool name!) and Brooke, as they are plucked out of their home planet (Earth) and taken to Veneseron, where they learn they are Venators (demon hunters). Along the way, they make friends, learn how to bec
Erin Dunn
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Thank you to the author for providing a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinions on the novel.

I had a hard time at first getting into A Darker Shade of Sorcery. At first I wasn't feeling any connection to the story or the characters. There was a lot going on and it was a little all over the place. For me it was just a matter of too much going on too soon. Luckily once I got a few chapters or so in it started t
Book lover
I received this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The idea for this book reminded me of a mix of Harry Potter (I love!) and The Mortal Instruments (I don’t like), so I thought it might be a good middle ground. I ended up being pretty disappointed. I don’t think it’s a bad book, it just might not be for me.

The Darker Shade Of Sorcery is a story about Evan and Brooke, two novices in a Veneseron, a school for demon hunters. They go through training, make f
Ren The Booknerd

To think this book with a bit creepy cover would be this good...unbelievable! I didn't think I would like it, but dam! It's really good. You know what they say, "Don't judge the book by its cover."

I liked the characters in the book especially Lok, Brooke and Arantay. They remind me of Luce, Daniel, and Cam from the Fallen series. I think I even like Lok more than Arantay. It's a bonus they're both hot. I wish they'd fight over Brooke. That would be totally cheesy. LOL

The plot is amazing. I
Vivian Chen (Vivian's Book Pavilion)
This is post originally on Vivian's Book Pavilion

After reading so many negative reviews about this book…I almost give up on reading it. However, surprisingly, The Darker Shade of Sorcery isn’t that bad. Moreover, it’s sort of good in some way. So? I’m glad that I didn’t abandon it although I receive this book from the author. And I must apologize for taking it so long without giving a review…I’m kind of busy…and…I don’t particularly like to read e-book. So, I printed it out.

Since I only gav
Jan 29, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (1/29/2020)! 🎁
Jean (Bookish Poetess)
This book was given to me by the author in an exchange for an honest review and I never felt so lucky in my life after reading the book because it was so great and amazing!

The book was about a guy named Evan who grew up with with his Gran whom he knew as his only family. He was being bullied by his school mates and was being plagued by his nightmares. And a girl named Brooke who felt unloved by her family. Both of them felt they don't belong on Earth which was proven correct because there was ma
Jolly Per
Note: I received a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I liked this book at first. I was like, "Woah, this would be pretty nice!" There were a lot of action-packed scenes during the first few chapters which really excites me. (Yes, I am a heavy fan of fantasy with lots of action scenes.) Though it really feels like I was reading a mixed version of Percy Jackson, The Mortal Instruments and Harry Potter. Yes, there were a lot of monster, and a girl an
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from the author, In exchange for an honest review.)

I struggled to get into this one unfortunately, so it wasn't a book that I can say I really enjoyed. I felt a bit bored at points, as it just couldn't gain my interest fully. It wasn't bad though.

Overall, Not a bad read, but it wasn't one for me.
Alyssia Cooke
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
To be honest, the book picks up in the final few chapters but overall it simply left me uninterested and bored. The whole thing felt rather didactic though from beginning to end, with a huge amount of time spent describing numerous lessons to you, without ever really giving you a feel of what they are really about. I've heard this compared to Harry Potter and let me just say, not on this side of hell. It's nowhere near as immersive and generally less magical. Instead it felt as though characters ...more
Anna Willett
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A surprising plot and compelling characters.
Veneseron is a school for demon hunters. Only youngsters with the potential for wizardry and survival in the magical world can attend. Their mission is to hunt demons and protect worlds for all sorts of nasties.
A surprising plot and compelling characters. Evan Umbra, the MC is a likeable character plunged into a world of strange creatures, sorcery and aliens. While experiencing all the wonders, the kids still go through the usual teenage dramas and I
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was offered an eARC by the author in exchange for an honest review.
And trust me when I say that this book did not let me down at all.
Albeit, in the beginning, it was a slow read for me, given all the descriptions and details, however, as the plot began to unravel itself, I was hooked.

According to me, the book deserves no less than 4.5 stars and then some. No matter how many books I have read about demons and demon-hunters, I loved the world created in this book by William Collins.

If we t
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy from NetGalley, and was very intrigued by the genre and the potential. I was, however, massively disappointed.

Firstly, it is marketed incorrectly as YA/Teen - it's much more middle grade fiction, not unalike Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series or Artemis Fowl. The vocabulary and writing style is simplistic, and there are said-isms and comma splices everywhere. Seriously, all the comma splices.

Secondly, Science Fantasy is a difficult genre to meld, and unfortunately this book was j
Jul 16, 2017 marked it as partly-read
DNF at 30%.

Has clearly never known the loving touch of a competent copy editor. Most of the classic errors, especially in punctuation (many, many comma splices, hardly any cases where the required comma before a term of address is present, misplaced apostrophes, dialog tags punctuated as separate sentences, commas before parentheses...), but a couple of homonym errors as well, and distinctively British phrases used by non-British characters. About twelve times as many errors as I see in the ave
Hayley L. Morgan
As the name suggests, this novel is full of magic, dark powers and demons. In a world where magic and world-hopping are commonplace, two teenagers are about to be thrown in the deep end. The main characters Brooke and Evan are both from Earth who unknowingly have magic abilities.
Brooke is ‘kidnapped’ by three handsome young men and is instantly drawn to Arantay, a handsome man with red hair and red eyes. As they try to calm her, they are attacked by a group of creatures, were-animals who can sh
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“Get away from me,” she cried. “What are you?”

“Death,” Lok answered menacingly.

Brooke looked at him in horror.

“Haha, just kidding.”
“Evan guessed what the monster was going to do a second before it happened. He seized Jed’s collar and pulled him down as the Psyking spewed forth a torrent of icy vapour.
The frost fire stuck the rock behind them, turning it into an icicle.”
More quotes…