"As magis," I whisper, as I turn the final page to a close. More.
Alright, so ignoring the fact that I completely just butchered their language with my"As magis," I whisper, as I turn the final page to a close. More.
Alright, so ignoring the fact that I completely just butchered their language with my google translate skills there (and the lack of any actual pages to be turned with my virtual copy), can I just say what a THRILL it was reading this book?
V. E. Schwab's first installment of the trilogy opens doors -quite literally- to fascinating new worlds full of magic, mystery and mayhem. While more work may yet be done in further expanding this world, there's no turning back once you've hopped along for Kell Maresh and Delilah Bard's many misadventures.
From the unique take on multidimensional Londons, to Lila's unrelenting badassery; the nail-biting action sequences, to Kell's rather endearing personality (and let's not forget his legendary coat here), it all surmounts to the making of a very promising new fantasy series!
But, like all books, A Darker Shade of Magic isn't free of its own set of faults here and there. It goes without saying that Miss Schwab is a superb writer, but there were moments scattered throughout the book that felt like they were dragged on a tad longer than I liked– I'm especially talking about the scenes involving all those temporary side characters here. For instance, the black magic possession scene was intriguing to behold the first time round, but I found myself skimming the parts as it kept transferring from one unfortunate victim to the other. More than that, it's the overall writing style itself that's slightly more detailed than my usual tastes, but still certainly not enough to put me off entirely– our MC's are just too damn likeable to stay away for long!
Moving on, I'd like to point out a certain dubious villain that goes by the name of Holland— the moment we're given a deeper insight to this dark-haired Antari, I was hooked. There's just something about his hidden complexities and enigma that draws me in and honestly, I'm a huge sucker for misunderstood, tortured souls. (view spoiler)[Also holy hell: so we know he's quite possibly still alive AND he's got the all powerful talisman right in the palm of his hand AND he's been whisked away alone to Dead Black London... ALL SIGNS POINT TO HIS RETURN IN THE NEXT BOOK AND I AM SO READY FOR THE SHITSTORM TO COME HELL YES. Really hope we actually get to explore the workings of his mind this time rather than more evil Kell-stalking please. (hide spoiler)]
Another reason this book probably wasn't as mindblowing for me as it could have been was the atmosphere: I pretty much always rely on music to help set a story's mood for me and make me feel like I'm not just witnessing it, but that I'm also a part of it— but since I mostly managed to read this on my phone in between busy outings, the experience naturally got cut down a notch or two. By the time we'd reached the climax, the tension and adrenaline rush I should've been soaring on during such crucial scenes simply felt... lacking.
Nonetheless, this is a slow-burner that should appeal to anyone with an appetite for adventure. I know I talked more about Holland than Kell and Lila themselves, but trust me: these two -coupled with their incessant wit and banter- make the journey totally worth it.
Even though there wasn't exactly much going on in the romance department (surprisingly so), they might just become one of my new favourite YA pairings! *squeal*
On to the next one!
Final rating: 3.75 stars. ______________________________
Book Song: Tame Impala - New Person, Same Old Mistakes ______________________________["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more