Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)'s Reviews > A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
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Initial Impressions 3/24/17: 4.5 stars
This was really good! I honestly wasn't sure what to expect because I had really enjoyed VICIOUS and didn't like THE NEAR WITCH (I never finished it) and I also had some personal qualms about starting this book... but I'm really glad that I did because it was actually really enjoyable! I actually enjoyed that some things were set up in book one that weren't resolved. They weren't cliffhangers but things that will be important to the plot in future books (I'm pretty sure I know what's up with Lila) and I like that it wasn't all resolved in ADSOM so it keeps me pulled to keep reading (even though I would anyway).

That being said...

This was a fantasy world that just totally came together as my kind of book. I LOVE anything with parallel worlds and I really liked how it was incorporated into fantasy instead of just sci-fi. The magic system is really interesting too. It's not just magic and non-magic... there really are shades of magic and each world has varying degrees of how magic is incorporated and affects its citizens. I am still suuuuper curious about Black London and I kind of hope we journey there in a future book. I just have to know!!

ADSOM wraps up nicely and closes out a story line which is nice not to be left on a cliffhanger! There's a lot more to discover so I'm sure the next book will get into that and also dip into what spiraled into play here so I thought it was nice on world-building side. There was a solid foundation but there's still so much more to discover, and everything was nicely built into the story and I didn't feel any infodumps about this world-system.

I also liked that the romance was slow and steady. Obviously there's something building between Lila and Kell but it wasn't instalove and their relationship is built on a friendship -- that almost isn't even a friendship! They butt heads, Lila is stubborn, Kell is kind of a loner (minus his affection for his brother), and yet their sparring and jabs totally work. I do love banter in my book relationships and although this was less flirting and romantic banter, it was just perfect for these two.

I'm actually surprised how much I enjoyed this because I really hadn't expected to. I listened to the book on audio, having purchased it in an Audible sale, and mostly wanted to listen to the audio because Michael Kramer narrates the second and third books and he is one of my all-time favorite narrators! (Okay, and Kate Reading but Michael is most important.) I actually did like the narrator of this book so I'm not sure how the switch will go, even though I love the narrators of the next books! Steven Crossley is British so it was perfect for a book about Londons and I really enjoyed his narration and will actually go seek out more books that he voices. I didn't like how he voiced the spell casting (it was much too formal because it wasn't described as "said", not anything that had to be so formally announced and pompous) but really that was the only thing I didn't like about it.

On to book two!
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Reading Progress

March 20, 2017 – Started Reading
March 20, 2017 – Shelved
March 20, 2017 – Shelved as: audiobook
March 20, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
March 20, 2017 – Shelved as: ya
March 20, 2017 –
10.0% "You have my attention."
March 21, 2017 –
31.0% "We were doing so well but this is a scene right out of the Neverwhere playbook."
March 23, 2017 –
68.0% "Things are getting intense!"
March 24, 2017 – Finished Reading
March 28, 2017 – Shelved as: best-of-2017
April 19, 2017 – Shelved as: bromances
August 29, 2017 – Shelved as: series-binge
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: used-bookstore-watchlist
October 27, 2017 – Shelved as: wishlist-physical-copy

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