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A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)
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Archive: Other Books > A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab / 5 stars

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Meli (melihooker) | 3236 comments I really just started dipping my toes into fantasy, but this was selected for my IRL book club so I thought it was a great opportunity to get into more and I LOVED it!

Because this is fantasy and tasked with setting up an imagined world, as well as going on to be a series, there was a lot of world building and character establishment that had to happen early on, so it took me about 100 pgs to get into it. There was a definitive moment when I was invested and felt viscerally this need for the main characters to come out on the other side in a good place.

In this world there are 4 different Londons which are associated with a color to distinguish them from each other. Only some are aware of the existence of other Londons. There is magic, and people who have magic, and those that don't, and maybe those that don't realize they do... but I don't want to share much more because I knew zero going in and the unraveling of the tale was really a lot more fun because of that.

Entertaining and complicated characters, great action and suspense, a completely unconventional strong female lead and luscious world-building, what else could a reader want!?


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7472 comments I really enjoyed this book too, and the remainder of the series does not disappoint. I loved the world building and the new types of magic Schwab introduced to the fantasy genre. All the books got 4 stars from me


message 3: by Olivermagnus (last edited Jan 17, 2020 02:34PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 2022 comments Meli wrote: "I really just started dipping my toes into fantasy, but this was selected for my IRL book club so I thought it was a great opportunity to get into more and I LOVED it!

Because this is fantasy and..."


I haven'tread this yet, but I put it on my TBR after reading Vicious and Vengeful, which I thought were phenomenal.


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7472 comments Olivermagnus wrote: "Meli wrote: "I really just started dipping my toes into fantasy, but this was selected for my IRL book club so I thought it was a great opportunity to get into more and I LOVED it!

Because this i..."


I think you will like these OliverM-I truly enjoy her writing and have yet to get to Vicious, though I do have it my unofficial list I believe.


Meli (melihooker) | 3236 comments Joanne wrote: "I really enjoyed this book too, and the remainder of the series does not disappoint. I loved the world building and the new types of magic Schwab introduced to the fantasy genre. All the books got ..."

Good to hear! I was a little worried because another review I read said book 1 took about 100 pgs to get into (same as me), but book 2 took even longer, like 300 pgs. I don't think I want to slog through 300 pgs for book 2 to get interesting, so I wasn't as anxious to get to it.

I would also really like to read Vicious.


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7472 comments Meli, Book 2 flew by for me-it was the 3rd book I had a slow time with-but that could have been just the mood I was in at the time. Hope you stick with it, the 3rd book really answers a lot of questions and I did end up enjoying the wrap-up.


Meli (melihooker) | 3236 comments Excellent, that's good to hear!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments I read this with a irl group too, but I never went back to finish the series. I really have to be in the right mood for a book like this. I might restart the series the next time we get a fantasy related tag.


message 9: by Joi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments Not a fantasy person, but this author and series has been off and on my radar. I feel like I should give it a try, but am afraid I won't like it.


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7472 comments Joi wrote: "Not a fantasy person, but this author and series has been off and on my radar. I feel like I should give it a try, but am afraid I won't like it."

i think it might surprise you Joi-not your typical fantasy-more urban


message 11: by Meli (last edited Jan 21, 2020 05:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3236 comments Joi wrote: "Not a fantasy person, but this author and series has been off and on my radar. I feel like I should give it a try, but am afraid I won't like it."

I can't speak to this being typical fantasy or not because I am a novice, but I would say it is definitely fantasy regardless of the other ways it's packaged. It does appeal to a broader crowd than most fantasy so maybe that's why - like Joanne said.

Still, being not as much of a fantasy reader I really loved it because the characters were interesting and I cared about them.

If you read it, be patient. The set up is important and takes some time.


message 12: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments I’ve been noticing this book lately
Very tempted reading your review


message 13: by Meli (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3236 comments Idit wrote: "I’ve been noticing this book lately
Very tempted reading your review"


I think it is worth it just for Lila Bard.


message 14: by Joi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments Thanks Joanne and Meli, I've added it to my TBR. When I'll get to it is another story.


Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments Hmm. Seeing the reaction to this book makes me wonder if it's one of those stories that works for those newer to the genre (a la Twilight or Eragon). As a fantasy reader, I had an overwhelming sense that it was competent but not terribly new and wasn't impressed by it.

Yeah, OK, I'm going to add it to my list of good gateway fantasy.


Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments Meli wrote: "I think it is worth it just for Lila Bard."

Haha, I actually found her pretty annoying, but it might have been partly the fault of the audio book reader who gave her a sort of cockney accent and a very strident tone. If I get back around to the series, I think I'll try them in print instead.


message 17: by Meli (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3236 comments Hebah wrote: "Hmm. Seeing the reaction to this book makes me wonder if it's one of those stories that works for those newer to the genre (a la Twilight or Eragon). As a fantasy reader, I had an overwhelming sens..."

I am new to the genre so that could be.

What I liked about Lila is she breaks from female sterotypes in all ways and doesn't really deviate from that. Some books the woman is more of a tomboy, but then discovers someone just never helped her with a makeover and viola! she's suddenly a girly girl. Lila was independent, strong, and badass and I related to that :)

Narration can be hard. If the voice evokes something you don't like it ruins it.


message 18: by Cora (new) - added it

Cora (corareading) | 1360 comments Hebah wrote: "Hmm. Seeing the reaction to this book makes me wonder if it's one of those stories that works for those newer to the genre (a la Twilight or Eragon). As a fantasy reader, I had an overwhelming sens..."

I was with you Hebah. I was looking forward to this one, but was underwhelmed when I read it.


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