A Darker Shade of Magic: 5 Reasons it Live Up to the Hype and 1 Reason it Didn't.

6.15.2015
A Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM #1) by V.E. Schwab
Published: February 24th, 2015 by Tor
Source: Library

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.


 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Five Reasons ADSOM Lived up to The Hype

1. DELILAH BARD. 
Delilah is, by far, my absolute favorite part of the book. She's such a unique and refreshing character unlike any other I've read. Sure, she's a badass. But she's far from your typical badass. She isn't on some mission to save the world or break a curse or get herself a boy. She just wants an adventure. She's so brave and clever and reckless and I love everything about her. The way she always speaks her mind and how determined she is. She's definitely headed into the exclusive list of my all-time favorite heroines.

2. The concept.
Sure, parallel universes aren't a new thing. But multiple Londons? Each with their own odd conditions and varying levels of magic. And the fact that magic has no rhyme or reason to who it chooses? The way magic and the stone work in these worlds? PURE GENIUS. 

3. The world-building.
Okay, so multiple Londons! With magic! Cool! Except it would have been nothing without Victoria's incredible world-building. She gave each London its own unique and intricate details, made them all so believable. I loved that the history of the worlds was explained and how it was so connected with the present. She did not leave anything out. And I can't wait to see this exquisite world-building in Black London next!

4. The writing.
Okay, so...This is my first Schwab book. *hides* I know, I know. Have I been living under a rock all these years? REST ASSURED, IT IS DEFINITELY NOT MY LAST. The prose definitely slowed my reading down a bit, but I've read worse in that aspect. It was gorgeous and left me feeling like I had all the details needed to imagine each version of London. (Red London is obviously my favorite, but. All of them.) I never felt disconnected from the plot or the characters. 

4. THE CHARACTERS.
Besides Lila, I loved basically everyone else, too. There were no cookie-cutter characters here. Kell, our resident Traveler, was pretty dang cool. I LOVE all the history with him and the royal family. And, of course, there's Rhys. Was there any doubt I'd love him? No, of course not. He's a prince. I can't seem to help myself when princes are involved. Holland's quiet misery and his final act of defiance? WOW. And, of course, our evil wonder twins, who are chillingly psychotic. I loved them. Oops.

One Reason it Didn't

1. It's slow. 
I was 90 pages in and honestly did not have a single idea where the plot was going. Not one. And not in an oooooh-it's-keeping-me-guessing way. It was in an hardly-anything-is-happening way. It obviously got more exciting, and the incredible writing and characterization got me through the slow start, but it was definitely a little harder because I felt like absolutely nothing was happening.

Overall: I give A Darker Shade of Magic 4 stars!


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6.15.2015

A Darker Shade of Magic: 5 Reasons it Live Up to the Hype and 1 Reason it Didn't.

A Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM #1) by V.E. Schwab
Published: February 24th, 2015 by Tor
Source: Library

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.


 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Five Reasons ADSOM Lived up to The Hype

1. DELILAH BARD. 
Delilah is, by far, my absolute favorite part of the book. She's such a unique and refreshing character unlike any other I've read. Sure, she's a badass. But she's far from your typical badass. She isn't on some mission to save the world or break a curse or get herself a boy. She just wants an adventure. She's so brave and clever and reckless and I love everything about her. The way she always speaks her mind and how determined she is. She's definitely headed into the exclusive list of my all-time favorite heroines.

2. The concept.
Sure, parallel universes aren't a new thing. But multiple Londons? Each with their own odd conditions and varying levels of magic. And the fact that magic has no rhyme or reason to who it chooses? The way magic and the stone work in these worlds? PURE GENIUS. 

3. The world-building.
Okay, so multiple Londons! With magic! Cool! Except it would have been nothing without Victoria's incredible world-building. She gave each London its own unique and intricate details, made them all so believable. I loved that the history of the worlds was explained and how it was so connected with the present. She did not leave anything out. And I can't wait to see this exquisite world-building in Black London next!

4. The writing.
Okay, so...This is my first Schwab book. *hides* I know, I know. Have I been living under a rock all these years? REST ASSURED, IT IS DEFINITELY NOT MY LAST. The prose definitely slowed my reading down a bit, but I've read worse in that aspect. It was gorgeous and left me feeling like I had all the details needed to imagine each version of London. (Red London is obviously my favorite, but. All of them.) I never felt disconnected from the plot or the characters. 

4. THE CHARACTERS.
Besides Lila, I loved basically everyone else, too. There were no cookie-cutter characters here. Kell, our resident Traveler, was pretty dang cool. I LOVE all the history with him and the royal family. And, of course, there's Rhys. Was there any doubt I'd love him? No, of course not. He's a prince. I can't seem to help myself when princes are involved. Holland's quiet misery and his final act of defiance? WOW. And, of course, our evil wonder twins, who are chillingly psychotic. I loved them. Oops.

One Reason it Didn't

1. It's slow. 
I was 90 pages in and honestly did not have a single idea where the plot was going. Not one. And not in an oooooh-it's-keeping-me-guessing way. It was in an hardly-anything-is-happening way. It obviously got more exciting, and the incredible writing and characterization got me through the slow start, but it was definitely a little harder because I felt like absolutely nothing was happening.

Overall: I give A Darker Shade of Magic 4 stars!


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