Monday, February 15, 2016

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Released February 24, 2015
Bought Paperback from Amazon
Rating: 2/5


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 (Summary from Goodreads).


I can't even express how disappointed I am in this book.  After reading one of Schwab's other series, The Archived, I expected much better writing than the mediocre mess that was this book.  In the first chapter, I was definitely intrigued with the concept of multiple Londons and this mysterious main character Kell who reminded me a bit of Kelsier from the Mistborn series (mostly because of their names).

After that first chapter, I felt literally nothing.  The writing did not make me care at all for these characters.  The problem is that these characters are one-dimensional cardboard.  They have no personality, and by the end of the book I still didn't know anything about Kel or Lila.

The plot was also quite weak.  I mean, the whole storyline is basically Kel finding a stone with dark magic and having to bring it to Black London.  There were parts that I could tell were supposed to be dramatic, but they fell completely flat because there was no building up.  It all felt forced.

I know I'm being very critical, but if a book puts me in a reading slump then you know the situation is bad.  It took me almost an entire month to finish it because it was that boring.  I know, I know, I could have just put it down and start a new one, but the two books I tried before ADSoM were even more terrible.  I didn't want to put down three books in a row!

I wanted to read another of Schwab's books that had amazing reviews, Vicious, but I'm not so sure I want to deal with more disappointment...apologies to anyone that enjoyed ADSoM - I feel what I feel.

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