Friday, March 27, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab [Joint Review!]

5 out of 5 Robots!

A Darker Shade of Magic
By V.E. Schwab
Series: Darker Shade of Magic #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release: February 24, 2015
Hardcover:  400 Pages
Publisher: Tor
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon & Julia

Book Summary:
Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.

Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she'll be ruled by the kill gene or if she'll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn't even know if she can trust herself.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Julia & Shannon: Joint Review!
1. What did you think of A Darker Shade of Magic in a couple sentences?
Shannon: This book is darker, more intense and better than I imagined.  I loved every minute of it.  It is so well written with fantastic complex characters and fascinating alternate worlds.  One of the best books I've read this year.  No.  Probably THE best book I've read this year.

Julia: A Darker Shade of Magic is everything I need in a novel. It is brutal, intense and the world is fascinating. I couldn't get enough and loved every second of it. 

2. Who is your favorite hero? Kell, Rhy, Lila? And why! 
Shannon: I love them all! They are so complex and whole.  I felt like they were real people.  Kell is perhaps my personal favorite (that kid needs a hug, poor little damaged flower who tries so hard not to be damaged), but Lila is a great character too with her dagger edge personality. I loved Lila and Kell's uneasy relationship.  And although we don't get a lot of Rhy, I definitely get a "vibe" from him and Kell.  I may be reading into that, but if not, that would create some wonderful complications.  I also loved the villains.  They are scary.  And brutal.  I never ever felt the characters were safe from them.

Julia: I adore all three of these characters. They're so alive, real. They pop off of the pages and I found myself thinking about them long after putting the book down. Schwab really did a wonderful job creating them and intertwining their personalities. The banter, the different relationships. Don't see much of Rhy, but enough that he is entertaining and made me look forward to seeing him in the next book. I think my favorite character is Kell... He is adventurous, and there is some mystery to him too.

3. Chemistry! Lots of chemistry- Who has the most and what'd ya think of it?
Shannon: So, I wouldn't say that Kell and Lila had "chemistry".  Their relationship is definitely uneasy and they don't trust each other.  The resulting "friendship" is forged with blood and pain.  There is no real romance between them and I actually hope it stays that way.  And as I mentioned I got a vibe between Kell and Rhy, or at least on Kell's side.  Brotherly love or love for your brother?  I should mention that Kell is adopted and considers Rhy his brother, but at the same time...he seems awfully wistful about Rhy.  Hmmm....

Julia: This is where Shannon and I disagree - though I won't deny that she could be right! I think that there IS chemistry between Kell and Lila, though it is a strange one and one that they don't even understand. I love how they end up trusting each other and knowing each other better than they thought. Rhy and Kell didn't seem like anything more than brothers to me. They do have a very close relationship and I loved it. I'd kill for my brothers too.

4. What about the world building? All those Londons!
Shannon: The world building was so cool too!  I thought Schwab did a fantastic job of not only making me "feel" each London, but making them stand out so I could easily tell them apart.  Her descriptions were beautifully done.  I also thought her descriptions of magic and how traveling between the worlds worked understandable.  She never let her story get bogged down on the details, but gave enough information to understand how it works.

Julia: Schwab's storytelling here is perfect- the world building is just that too. She gives us so much information, but not too much detail. You won't find yourself forgetting which London you're in or traveling to because of how elegant the writing is. You're going to fall headfirst into her world!

5. Satisfied with the ending?
Shannon:  Wow, yes.  Talk about a nail biter.  I honestly did not know if the characters were going to make it out alive.  It is a very bloody, brutal, and intense scrabble to make it out of this book alive.  I loved it.

Julia: Yessss! Not really a cliff hanger, but the story and characters are so compelling that you're going to want to read the sequel anyway. 

6. Rating? Who are you recommending this to!
Shannon: 5 stars all the way.  I would recommend this to fans of The Throne of Glass and The Raven Boy series.  It is not a quick read but one I wanted to savor much like I do when I read Maas or Stiefvater.

Julia: 5 Stars for A Darker Shade of Magic! I couldn't put this book down, didn't want it to end. If you're a fan of alternate universes, fantasy or magic - please read this one. It is sooo good, definitely a book worth savoring! 


  1. Agghhhh it sounds so good!! (And you're right Shannon - it sounds EXACTLY up my alley!) I think since I've already broken my library hard core that I might be making this a priority next month...

    1. Yes. This should be the FIRST book on your list for May. No, seriously, you will love it. And if you don't, well, ah....sorry? (But I know you'll love it)



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