A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Summary of Book: Kel and Lilah become entangled when an ancient, deadly artifact from Black London (a London that was completely shut down because of all the horrors that came from it) falls into both of their hands. They have to not only run from the men trying to kill them but run from the artifact itself.

I picked up A Darker Shade of Magic with the hopes of being wowed by not only the completely original synopsis (there’s four different London’s categorized by color, magic, and world-travel) but by the completely unique characters as well. One, Kel is a gentle soul who would rather protect than harm and loves deeply. Two, there’s Lilah Bard who has dreams of a bigger, brighter, endless future, a future where she wants to be the captain of her own ship. And three, the side characters; Rhys, Barron, and even Holland, whom all have characteristic that I’d love to hate but ended up loving them as well. Upon cracking open this bad boy, I was not disappointed. This is a completely unique, wonderfully written world that sucks you in and transports you all over the damn place, giving you whiplash in the meantime.

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

If I could rate this book just on the uniqueness of it, I would rate it five stars easily. Unfortunately, I cannot do that so instead, I’d have to give it a mediocre three stars. I started this about a month ago and have struggled through it. The synopsis had so much promise and really, had everything that I love in a book; magic, romance, and some mystery, but I just could not get into it. I bought the box set which the expectation of flying through all three books and loving them but in reality, I barely finished the first book and have no plans on reading the second or third one.

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”

I think, given the correct person, that this book would be world-changing. I’ve read enough reviews and heard enough praise for this series to know that it’s an amazing book. For some reason, I just couldn’t get into it. Kell, no matter how sweet and charming and dynamic, couldn’t keep my attention. Lilah, no matter how badass, couldn’t keep my attention. The story plot, different worlds, and even the side characters couldn’t keep my attention. This is not to say that I thought this was a bad book. Again, I think given the correct person, it would be an amazing book/ series. For me, it just didn’t hold my attention enough for me to like it.

“You know so little of war. Battles may be fought from the outside in, but wars are won from the inside out.”

If you are looking for different worlds, dynamic characters, magic, and even a little evil, then I would suggest this book for you. I’m really sad that I wasn’t able to become invested in it like I hoped I would be but maybe I’ll pick it up in a few months and reread it.

“For the ones who dream of stranger worlds.”

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