Book Review – A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, that wasn’t the exciting adventure I hoped it would be. I am not too disappointed, but this book was sorely lacking in punch, which is a bit sad after hearing everyone say good things about it.
I will never trust you guys again! *shakes fist* Just kidding.

I also have lots of conflicting thoughts about this, so you are going to be treated to an unsolicited view of the dialogue between me and myself.
Just be glad there’s only two of us today.

Me: So.
Myself: So?

Me: Where should we get started on this review?
Myself: Good question. Do we talk about the predictable plot or the lacklustre characters first?

Me: Come on, it wasn’t that bad.
Myself: You keep telling yourself that.
Me: You mean I keep telling you that.
Myself: Whatever.

Me: But in all seriousness, aren’t you being a bit harsh? You liked Lila at the very least, right?
Myself: Yeah, I liked Lila, but I also like ice-cream, roses and poker games. Doesn’t mean I’m emotionally invested in any of them.
Me: You lie. I know how you feel about cards. Back to the point though, I thought Lila’s unceasing need to keep a balance with everyone by paying them back was totally relatable. You do that all the time.
Myself: True enough. That doesn’t excuse the fact that I didn’t care for one second about the other characters, especially Kell. Isn’t it depressing that in the scene where Holland drains all his blood, I was encouraging him to kill Kell just to see what would happen?

Me: Well then, how about the world-building? It was cool, don’t deny it.
Myself: I’m not. It was great. The Londons were really different, there were interesting tensions going on, and I could picture everything clearly.
Me: So what was the problem?
Myself: It was a complete and utter waste. There were so many things that could have been worked in interesting angles, like Kell’s coat and his travelling abilities, but all of that was wasted for some boring noble-hero-sacrifices-himself-while-battling-his-desires plot. I didn’t really like his guile hero antics either. It felt so cheesy.
Me: *mutters* But the magic battles were cool…
Myself: If I wanted to see people throw magic fire at each other, I’d just go watch Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Me: Or Xiaolin Showdown.

Me: We really should watch the Airbender series sometime.
Myself: Yeah, totally, and then continue Korra.
Me: *clears throat* Anyway, I still think the book was okay. Any book that has a cross-dressing heroine with a glass eye is a good book.
Myself: Not necessarily, when said heroine is underused. The book focuses on Kell’s internal struggle to the exclusion of almost everything else and doesn’t really have Lila do anything until the last fifteen pages. Even then, she remains the helpless damsel who doesn’t get to kill anyone.

Me: Were you always such a stiff neck?
Myself: *narrows eyes* Don’t you go making this personal.
Me: We’re the same person! How much more personal can it be?
Myself: Take your sass, and put it in your pocket.
50% OFFย 

Me and Myself: *huffing, out of breath*
Myself: Let’s call a time-out.
Me: And agree to disagree.
Myself: 3 stars, then?
Me: Yep.


2 thoughts on “Book Review – A Darker Shade of Magic

  1. Well, 3 stars ain’t so bad! I can definitely see where you are going, though… I love V.E. Schwab’s VICIOUS, but this one didn’t hold my interest for very long… I had thought that Kell was quite boring actually. The writing IS good though, but it didn’t engage the reader in me and I haven’t picked it up yet when I put it aside a few months ago O_O

    Faye at The Social Potato


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