A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book hit me like a brick wall. It stopped me dead in my tracks and made me read it. Unless I'm on vacation, I have a hard time sticking to one book at a time. Technically I was "reading" two others when I got this one but they sat on the table untouched while I blazed through this one. It's been floating around my recommendations for a very long time now but I never took that leap. I recently went on a book buying spree, saw that it was on sale and snapped it up.
I read it in five hours. I made the mistake of starting it late on a weeknight and lost sleep over this one. I haven't done that in a while.
The world that the author has created sucked me in a way that few others have. It was rich and layered. The idea of parallel worlds that only a few could move through. Magic that is only available to some. It was a true adventure story. Part of what I loved about it was that the two main characters, Kell and Lila, did not fall in love. There was no swooning or freaking out about "does he love me like I love him" that gets so repetitive in these types of novels. It was too strong independent characters thrown together by circumstance working towards mutual and individual goals without the fuss of love. Don't mistake me. I enjoy the novels that use that storyline, it was just incredibly refreshing to read one that didn't use that trope right off the bat.
You're given insight into both of their worlds, which incidentally are two different Londons. The multiple Londons is part of what I liked best about this book. There are four known versions of London and the world. While we center around the city, the possibilities are endless for future novels.
A big part of what sucked me in was that in a genre that is flooded with the same sort of things, chosen ones, magic, good vs. evil; this book still felt fresh amongst the masses. I can't wait to read more.
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