Reviews

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

lonely_hearts_club23's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5⭐️

thekurst's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced

2.5

bobbiecabrera's review against another edition

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3.0

This review is also found on my blog: A Poised Quill! :)
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Magic, Londons, princes, a stubborn and strong-willed girl, and a nefarious plot with a confusing albeit cliché execution. It lacked....something. I started the book as someone from afar, an audience watching things unfold, and I ended the book feeling exactly the same: just an audience and not part of the story. The story and characters all felt one-dimensional.

The setting and premise were what drew me to glance at this book in the first place. The reviews and ratings were what convinced me to pick it up. Sadly, I was not as roped in to the story as I hoped I would be. Everything was a dark matter-of-fact, and to be honest, a bit flat. Where Strange the Dreamer overflowed with emotion, this book lacked it. It lacked depth. It didn't feel immersive, which is such a total waste. I loved the world it built, but was disappointed with how shallow the book ran.

So why did I still give it three stars? Well, I didn't absolutely hate it. Like I said, I loved the world it built--the Londons--and I love an adventure, even a slightly predictable one. One of the very few things I loved about this book, however, is that it does not set up romance as an important plot device. I absolutely hate it when books do that--fantasy, mystery, and all-around awesomeness and then BAM! It hits you with kissing, gooey-eyed gushing and lovey-dovey dialogue. This book does not gratify romance seekers. So that definitely appeals to my reading preferences. Unfortunately, I detect a whiff of it, and how it might play an important part on the next books (which adds to my apprehension on continuing with the series).

Will I be reading the 2nd book? I guess I have no choice given that I bought the first and second books together. :| But I'm definitely not itching to pick it up anytime soon. I do hope that the second book will fare better.

ajb24's review against another edition

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3.0

Not sure yet if I want to rate this a 3.5 or 4 stars. ‘Cause near the end I definitely got more into the story when it got more intense and the stakes were raised.
A surprising number of people die in this book which I wasn’t expecting.
I’m happy though this book gave me a multiverse novel AND a novel about magic that I enjoyed. The world building was a lot better than the other magic book I listened to - more defined rules about what you can and cannot do (although, with magic, you can always just...invent something that does everything like the magic stone in this book so that’s...whatever I guess you just go along with it)

OH I’m also happy this didn’t just end on a cliffhanger or anything. Like, there’s stuff that still hasn’t been explained yet but the basic plot of this novel is fully complete and I appreciate that. Now I’m moving on to the next in the series because I really want to, not because I was deprived of a proper ending.

jonmuaddib's review against another edition

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adventurous dark hopeful mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

No lo pude sortal. El misterio detras de las cosas y la accion. Fácil de seguir a todos lo personajes y comodo de leer. 

naomilpark's review against another edition

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adventurous dark tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

imgunnagetyou's review against another edition

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5.0

wow i have never thoroughly enjoyed a book as much as i have this one in a very long time. great writing, great characters, love the world building

dogs_books_coffee314's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced

4.0

erlhopkins's review against another edition

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4.0

4/5 ★★★★

we all know v.e. schwab could write a description of a table cloth and i'd read it multiple times. the descriptions in here are palpable, a trademark of v.e. schwab. i did enjoy the story but it felt very "first act second act third act done". the plot was done well and made sense but it felt a bit regimented. honestly - it felt like it could've been a standalone with how well loose ends were tied up.

the only one who is clouded in mist is our boy, the netherlands.

i didn't love it as much as i was expecting, which is unfortunate. but clearly the writing was so up to par that it still was a 4 star read for me - which is saying something (see: my average book rating). i'm anticipating some momentum as i steamroll into AGOS and hopefully some intertwining threads between it and ADSOM as well. i'm looking at you netherlands.

celestial_bookdragon's review against another edition

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dark mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.75