A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy, ARC
Published by: Tor Books
Where to Find: Goodreads
I have heard nothing but good things about Victoria Schwab’s writing, and although I enjoyed the excerpt of A Darker Shade of Magic, I’m unsure on whether or not I would continue reading.
The concept is imaginative and original, if a little hard to keep up with. The majority of the sample that I read – which I think is the first 150 pages – is mostly world building. There are four different ‘worlds’ including White London, Red London, Grey London and the mysterious Black London, all of which the main male character Kell can transport himself too. Did I mention they were all different parallel universes?
There are two main characters, Kell and Lila, and I have to admit that I had to find the blurb of Godreads to actually understand what was happening, and who they were. Kell’s story was a lot easier to determine, but because Lila was dressed a guy, I’m still not entirely sure what her relevance is.
The ending was a definite cliff-hanger, and as a novel excerpt they definitely had a good cut point. Because there was so much world building, it was hard to really connect with any of the characters, so from that perspective I would be interested in the rest of the story, because I feel we’ve only scratched the surface of their personalities. Yet, for a 150 page excerpt I was expecting a lot more to happen, it feels like this was almost a pre-novel novella so that all the explanation is out of the way, and now the real story can begin.
Before I think about reading the rest of this novel, I think I should start with something like The Archived, just so that I have a better understanding on the author’s writing style. As I wasn’t overly invested in the plot or the characters, and because it was only a sneak peek, I’d only give this excerpt about three-ish stars.
Sidenote: the cover gets five stars.