Book Reviews, Bookish Posts

Book Review – A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene


A Darker Shade of MagicĀ is an awesome New-Adult Fantasy novel following a young man named Kell who has the power to move between alternate Londons: grey London, red London, and white London. He serves as an ambassador between the Londons and on one of his trips, he acquires an artifact that changes his life forever.

What I Liked:

The worldbuilding is amazing! I love V. E. Schwab’s different versions of London. Each one is very different and it was easy to tell them apart. My favorite of them all, of course, has to be White London. I hope we see a lot more of it than we did in the sequel. I mean, we do see a lot of it, don’t get me wrong, but I want to know more about the geography, other countries, the political workings, and the royal family…especially Prince Rhy, because swoon. White London creeped me out (in a good way) and I thought the Dane twins were deliciously cruel (though a bit two-dimensional). Even though I know they already played twins in another enormously successful franchise, I kept picturing Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Astrid and Athos. We know Aaron Taylor-Johnson can pull off white hair, and I bet Olsen can, too.



Kell and Rhy’s bromance was well-fleshed out especially as you find out how much Kell has exactly done for Rhy. It is heartbreaking. The sacrifice that Kell makes to keep him safe made me cry, and books usually don’t make me cry so that says a lot.

My favorite character has to be Delilah effing Bard, wannabe pirate. She was all of my favorite things: feisty, sarcastic, and didn’t take crap from anyone. What I really loved was that even though she was a criminal, Lila does show that she has (some) morals and is really rather vulnerable. Even if she doesn’t like to show it. I totally ship her and Kell so it’d better happen.

heart eyes

The magic system is a unique take on the four elements system that is so overdone nowadays. (Yes, I do realize I am writing a novel that has this magic system, but I’m trying to overhaul it.)

What I Didn’t Like (mini spoiler):

I foundĀ A Darker Shade of Magic to be a bit predictable. From the moment we met Holland and Dane twins, I pretty much knew what was going to go down. They were just too textbook cruel. However, it wasn’t predictable enough where I did not enjoy the novel.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Bookish Posts

My Summer TBR

So in the grand state of New Jersey, it is 91 degrees which means I’m ready to hop in a pool and stuff my face full of ice cream. In fact, at this exact second, I’m still deciding whether I want to go to work or head to the beach instead. (I’m kidding. I promise I’m a responsible adult…most of the time.)

Anyway, this weather is playing with my emotions and forcing me to believe that we’re in the season teacher and students alike dream of: summer. While it’s not my favorite season, I love it for one reason:


During the summer, I get to read a lot more than I usually do during the school year. Probably because I don’t have hundreds of small children to look after. And this summer I’m particularly excited about my “summer reading” list.

Summer 2017 shall be dubbed my Summer of Fantasy!

I plan to read:

1.) The entire Shadowhunters series!

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)The Bane ChroniclesTales from the Shadowhunter Academy

I read City of Bones way back when it came it out in 2007, but I never actually finished the rest of the series. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the book. I just kind of forgot to read the rest of them. This summer, however, I plan to tackle them all. I have to go to my university where I’m taking grad school classes for two weeks and since I know absolutely no one, I’m going to take these books with me. Maybe I’ll even liveblog as I read them because this will be one interesting ride.

2.) As if that wasn’t enough, I plan to re-read:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Pottermore is hosting a Wizarding World Book Club and I am soooo excited about it. I only believe we’re reading one book a month so it should be fairly easy to keep up with. (P.S. If you want to know, I’m a Hufflepuff!)

3.) As if that wasn’t enough, I also plan to get started on:

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)

4.) And…

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)

Because I really want to get started on both series! I heard so many good things about Brandon Sanderson’s writing, and I want to completely be immersed.

5.) Finally, I have:

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)

This was completely an impulse buy as was…

6.) …this one…

The Palace Job (Rogues of the Republic, #1)

Now, you may be thinking: Ashley, you have a really daunting summer reading list. Are you actually going to read all of these? The answer is probably not. After all, I’ll have homework and wedding planning to do but that’s okay! I’m not the type of person to be mad and look like this if I don’t finish all of these books by August 31.

Image result for reading frantically gif

I’ll just carry it over to September 1 and create my Autumn of Fantasy!

What are some books you plan to read this summer? Do you have a daunting summer reading list?