A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

It’s 2am and I need to be up and about in less than 5 hours. I haven’t slept, and I need to drive in a sleep deprived state soon. Is it all worth it just to finish a novel? If we’re talking about A Darker Shade of Magic, then yes, it’s a million times worth it to be sleep deprived.

In the past fews months I’ve only read 23 books, and some of those were graphic novels and short stories. My reading pace has drastically changed compared to 2014. I don’t even think I’ll achieve my goal of a minuscule 52. This book could be the game changer (and Dark Matter, book I read before this), because I prioritized this over Netflix, and the magnanimous amount of things I need to study for. I know it took me a week to finish this, but I squeezed in reading time as much as I could. I sacrificed sleep tonight just to finish this because I had 100 pages left. In the first 25% I had my doubts. The plot wasn’t pacing up fast enough and the characters (Kell) didn’t really impress me that much. When Lila was finally introduced in the novel, my impression changed. I suddenly wanted to know more about the Londons, and what her connection with Kell would be. The characters suddenly became interesting to me. All of them became interesting to me, till the end. I felt a connection to each character the author created. I was rooting for the good guys, but next thing I know I was also rooting for the bad guys because I wanted a magic-filled fight to happen. I want to read more about the characters and I’m glad that this is a trilogy. If only it could be a series though, because more is better in this case.

Let’s talk about that wonderfully woven plot the author managed to create. It’s not that original to begin with, but she worked her way to success. She made everything feel magical without throwing in cliches and such. I haven’t read much magic related books to say that the whole thing didn’t feel unoriginal, but I enjoyed the damn thing. I appreciate how she ended things, and the last few chapters are mind boggling. Probably the reason why I stayed up so late just to finish and know what will happen next. This is a page turner for sure, you’ll only ask for more after each chapter.

Another thing I would like to commend is the format of the novel. I like novels with short chapters. I don’t mind if it ends up having a lot more chapters, because it’s more intimidating to read 10, 30-page chapters than 20, 5 to 10-page chapters. I hate braving my way through long chapters because the boredom happens, and then the reading slump. I know traditional and most modern Fantasy books have tremendously long chapters, but I’m glad that some of the great ones still have short chapters. It’s not that big of a deal, and it wouldn’t even be a deal breaker for me, but I’m glad that it wasn’t a problem for me.

I have this rule of not reading 2 books of the same genre at the same time, but here I am also reading Blood Song by Anthony Ryan. I’m really enjoying Blood Song, but A Darker Shade of Magic just wanted me to finish it as soon as possible and read the next book. I ordered the next book a few hours ago so I don’t expect to have it in a few days. Hope that would be an ample amount of time to read at least a chunk of Blood Song.

5/5 stars. One of the best novels I’ve read of the genre. I can’t fully comprehend how the author managed to intertwine elements the way she did, but I’m just hoping that the next novel would be just as amazing, if not a lot better. I heard remarkable reviews and my friends have been raving about the second book, and even called this first one a lot less enjoyable. That is a good sign for me, because I enjoyed this a lot.

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