Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

Yeah, that’s right. You are seeing this post correctly! I have finally broke down and read A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1) by V.E. Schwab. So for all of you who have been telling me I have got to read this book… This is for you. 🙂

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

This was a fun read. I think Schwab did an amazing job with her unique world building and storytelling. The writing was solid, I never had any trouble being confused with what was going on or which character’s POV I was reading. I think both POV’s had a very distinct voice and personality which I really appreciated. There was also a nice flow throughout the book with things, never any lull in the action. Though things really started picking up about 200 pages in.

Lila – I’m going to be honest, I spent most of this book really not enjoying her. We just couldn’t connect at all. It almost felt like Schwab was trying too hard to have a main character be this badass and independent woman that is so popular right now, but just failed convincing me that it was real. She seemed like a bit of a try-hard. I felt that the only descriptions we had of her were about how she dressed and acted like boy, how good she was with a weapon, blah blah blah. It was practically shoved down our throats. I was like, alright alright, I get that she’s sooooo awesome. UGH. However, towards the end I stopped glazing over when the chapter switched to her POV and finally got into it a bit more. I don’t know if I just got used to it or if she actually changed into a more likable character. Jury is still out on this one and I’ll have to see how she is in A Gathering of Shadows.

Bad magic, Kell had called it.No, thought Lila now. Clever magic.And clever was more dangerous than bad any day of the week.

Kell – Now I enjoyed him. He seemed like a real person with his own flaws and strengths. You could tell he was alone and yet I really enjoyed his relationship with Rhy. You could really feel how much of a connection there was between the two of them (literally, haha!). Either way, I enjoyed Kell’s POV the most and found him to be more tons more interesting than Lila. Bust out the pitchforks but there it is!

And all I have to say about those villains…AMAZING. They vicious and evil and so damn cool.


This was a fun read. I think Schwab did an amazing job with her unique world building and storytelling. The writing was solid, I never had any trouble being confused with what was going on or which character’s POV I was reading. I think both POV’s had a very distinct voice and personality which I really appreciated. The beginning was a bit slow for me but got better as it went along.

However, I do have to say that for 3/4 of this book, it was just okay. It was good but I wasn’t wowed by it. I don’t know if I was just in a mini slump or all of the hype surrounding this book affected how I viewed it. But I was having to force myself to pick it up. Luckily, towards the end, everything came together and the plot really got going. I started truly enjoying it and couldn’t put the book down. And because of that, I bumped up my originally planned rating by one star. I’m looking forward to seeing if it gets even better in the next book!

Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars

Hype or Like Fridays – April 1st, 2016

Helloooooooo to all you lovelies out there! So today is the start of something new and positively fabulous. And yes, I know it’s April Fool’s Day and no this is not a joke at all. This is the absolute real deal!

Myself, Britt @ Geronimo Reads, and Jill @ Rant and Rave About Books were having a pretty extensive Twitter discussion over different hyped books – how they affect our reading experience, which ones we haven’t read yet, etc. We realized pretty fast that there are so many hyped books out there and it’s just really hard to keep track of them. Yes, I have them shelved on Goodreads but you know, sometimes they just get pushed to the side. So we decided we want to remedy that little issue and we want to help you with your TBR problems, too. Which has brought us to…


Each month, we’ll select a book that the group will read over the course of the month. On the last Friday of that month, you’ll post your review via book blog, bookstagram, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. and mention #HypedFridays. This will help us attract potential new members to the group.

The first, second, and third weeks of that same month you’ll post your answers to the discussion questions listed in the thread for that month. It’s okay if you don’t have anything that week, just join in when you’re feeling inspired and have something you want to share.The 4th Friday will just be a review of the chosen “hype book” of the month.

Before the last Friday of the current month, we’ll post the discussion topics for the following month under the discussion topics thread. If there’s a specific topic you want to discuss during the weeklies or have a suggestion for the “book of the month,” don’t be shy, all are welcome to voice their opinions.

Instead of rating the books, you’ll either “Hype it” or “Like it.” Feel free to use the hype and like pictures under the Photos link on the group home page for your post.

We will also be reading our own choice for a hype book each week to discuss on your Hype or Like post, but that’s totally optional and just depends on what you want to do. If you want to join in on the fun, you can join our Goodreads Group HERE.You can actually find an entire list of hyped books that we have come up with on the page.

Everyone is welcome! If you have any other questions feel free to ask any one of us and check out our group page, as well.

Our April BOTM is going to be Passenger by Alexandra Bracken.

For the first week, I will be reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Interested in joining? Have too many hyped books that you want to read? Don’t like reading hyped books at all?

Infinity Dreams Blogger Award

It’s time for another blogger award post! Thank you to Calliope @ Calliope the Book Goddess for nominating me for this award!

The Rules:

  • Thank and link the blog that nominated you
  • Tell us 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them


11 Facts About Me

1. I’m obsessed with Netflix.

Seriously, give me some recommendations for good shows to binge watch! I just started on Scrubs and I’m almost finished with The Borgias. I’ve already completed – Gilmore Girls, Friends, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, House, Bob’s Burgers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I DNFed – How I Met Your Mother and Glee, both for a reason.

2. Me and 2 other book bloggers (Jill @ Rant and Rave About Books & Britt @ Geronimo Reads) are creating our own Friday meme and Goodreads group about hyped books.

I will be writing a little post about it later today to give you all of the info for it in case you want to join us. It’s going to be really fun! I’m really really really excited about this!

3. I broke my brother’s leg when I was 10 years old.

It was an accident, I swear!

4. I’m going to be starting on Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe today.

You’re welcome for all of you who have been recommending this book to me! 🙂

5. I drive a white 2016 Honda accord coupe.

I’m obsessed with my car but I’m not going to give her a name.

6. I can speak very very beginner Czech. DobrĂ˝ den

Yeah, and by beginner I mean I’m only good with greetings, colors, and food.

7. I’ve been to 14 countries and lived in 2.

I’ve probably said this one before but it’s still fun to mention, haha!

8. I read 13 books in March.

I’m pretty sure that this was like a record for me.

9. I want to open my own bookstore.

I have this really awesome idea about a bookstore and whiskey lounge. It probably sounds really random and weird but I assure you, it’s going to be soooo cool.

10. I want to move to Ireland.

Like if you know someone who could get me a job there, hit a girl up!

11. Pierce Brown liked one of my tweets on Twitter. *Mic drops then moonwalks offstage*

It’s official. We are getting married.


Calliope’s Questions

1. Favorite number from 1 to 10?

8 – It’s always been my favorite number.

2. IPhone, Android, or other?

iPhone. I’ve had one since they were first released.

3. Favorite music genre?

I listen to Alternative/Indie the most but when I’m reading I usually listen to movie soundtracks.

4. First book you read this month?

For March it was Not If I See You First and since today is the 1st of April, I’ll include Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

5. Last book you reviewed?

The Lie Tree. You can check out my review HERE.

6. Favorite drink?

Alcoholic – whiskey, non alcoholic – sweet tea

7. Pen or pencil?

Pen, for sure.

8. If you could travel back to any time period, which one would you travel back to?

I’ve got multiple answers for this one, sorry! Regency era – Blame Jane Austen for this one, Civil War era – I’m a Southern belle so I can’t help but picture myself in a hoop skirt out on the veranda a la Scarlet O’Hara, Victorian era – yeah I don’t understand my fascination with this one but it’s intense, and the 40’s – I think I would look fabulous in pin curls and red lipstick.

9. Celebrity you’d want to meet? (Or not)

Sam Heughan for a guy and Adele for a girl.

10. Favorite/prettiest book cover at the moment?

I still can’t get over how beautiful the cover for The Girl Who Split the World is. Also, all of the covers for any Leigh Bardugo book and the Shades of Magic series covers are on point!

11. Jeans or leggings?

Leggings. I’m all about the comfort.

My Questions

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. What is a genre that you would like to read more of?
  3. Which book series do you wish ended differently?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  5. High rise flat, mansion, or cottage?
  6. What book is your guilty pleasure?
  7. Which superhero do you think is overrated?
  8. What type of blog post is your least favorite to write?
  9. Who would win in a cage fight between a taco and a grilled cheese?
  10. What 3 popular authors are you not interested in ever reading?
  11. History or Math?