Monday, 10 April 2017

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Author: V. E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 508
Genres: Fantasy

Kell is one of the last magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes, linked by the magical city of London. It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into his possession and he met Delilah Bard. Four months since the Dane twins of White London fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body back into Black London. Now Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila. And as Red London prepares for the Element Games—an international competition of magic—a certain pirate ship draws closer. But another London is coming back to life. The balance of magic is perilous, and for one city to flourish, another must fall…
The reading experience was marginally worse than A Darker Shade of Magic, but not enough to earn a lower rating. Where do I begin? One of my main complaints of the last book was that the characters felt underdeveloped and that was completely resolved in A Gathering of Shadows. The characters of Kell, Rhy and Lila felt completely fleshed out and had lots of depth and nuance which was great. I also enjoyed the world building and some of the new characters that were introduced such as Alucard.

Yet there was just something missing and I can't quite put my finger on what it was. I didn't like Lila quite as much in this book because her personality and her decisions just drove me mad. I also did not care much for the magical tournament, the duels were particularly described poorly in my opinion. Meh... I don't know, I don't agree with others that this book was better than the first. The plot moved glacially for the majority of the book with the last couple of hundred pages where things actually started happening. I had to switch to the audiobook just so I could get through it quicker.

I don't recommend the audiobook because the narrators were terrible. The narrators were Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. Michael Kramer's voice didn't suit any of the male voices and Kate Reading sounded robotic. Unfortunately I just didn't get on with it.

I will probably read the last book just to complete the trilogy but so far the Shades of Magic trilogy is turning out to be a distinctly average read.

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