Posted in Books, Reviews

A Darker Shade Of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) -V.E. Schwab || Book REVIEW

This is one of the first YA books I’ve read to completion in years, and is one of the few fantasy books I’ve picked up recently, as well. Has this sparked a love for YA fantasy, in my heart? Let’s find out!


From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes–as such, he can choose where he lands.

Rated – PG13 (Violence, intense, some gore)

Publication Date – February 24, 2015

Length – 401 pages.

The Good :

  • This book was SO fun. Seriously. I found myself on the edge of my seat, more than once. I  was honestly really surprised by this because I don’t usually find myself gripped by books, unless they are horror or mysteries. So, this was a pleasant surprise.
  • The magic system was also interesting to me. I can’t really remember the last fantasy book I’ve read, that included magic, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. I liked that it could take over a person, almost like possession.
  • Of course, the jumping between Londons was awesome, and it made me wonder if there was something similar going on, in the real world (Victoria, do you know something we don’t???)
  • I was surprised by the grit of this book. I didn’t realize YA got this bloody and violent. I’m intrigued…
  • I enjoyed Lila, and the other supporting characters. They had spunk and when something bad happened to one of it, I really felt their pain.
  • The villains were awesome too! They were so devilish and the way I imagined their voices, sent chills down my spine. Loved them!
  • This is a 400 page book, but it really felt like 200. I like that! This was a quick, easy, and fun read.
  • I was afraid there would be some kind of “chosen one” story line, but it really doesn’t seem that way. I love that. Let them work for their power!
  • There is little, to no, love story! YES! I LOVED that! It really raised the quality of this book, for me. Not that I don’t enjoy a romance subplot, in appropriate places, but this book didn’t need it.

The Meh:

  • The writing was less than stellar. I feel like with a little more “oomf” this could have been FANTASTIC!

The Bad:

  • Don’t shoot me, but I was not a huge fan of Kell. Brooding, serious main characters are really not for me. I need them to have a sense of humor or SOMETHING! It’s just so boring to me. Luckily, I liked the other characters enough to save this book for me, but it seriously could have been ruined with just this.

  • STORY – 4.5/5 (SO FUN! It took me by surprise and the twists and turns were exciting. Plus points for no love story or “chosen one” story line.
  • CHARACTERS – 3/5 (The villains were really cool and the side characters were interesting, but I didn’t like how serious the main character was…lighten up dude.)
  • WRITING – 3.5/5 (It didn’t blow me away, but it was fine.)
  • UNIQUENESS – 4/5 ( The magic system, the different Londons, and lack of love story made this a unique read.)



I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next, in the series! Have you read this series? What did you think about it? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!


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Check out my last post on my review of The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel HERE!




Just a college student with an unnatural love for books and too many thoughts to keep to herself.

8 thoughts on “A Darker Shade Of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) -V.E. Schwab || Book REVIEW

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