Shades Of Magic (After The Fall)

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The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Mackenzie is Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels? At a first glance, Aria seems like your average twelve-year-old girl. And then Aria shows up. Aria, who knows exactly what to say and do to make Gabby feel better. Will she be able to help Gabby find her voice? And will Gabby still trust Aria when she finds out exactly what she is?


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This time, Aria comes to Caroline Mason. She eats lunch alone and is picked on by her classmates every day. The ringleader of the mean girls is Lily Pierce. When Aria arrives, she can see Caroline is suffering. And can Aria help guide Caroline out of the darkness. Plot of the third book: There's a big baddy that can kill all the main characters, but then doesn't for reasons.

The main characters come up with a plan to defeat the baddy, then follow the plan and do. It takes forever because every character has POV chapters now. We still don't find out anything new about the other Londons. View all 3 comments. Dec 31, Alessandra Scarpetta rated it it was ok. Meh Not many likeable or relatable characters. If it weren't for Lila, I woulda quit. The romance felt shallow and left me wanting more, which grew to apathy towards some relationships over time.

Either the magic was incredibly inconsistant or the characters weren't very bright because cool abilities were normally demonstrated once and never used again, so fights seemed like everyone forgot what they were capable of Oct 12, EscapistBookReviews rated it it was amazing Shelves: Kell is a magician from a world of magic, who has the rare power to travel between worlds.

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Lila is a London pickpocket from our world, circa When the latter steals a dangerous magical artifact from the former, she becomes involved in a cross-world adventure, as the two of them race to dispose of the thing before it can cause a disaster. Further adventures ensue in the following two books. And also there is a magic tournament, inter-world conflicts, intra-world politics, family stuff, piracy, romance, exciting fight scenes, stylish coats, some world-eating bad mojo for the heroes to defeat, and more snappy dialogue than you can shake a stick at.

The main characters have thematically similar arcs, the shape of which is summarized in the dedications of the three books: But even without that, the characters - major and minor - are great, the setting is great, and I would eagerly read anything more in the setting that Schwab might write in the future. That being said, the trilogy concludes in a satisfying way. One bit among many of note is: I usually hate it when authors try to inspire sympathy for characters who have previously done terrible things.

It is a tactic that rarely works for me. The first book could be read as a standalone adventure, so if it sounds at all like something you might like, I recommend giving it a go.


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  • People who have similar taste to me, people who like London, people who like a well-turned phrase, people who like character-focused stories, people who like stories that reward re-reading. Jan 13, Chad Bay rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this series. Incredibly creative and the world building is vibrant and well illustrated I fell right into the world s of these characters instantly, and by the third book was fully invested in seeing how it played out. Schwab does such a great job in the first book of introducing a diverse range of seemingly disconnected characters who all come to a head in one way or another throughout the series.

    I loved these characters - each drawn with delightful detail - and was genu I really enjoyed this series. I loved these characters - each drawn with delightful detail - and was genuinely moved by many of the story lines. The darkness in the books is equally balanced by the light each character finds, in their own ways, when the story comes to a close.

    Throughout the series, though, I did feel somewhat disappointed with the narrative voice. I just felt a little too modern slang-y most of the time However, I gave up on this grievance early on in the third book, because the story became so interesting and there was so much going on that I was completely wrapped up in following the plot through to its conclusion. Aug 26, Shilpi Goel rated it really liked it Shelves: A Darker Shade of Magic is an intense but fun series there's unspeakable darkness, pain, despair, and loss, but it's balanced out by unparalleled love, loyalty, heroics, and plain old careless adventure.

    There's magic, there are good vs. All of this is against an intriguing backdrop of four parallel Londons of varying degrees of magical proclivities and the ability A Darker Shade of Magic is an intense but fun series there's unspeakable darkness, pain, despair, and loss, but it's balanced out by unparalleled love, loyalty, heroics, and plain old careless adventure. All of this is against an intriguing backdrop of four parallel Londons of varying degrees of magical proclivities and the ability of only a select few the Antari to travel between them.

    A very compelling story indeed. At certain points, the story did seem a bit juvenile for instance, I'm a tad tired of the magic competition in Red London hasn't stuff like that been wrung dry already? However, the third book, with Holland's origin story, made up for all that. The characters are very well-rounded and relatable. I knew, even as I turned the last page, that I'm going to miss living vicariously through Kell, Lila, Alucard, Rhy, and yes, even Holland.

    Review in form of a stream of thoughts: Four worlds divided by distance, as well as magic the travelers are marked by blood and darkness and shalowness Worlds unexplored, even after pages - characters without substance that never learn and oh, how unfit for their roles they all are! The scenes change, yet you do not care for there is nothing at stake not really , and you can close the book at any time without ever Review in form of a stream of thoughts: The scenes change, yet you do not care for there is nothing at stake not really , and you can close the book at any time without ever asking "what happened next"?

    Apr 06, Michael Schmanske rated it it was amazing. I read the series straight through in 3 days because it was exactly what I was looking for. Magic, good characters a little bit of failure around grudges to long held, too quickly forgiven, or not forgiven in a way that seemed artifice, but not complaining since it drove the story and character development forward , great conflicts and satisfying resol Cracking good fantasy.

    Magic, good characters a little bit of failure around grudges to long held, too quickly forgiven, or not forgiven in a way that seemed artifice, but not complaining since it drove the story and character development forward , great conflicts and satisfying resolution. May 04, Fallsurfer rated it it was amazing.

    I loved this series. I missed the characters when away from the read. Each book has a body of its own. The author does a great job build a rich and detailed world, full of sights and experiences. As the reader I felt like a traveler moving through what she created. Jan 04, Eduarda Hanauer rated it it was amazing. I don't think I can put in fair words how much I loved this whole series. The author's writing is amazing and the whole plot is just a perfect mist of magic, adventure, friendship and brotherhood.

    I have to talk about a certain romance that comes up as the story goes, and my need to talk about it comes from the fact than the author managed to build it in a natural, slow and justified way that is so real it makes us fall in love along with the characters. To make it bett I don't think I can put in fair words how much I loved this whole series.

    To make it better, the love story doesn't take over the whole plot, it's just another thing that happens in between all the rest, which is perfect, since the book is not a romance. This could be partially because I had a bad experience reading Well of Ascension which has the same male narrator??

    I hated WoA and got aggressively abused for my dislike of it on twitter and so it was kind of flashbacks to that. But the female narrator also annoyed me for making all the male voices so weird. Aaaanyway obviously it didn't dampen my enjoyment!! Like I actually expected to be more stressed out by it than I was? But I love them for it. Where do I even start with shrieking about this masterpiece?! Which I exactly loved.

    Characters are the best , and I love it when a book manages to weave an interesting but not overwhelming plot and focus on developing the characters. But I still liked it. I'm a sucker for people punching each other magically I guess. And since it was charactery that's a word, shhhh let's have a brief look at all the darling dangerous scary babies: Do you know what always slays me? And he is in such pain in this book. He's having a mid-life-Antari-crisis. He gets tons of POV chapters and All the partying of Rhy and the quips and the flippant attitude? She made me HOWL with laughter.

    Is it possibly she's gotten more pointy?! She sort of got her pirate dreams and she's more mysteriously magical and OH. I do love Lila an enormous amount but sometimes her utter coldness was a bit hard? Like Kell isn't gooey sunshine either, but he still manages to melt my heart. Lila just doesn't have a venerable side and I think that makes her harder to relate to? So this is a new character! I get nervous at new-but-important characters being introduced mid series He is very very mysterious and curious and it took me a while to know if I liked him but I most certainly do and I even ship view spoiler [him and Rhy even if he DID break Rhy's heart I want to know more about that, btw.

    Also did VE Schwab invent a language for this series????? There's quite a torturous cliffhanger Although I did think it'd be worse than it was. Because they don't listen to the reader. And I am in love with this series. If you haven't started this series: Also shout out to Maraia who patiently sat through my spam-load of shrieking texts. But then, she deserved it because she told me to read this series. Or," continued the prince lazily, "perhaps I'm just giving your mirror something to look at besides your constant pout. This one just burns you alive and makes you enjoy every fiery second of it.

    I'm far too impatient to get on with the next book, so here's a random assortment of my thoughts and feelings on this glorious work of new adult literature Waiting for the release of A Conjuring of Light wasn't the only thing that held me back from starting this ages ago— oh no, it was knowing that Kell and Lila wouldn't actually be seeing each other for the better part of the book that takes all the credit for that.

    And yet here I am, loving this sequel so much more quite possibly just because of that. It's not that I didn't miss or crave our favorite duo's crazy adventures together again, just as much as they probably must have themselves. In fact, V Schwab better have a whole lotta that in store for us next! But as they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder and the same is true for my fickle reader's heart. Because when the time finally comes for them to reunite, it's not with a crackle, not with a sizzle, but with a BANG.

    If this were Instagram, this would be about an appropriate time to implement the use of the worthit hashtag. And here's reasons to love Lila There's no need to supply reasons to love Kell because that's simply a universal fact, of course. All I can say is V. Schwab's writing goes beyond measure for me this time round and I am sold by her compelling storytelling style.

    Sign me up for anything this woman writes! View all 6 comments. Jul 02, Ashley Nuckles rated it it was amazing. Simultaneously laughing and crying. Can I give this book more than five stars? Because it deserves at least forty. Aug 16, Clara rated it it was amazing Shelves: This series has definitely made it to the top of my all-time favorite series with this second installment!

    Nothing much happened for the two thirds of the book, and we only got a glimpse of the heavy stuff finally happening only at the very end of the book. With this second book, Schwab decided to focus on her characters: No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high. It was still just as amazing, well thought-out and mesmerizing. The magic system still has me awed with how detailed it is, how it has a darkness to it making it fascinating.

    The storyline in this one was more slow-paced but very subtle, smoothly and cleverly leading you to where the author wanted to get you the whole time. No one, except for Rhy, trusts him anymore, everyone fears or hates him, blaming him for the Black Night. I loved his cockiness , how he always seems cheerful , always ready to party and flirt.

    He also had kind of a childish side to him that just made him a sweetheart and melt my heart. I loved their bromance which was much more developed in this second book. Lila and Kell were apart for most of the book, but once they finally came back together, I felt like it was totally worth the wait. ALUCARD was a great addition to the story, he was a cocky and witty Captain , very skilled and badass with magic, but also wise and he had an air of superiority. And that thing with Rhy, totally unexpected but absolutely loved it!

    I hope everything will be okay for my babies!! View all 39 comments. Lila, you must save them all. Apr 14, Samantha rated it it was ok. There didn't need to be a full book to set up the little bit that happened at the end. Not horrible I liked the new characters but it felt like a waste mostly. Video review to come. May 06, Sana rated it did not like it Shelves: Buddy read with The person who rated Lockwood and Co. Sep 12, Anne rated it really liked it Shelves: So the 1st book, A Darker Shade of Magic , didn't blow me away.

    I liked it, but I just didn't quite love it. Interested, but not invested. Which means I didn't rush out to grab a copy of this one, because I just wasn't sure how excited I actually was to read it. However, my trepidation was unwarranted. A Gathering of Shadows was so much better than I expected it to be!

    There was this whole connection to the characters that I felt was missing from the 1st book, and this time around the author made So the 1st book, A Darker Shade of Magic , didn't blow me away. There was this whole connection to the characters that I felt was missing from the 1st book, and this time around the author made me feel Plus, and I love it when a book does this I caught myself saying stuff out loud while I was reading.

    Oh, and there were a lot of new developments, cool reveals, and of course answers-to-questions-that-just-lead-to-more-questions.

    Lana Del Rey - Shades Of Cool (Official Music Video)

    Sadly, I'm so late to this party, and there are so many fantastic reviews up already that I don't feel the need to waste your very valuable, I'm sure time re-hashing the plot. I will say I think this one is worth your time, even if you weren't a huge fan of book 1. View all 30 comments. View all 3 comments. I found the second book to be better than the first honestly, it's pacing was a lot better and the tension built all way to the end so that I felt like bursting when I finished the book and it left off where it did.

    Also I really liked seeing Lila soften up a little and get a less controlled version of Kell. I know there's been a lot of hype around the books so people end up not liking it as much because of their expectations but I think if you go into without expectations I think it makes it wa I found the second book to be better than the first honestly, it's pacing was a lot better and the tension built all way to the end so that I felt like bursting when I finished the book and it left off where it did.

    I know there's been a lot of hype around the books so people end up not liking it as much because of their expectations but I think if you go into without expectations I think it makes it way easier to appreciate the books. The characters have depth and while the idea of magic or controlling the elements might not be unique it's well executed. For me fiction is at its best when it helps me forget myself and both the first book and this one really drew me in so personally I'm in the camp with everyone who loved them. View all 12 comments. I got to read more of the bad arsed, Lila Bard and Kell and Rhy!

    I loved the beginning of this book with Lila. People for me, this was the best part of the book with what all Lila did to that crew! I am Delilah Bard, she though as the ropes cut into her skin. I am a thief and a pirate and a traveler. And a ship full of men cannot do what I can, I don't need any of you. I am one of a damned kind.

    A Gathering of Shadows | NewSouth Books

    I feel it's just another set up for more things to come in the next book. Some people I didn't expect were in these games and against each other. It was pretty damn cool! I loved reading about Kell and Rhy together again. They are so funny and caring. They are so close in everything they do and it was so wonderful to see them fighting for each other. To read the things that only love for someone you consider your brother can bring to your heart.

    Rhy wants Kell to compete in the games but Kell doesn't want to for certain reasons. My greatest fear in life isn't dying. It's being the source of someone else's suffering. I know you feel trapped. I know I'm your cage. And I can't" His voice broke, and Kell could feel his brother's pain, everything he tried to smother until dark and drown until morning.

    For both of us. And Lila and Kell get to see each other again. And Rhy too, the whole gang. It was so great! Melissa Martin's Reading List Apr 01, Melanie rated it liked it Shelves: Four months have passed since the events that took place in A Darker Shade of Magic. The dust has settled in Red London, but the memories and re 1. The dust has settled in Red London, but the memories and repercussions are still haunting our princes. And in this world there are four parallel Londons that coexist in this universe: Delilah Bard is from this London. There is an abundance of magic in this London, most coming from a red river which lights up the whole city.

    It was ruled by evil twins, but now has a new king. Everyone in this London tries to fight for magic and power within this corrupt city. It is essentially a lost city, since regular people cannot travel between worlds. I did enjoy this more than A Darker Shade of Magic , but I still wasn't as in love as most people are with this series. I am completely head over heels captivated with this cast, but the Tri-Wizard Tournament reminiscent storyline left a lot to be desired. This is a very character driven story and, bless V.

    Schwab, the characters in this are nothing short of amazing: Like, two amazing ships are full sails ahead, but I always feel so underwhelmed by the romantic scenes. I would do sick and terrible things for a mutually romantic understanding with either of these OTPS, because the missed-connections are killing me. But I do know that you come asking after one another, when only a few strides and a handful of stairs divide you.

    A Gathering of Shadows

    Like, I was such a hot mess when the scene in Rhy's room happened. If you've read this book then you know the scene. Like, I was gasping, screeching, rolling around in my bed. All I want in A Conjuring of Light is a play by play of their daily interactions with each other. It truly is all I need in this life. Delilah Bard is one of the best characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. Seriously, she is exactly the type of girl I would want my future daughter to read about. Seeing her overcome her past is one of the greatest things in this book.

    The fact that she always puts herself, her adventures, her needs, and wants first is so admirable and so important to see. Yet, seeing her struggle with being able to love and being able to be vulnerable is something I haven't got words for. Delilah Bard is so important to me. She is truly a 10 out of 10 character. One of the best I've ever read. I actually was unsure of what I was going to start in April, so I took like five books off my bookshelves and figured I'd read the first chapter of each and see what interested me the most.

    I started with this book, and I never picked up another, because this opening chapter was so freakin' outstanding!


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    • Thank you, Delilah Bard! And now I feel bad because I didn't write anything about our main protagonist, Kell, but he's a little cinnamon roll, too! I live for his brooding moments, and the amazing banter between him and Rhy! And the angst between him and Alucard was everything I could have ever asked for in a protective big brother! Seriously, I loved that backstory! I also love seeing Kell actually just enjoying life, even though those moments are few and far between.

      As much as I love this quartet of characters, I'll be honest, nothing really happened in most of this book. The pacing didn't feel slow, because, like I've said times, the characters grow and develop a lot, but the events in between leave a lot to be desired. The start and the end of this book were action packed, tense, and completely amazing, but the middle of the story was very uneventful, even with a big tournament happening. I for sure wouldn't recommend this for people who don't like very character driven stories. But if you do like character driven stories, this book is home to four amazing ones!

      I do plan on reading A Conjuring of Light very soon, because I have to know how this series wraps up! Hopefully it wraps up into two relationships, because my heart can't deal with any other outcome. View all 4 comments. Aug 16, Nasom rated it really liked it Shelves: Mostly, this book is about the Essen Tasch which is like the Olympics for magicians. Various people from the different empires come together for competitions and celebrations and it is being held in Red London. Meanwhile, something sketchy is going on in White London.

      This book begins 4 months after the events of A darker shade of magic. Through the games, we get to see various magicians display their powers - Rhy and Kell:

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