Re-rated to a 2 from a 3. After some time I realized how mediocre this book was.
A Darker Shade of Magic should have been called Blood, and More Blood, as our main character bleeds all over, not one, but 3 different Londons. Kell is our main character and he is able to travel between 3 different Londons in 3 very different worlds. Grey London is our world, next to no magic in it. Red London has a ton of magic and ruled by royalty that Kell works for. White London is a totalitarian world ruled by 2 powerful sibling overlords that use force to rule. When Kell finds a mysterious magic stone from the destroyed forth London, things get out of hand.
I enjoyed this novel. It was a quick and easy read that did everything good enough to get by but nothing fantastic enough to make a huge impression. The world building was probably the best part but I wanted to see more rules and regulations with the magic. The characters were alright but we didn’t learn a lot about their history. The plot was decent but there were moments of happenstance that annoyed me. When you could put the world “conveniently” in front of a lot of the sentences to describe how a character gets out of a jam, then it wasn’t the most tightly woven plot.
There was a ridiculous amount of blood in this book. Because the main character uses blood magic, he has to cut himself to cast a spell. That isn’t that big of a deal but our main character also gets injured non-stop through the entire book. He bleeds everywhere on everything. After awhile it just got a little ridiculous and I wondered how he was still upright. One of the antagonists was amazing at tracking people, but only when it was convenient to the story. If there was a lull in the story, the antagonist found the two main characters, but when the two main characters were busy with something else, the bad guy didn’t seem to find them all that great.
I think I’ll read the sequel at some point because I did enjoy the book. It is your typical fantasy book with not a whole lot new. I’m hoping for a more wider arc of a story in the sequel as I thought this book wrapped up too nicely for my tastes. I’m hoping the magic settles down a little bit and makes more sense too. Way too many people almost dying and coming back for me.
10/25 Possible Score
Plot – 2(OK)
Characters – 2(OK)
World Building – 2(OK)
Writing Style – 2(OK)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 2(OK)