Fourth Chance Author?

How many chances do you give an author before you give up on them?

A question I’ve been asking myself a few times lately. The first author I asked myself this for is Cassandra Clare. I’ve recently unhauled all of her books from my shelves bar one. That one being Clockwork Angel. It’s the last chance book for me.

Her writing is… fine? But seems a little juvenile and whilst the stories are entertaining, it’s in a bad and cheesy way. And with so many books in the world that I need to read, they don’t quite reach the priority list!

I’ve heard that some people really gel with her historical fantasy vs her urban fantasy, hence why I’m giving Clockwork Angel a shot. But I’m truthfully not expecting wonderful things and this is likely to be the last book I read from Clare (I’m sure she’ll be devastated with all her millions of fans)

And then there’s V.E. Schwab. Victoria Schwab. I’ve read A Darker Shade of Magic twice now. And both times I still don’t know what I actually rate it. And recently I’d tried to pick up This Savage Song, gotten 50 pages in and then lived in a reading slump for weeks.

I really don’t know why that is. And I have so many of her books on my shelves! And she seems lovely too! The few interactions I’ve had with her online and being able to meet her at a signing, she’s so kind, and I love seeing her online content. So I really want her books to be for me! But I can’t lie I seem to be struggling.

Fingers crossed that I’m able to get through some more of her books and really love her writing! But if not? Well at least I’ve supported a nice person and some others will be able to pick her books up in the charity shops and hopefully love them!!

Which authors have you given multiple chances to? And has it worked out for you? Let me know! Give me the motivation to keep picking books up by these two!!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | A Review after a re-read

ADSOM was my choice for the August prompt of “a book that surprised you” for the Booktube Rereadathon. What surprised me about this book was that I couldn’t remember any of it! I first read it in the beginning of 2018 and I honestly could barely remember what happened, and what I thought I had remembered turned out to be completely wrong, so it’s definitely good that I re-read this one! And I enjoyed it! We follow Kell, he is one of the last of the magicians called Antari, and he belongs to the Royal family. He can travel between the different parallel Londons, Red, Grey, and White. Despite knowing the risk, Kell is an unofficial smuggler, but when one smuggle goes wrong it leads to disastrous consequences across all three London’s.

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First up that review from the Guardian is the most British thing ever: “A rather brilliant novel!” – okay, moving on. This book has a little bit of everything with knife happy main characters who will kill for those they love without a moments thought, as well as magic, villains, and morally grey issues. It’s all there!!

I really enjoyed the concept of the parallel London’s. It’s one I’ve seen before but never in this way and never with this specific way of travelling through. The connections that used to be there between the worlds also allows for a lot of additional world building to be done which gets us invested in the world(s) and it’s goings on quickly.

Kell himself is a fun character to read from, he has a staunch moral code, but it bends and flexes with his will. In contrast Lila’s moral code is strong and unbending, but she herself doesn’t know it’s full extent. The worlds that these two live within couldn’t be any more different, but their immediate ability to relate to one another, in an incredibly well written and realistic way, really makes the book shine.

Schwab’s writing is absolutely beautiful, she’s able to evoke the feelings from all three London’s with scary ease. She takes the typical fantasy tropes and manipulates them into something completely new and unique. I can see each of the London’s in my minds eye, they’re all very distinct to me. They almost seem to have a personality of their own.

The only reason that this book got 4 instead of 5 stars is that it didn’t have that spark. I know, I know. It’s stupid. But it didn’t and I don’t know why. Technically this should be a 5 star read for me, but for now it isn’t. However, I definitely still do want to read the sequel and find out more about these worlds and these characters! I can’t wait to see where Lila and Kell end up next!

A Darker Shade of Magic


When my family asked what books I wanted for Christmas, I knew that this one had to be on the list. I’ve seen it so much around BookTube and Bookstagram and not only do most people seem to really enjoy it but the blurb sounds so interesting and I love the concept. I am so glad I went for it!

I gave this book 4/5*, but I can see myself giving the series as a whole 5/5* if this quality of writing is kept and if I love the following books just as much! The exploration of magic and humanity within this novel is in-depth and deeply developed, which makes the world feel that much more alive.

In case you weren’t already aware, the setting of this novel is that there are four different worlds overlapped with one another. Four different versions of London with minor differences such as river names, buildings locations, and the level of magic that is present there. There is grey (essentially our world), red, white and black. It used to be relatively easy for travel to occur between the different worlds, but then something happens within the black world that cannot be controlled, and so in an effort to prevent this from spreading to the other worlds and having four times the impact, black London is shut off and the three remaining London’s become more distant and much harder to travel between, with only certain limited individuals having the ability. As you’ve probably guessed, we follow one such individual and his experience coming from the red world but seeing the other two also. I won’t say any more to avoid spoiling this book for you, as Victoria Schwab has done so amazingly with this plot.

If you enjoy magical fantasy reads (Harry Potter lovers!) then this is definitely one to pick up. It isn’t a copy of any book I have read before (yes that includes HP) and the magical elements mixed in with a well-developed plot and interesting characters makes this such a must-read book!