A Darker Shade of Magic – Audio Book Review

Shades of Magic Book 1 by V.E. Schwab
Published on:  February 24, 2015

I liked a lot of what is in this book, but then there were some parts or conversations that frustrated me so much that at times I almost jerked the headset off my head as I reached to stop the audio book. Right now, I have no idea if it was the character that was driving me crazy or the way that character was portrayed in the audio book.

It was clear in the first paragraph that I was going to enjoy the style and story-telling. I think it was the way it opens describing all of Kell’s different coats and when he uses each. There was something whimsical, magical, and mysterious in the way it was told that really caught my attention. Hooking me in just like a good book should.

The setting of the 4 London’s and each with their own color, history, and political structure was very intriguing. The book gave us something we knew “London” and then added on 3 others we know nothing about. Enticing the reader to continue in order to slowly unfold how each works. Although they are all London, they are not all England. And the rulers of each are all so different. Some are just plain crazy.

The main character Kell was a good protagonist. He was likeable, but there were multiple layers to him too that made him interesting and be someone we care and root for. I look forward to the next books in hopes that we begin to unravel the mystery of his family – both adoptive and blood-related.

Audio Book Review:
I found the audio book to be a good production. However, I was not fond of how Lila was portrayed, but I cannot decide if it was more due to her personality in the book and how she treated and talked to Kell at times or how her voice was portrayed in the audio. I wonder now if I had read certain conversations she had with Kell instead of hearing them, would the voice in my head interpreted them differently than the voice actor did causing me to like her better? I don’t know. But then there were the moments she grated on my nerve where I am certain it had nothing to do with the audio version – such as why did she feel the need to steal every chance she got? Kell and Lila are in a fight for their lives and she is still finding things to steal.

Overall, I liked the book and I plan to continue in the series. I also plan to listen to the next one on audio as well since it is available at the library. However, I may wait a few weeks before I pick it up.

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