A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)

Chantel – 1/5 stars and DNFed at 50%
Caidyn – 1/5 stars and DNFed at 80%

Review for the first book can be found here.

What can be nicely said about this book? Because there are many things that we both talked about while reading this book that weren’t so kindly phrased.

In sum: The issues both of us had for this book weren’t corrected. In fact, they got worse.

The first book had a problem with characters. Both of us thought that Kell and Lila were incredibly dull and boring. They had a backstory, but it was being kept all *~mysterious~* rather than telling it to the reader so we could understand them more. Lila was just straight up annoying and not at all what she’s being marketed as (aka, a very strong female character) when she has incredible flaws and uses her strength as a mask only for that to fall through. Which makes her do idiotic things. Kell is just dull and brooding and the typical YA male. (Not good since this isn’t a YA book, but the threads of stereotypical YA characters run deeply in Schwab’s main characters.)

How did it get worse? Lila didn’t change and got stupider. Kell got even more brooding, if that was a possibility. Not only that, but the side characters weren’t that good anymore. We loved Rhy (Chantel’s favorite character) and he was even off, although understandable from his brush with death in the last book. Then, there was Alucard, a new character for this book that, again, couldn’t save it.

There is something wrong with a book when secondary characters more life and a better backstory than the main characters do. Both of us commented that we wanted a book about Rhy and/or Alucard. We couldn’t care less about Lila and Kell just because how annoying they were.

Our second issue with the first book was the plot. All told, it was a nice plot. Super interesting and fast paced. However, it was all quickly summed up so it could have just been a novel rather than a series. (And why they put “a novel” on the cover of the book when it’s not a novel severely bothers Caidyn.)

While we had a big issue with that and discuss it in length in our review of the first book, we could both probably sum it up and make it sound super interesting with the ending as a caveat. This book? Couldn’t tell you what the point was because there was no plot. Plots have to bring the story forward and add tension. They draw the reader in and keep them worrying about the characters. This book didn’t have it. There was some sort of magical game, a baddie was doing stuff every 100+ pages or so, and that was it. Nothing happened. So, it got worse, basically.

We were left with thinking this should have been a novel, not a trilogy. There was no reason for it if this is what we get.

Then, Chantel found more typos in the book. (Note: Caidyn did not find typos in either of the books. Chantel had to send the pictures of the pages to him so he could find them.) Which reflects on the writing and the lack of editing. We get it. Typos and grammatical errors slide through the cracks all the time. But if you’re getting it professionally published, it better be polished so simple issues don’t happen.

What we’re left with from these two books is that we’re not going to finish the series as the plan was. After this disappointment, it’s best to leave this series where we have and not press on.

aint-nobody-got-time-for-that

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