Thursday, December 8, 2016

gathering of shadows

It would have been really nice if it was more clearly indicated (read: indicated at all) on the book jacket that this is NOT the first book in a series. It became clear that something was up about 100 pages in, maybe earlier. By 200 pages, I was pretty cranky that I was clearly reading a sequel. As it turns out, A Gathering of Shadows in the second in a trilogy by V.E. Schwab. Schwab's other titles were listed in her credits, including a special note that the only other adult fiction she had published was something called Vicious. That is clearly not the case, the first book in the series* is titled A Darker Shade Of Magic.

So yeah, thanks Tor Books! imagine the preceding literally dripping with sarcasm

Anyhoo. That being said, this was a fun book. And the glimpses back at what happened in the first book, seemed to indicate that that book was probably fun too. Schwab has created a universe where magic is the norm, and presumably runs parallel to own our (less magical) world. This is a trope that we've seen before, from Narnia, to superhero comics, but its still got some legs.

There are a few main characters, that readers of the first volume will recognize, I'm sure. And I'm also guessing that there are some new characters here as well. Schwab does a nice job of bouncing them off one another as they try to come to some kind of understanding about each others' needs and wants, and how they fit into each others' lives.** This is the kind of stuff I would expect to see in some of this author's YA writing, so I'm not too surprised to see it here.

Notwithstanding my ire at Tor Books, and their obvious omission of part 2 in the series, or something similar, I will probably look for the first book, and if that's good I'll watch for part 3, due out in February according to the fictfact page I linked to above.

* The title of the series is 'Shades of Magic.'

** Corrected 17 Dec 2016. Check out Compound Possession.

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