A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
What I drank:
Finished my bottle offireball then:
Me: are there more beers in the fridge or is this empty case really empty?
Linz: you def can make a podcast, you need to take the next step in your evolution. but we need a decent space to record
Same: totally, we should read the same books for once and actually be a book club
Me: thaaats not what I asked. Takes a drink.
Sam: buffalo. (again).
Soooooooooooo several? (editor’s note: the above interaction is accurate)
Sugar free thoughts (and a note. I’m 10/14 books into Wheel of Time by Brandon Sanderson and I’m having a hard time transitioning back to fiction that doesn’t pay the aauthor by the syllable and therefore doesn’t get googobs of world/character building. I’m real sorry if my ear has thusly been ruined by some of the best American Fiction Ever Written):
So imagine Hogwarts, right. But every character not in the Royal family is high-key poor. It’s like if aberforth’s London was secretly Moscow, but with a way better relation with the Crimean peninsula. You following me still? Me neither. Magic doesn’t play nice and the world is 11% “the matrix.” The Antari, a race of (almost/mostly/former?) humans, are basically the KGB, and the Danes? Oh the Danes are murderous narcissists, so basically Death Eaters, amirite.
Lols abound and our female character is a willful subject, and sassy to boot. Darker Shade is a fun lil read. As the great sage and Nicki Minaj divorcee Sir Meek Mill once proffered, “It’s levels to this shit.”
Double mint plot:
Aight aight aiight, so kell is a wizard, harry, he’s one of two Antari in the whole world. he travels the various, separate-but-linked-by-magic Londons. He meets this lil shawty, Lila, who is the scrappiest lil fella. Yadda yadda yadda, kell’s gotta save the world; maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t; this is apparently the first of a trilogy; his one brother’s a dick, but a pretty dick with like sparkles and well manicured nuts, this other Antari dude is also a dick, but like a gnarly one; I don’t remember semi0colon rules anymore; also what was I talking about?
Doublemint Main characters:
Lila’s a badass pick pocketing androgynous badass. She like knives and guns and freedom and boats and a nice pint of ale, and killing people, but that last one only a little bit, just enough to survive.
Kell’s the prince’s adopted brother. He’s the pureblood magic frowny heartthrob ya ddint know ya didn’t care about. He’s a good guy. I think I mean that as a pejorative.
All the Londons have kings and queens and they range from dumb and decrepit to the evil twins from the matrix with the dreads who chase neo and the team down the highway blwing shit up. All the royars are a metaphor/snapshot for the world they live in, which I litrally just realized, and which is neat
the hinge point of this novel is the various worls that sit atop eachother. Each world is distinct and has its own perils. It’s an interesting world, that I wish was painted a little more fully, or clearly or something. All the sentences in the book are about this long. I really thought this was a YA novel for like the first 70 pages.
Lila’s a wizard harry, we don’t know it but we know it. Also literally everything in this novel I seent coming. Lila wants kell, but just a lil bit, cuz she’s streetwise and a tough cookie to crack. Kell’s gonna agnstily fall slowly for lila after she saves his life again (again). Sike! They’re both emotionally unavailable! And we’re out of pages!The shady, poorly defined antagonist who could have been way more complex was merely a pawn for the also piece of shit rulers, who manipulate the annoyingly hot halfbrother-daddy’s boy prince in an attempt to *Pinky & the Brain Voice* TRY AAND TAKE OVER THE WORLD.
The best character in this book is Black London Magic. It’s voracious, clever as fuck, and really drives everything else that happens. It has an insidiousness and intelligence that is creepy and amazing it’s probly the antagonist of the second two books in the series, and that feels like a really easy guess. I literally hope I’m wrong.
Rating: 3.45/5 shots of Smirnoff vodka because I’d probably be way more drunk if I was 15
Comparison: a good bourbon. Like a weird one. Because you got recommended it, and drank it and it was gross fro like the first 1/3sip, but then you like, “oh. Wait. That’s bit at the end there was nice. Suddenly I want to try this again. So I guess I’ll read the sequel. Maybe that random weird shit will come through stronger the second time.”