Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift, and into Black London.
In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games - an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries - a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall.
©2016 Victoria Schwab (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
I loved the first book in this series. This one was almost as good but took a long time to get going. If I had known the ending would be so abrupt I would not have been in such a hurry to listen to it. I hope the next one comes out quickly. If I were you I would honestly wait until it does and listen to all three in one long binge. They have used new (American) narrators this time, which was a little bit jarring at first, although they both did a fine job.
The sequel was decent but the narration really let it down. The woman narrator's voice was really grating with her over enunciated William Shatner like over emphasis of words. I had to work to keep my annoyance at bay to finish the book. Her narration was distracting and really absurd. I will just read the third book myself instead of listening.
Torture to wait for the next installment! I ordered another book by this author to tide me over. Hope it works!
i like to read. i like to listen.
I'm loving this series. I'm a fan of this type of grown-up magic and this story is told very well with both excitement and sentimentality in perfect balance.
My only complaint about this recording is the narrators. Both great in their own right, neither of them "matched" with this story. They both have (how do I say it?) "older" voices -- that didn't fit with the characters they were speaking for. When you find yourself listening to the voice, not the story, you know there is a problem with the narrator, and it till me a while to get past both of these narrators.
Lost the urgency of the original. Characters milled about without direction. Felt like a filler to connect the first and third. And use of "magic" could be more creative beyond just basic elementals.
There are some great parts in this story, but continued to be dwarfed by needless backstory and character arcs that didn't finish.
The biggest problem is weaving an entire storyline through the book and not concluding it. Cliffhangers suck.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, "A Darker Shade of Magic", but I have found this second installment to be disappointing overall. The main plot device feels very contrived, and two the main characters feel as though they're being forced into a situation by the author that doesn't seem worth the danger. The book starts off promisingly but unfortunately has totally lost my interest, and with four hours left I am abandoning it.
Book 1, A Darker Shade of Magic, unfolded creating a wondrous magical world where there were many Londons, each with their own unique characteristics and magical content. These Londons form the backdrop for the adventures of three interesting characters, a powerful young magician, Kell, with the ability to traverse these Londons, an emotionally stunted scrappy young thief, Delilah, who has had grown in a pitiless gray London and by happenstance gets involved with Kell and the prince king of red London, Rhy, who both loves and envies his adopted brother's, Kell, magical abilities. Their adventure, and misadventures, proceed to have them encounter some pure evil antagonists from the twin kings in white London, along with a impossibly strong magician, Holland, who has been bound to one of the twins and forced to become his dog and attack red London, forcing Kell to defend it and Delilah to defend Kell.
Note: light spoilers follow:
Sadly, Book 2, while still expertly written and narrated, changes the characteristics of the three protagonists in ways that make them much less interesting and likable. Kell morphs into an emotional basket-case who is driven by his guilt over the death and mayhem of what occurred in his beloved red London and the perceived loss of love from his adoptive parents, the king and queen, and the restrictive binding between him and Rhy needed to save Rhy's life. Delilah begins to learn magic and becomes a strong magician in her own right and a very interesting character, not unsimilar to until Mistborn's Vin character, until the author turns her into a stone-cold killer. Rhy becomes much less involved and, subsequently, much less interesting. Even the primary antagonist, a risen, seemingly all-powerful, dark god-like figure, is mostly lurking in the background in black and white Londons until near the end and, even then, only comes out to set up the eventual clash destined to occur in Book 3.
They split the narration between narrators in this book and the female character's voice is so much better! No more whiny stilted accent like the first.
Story is compelling and enjoyable, character development was great.
The characters of Delilah Bard, Rhy & Kell and their magic
The ending is one I will never forget!!!
I listened to the the first in the series and LOVED the narrations of Kramer & Reading.
I loved this 2nd in the Shades of Magic series!!! This audiobook version by Michael Kramer (his voices of Kell, Rhy & even Nina were spot on and Kate Reading (as Delilah captures her personality perfectly) was superior. I have listened to both of these Shades of Magic books and loved them. I continue to be totally amazed at the fearlessness of Delilah Bard- her scheming, thievery, and pure delight in pushing ALL Boundaries lands her on a boat, learning magic & returning to London to participate in the Games (after taking out a participant and sending him in a crate on a boat to wherever). Princes & brothers, Rhy & Kell now have a much closer tie since Kell saved Rhy by binding his life to Kell - they can feel each other's pain and much much more. I can't wait til February for #3 A Conjuring of Light; the ending was A Gathering of Shadows was OMG!!! Great characters, world building and nonstop action all provided for a nonstop listen-read. Highly recommended.
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