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.
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.
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.
Why on earth would they switch to narrators with voices like the overly mannered speech of news anchors?
We have a story of four Londons. Yet, our narrators read it with American accents. Wtf?Not only that, but they sound far too old for the parts. It really ruined it for me.
I enjoyed the first one so much. Sigh.
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.
The narrator employs a sing-song affectation at the end of every other sentence that distracts from the text and makes listening unbearable. A rare disappointment in Audible.
The story was good enough to keep me listening to the annoying female narrator. The only reason I gave the performance 2 stars was because Michael Kramer did a fine job. Kate Reading, however, is overly dramatic, sing-songy and choppy. There's no way Lila would have sounded like that.
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.
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