Books

Book 613: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) – V.E. Schwab

Disappointment doesn’t even begin to cover my thoughts on this. Did it end the series well enough? Yes. Did it inspire me to read more of Schwab’s writing? No. Am I even more concerned that she is being compared to Diana Wynn Jones? YES.

A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light aren’t so much book two and book three of the Shades of Magic trilogy as they are part one and part two of book two of the Shades of Magic duology. All three of the books in the “trilogy” take place in incredibly short amounts of time with a four month gap between one and two/three.

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Books

Book 611: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) – V.E. Schwab

Well, this one was stronger than A Darker Shade of Magic, but I’m still not on board with the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” promo-ing in her bio. (But honestly, I can’t blame her, if someone said that about me I’d probably get it tattooed on my body.) Do I think she could get there? Probably. Is she there yet? Not yet based on these to books, but she wrote seven other books I’ve yet to read.

My largest critique of the books/series still stands: Is this an adult book or a young adult book? I honestly cannot tell. There’s no explicit sex, there’s not really that much violence, the language is pretty much G-rated, and the writing and plot are relatively simple and straight forward. There will be MAJOR spoilers in this review so don’t read past this if you don’t want to know.

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Books

Book 610: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab

I picked this up after seeing it on LouLouReads’ blog. The title intrigued me and then I read the official blurb and was like okay I like this idea of parallel worlds I’ll give it a go. Thankfully, my local library had the first two and I got them the next day and the third had a very short wait list.

Like LouLouReads I agree that the book was rather one-dimensional to start. I do feel that it grew, but I’m not sure Schwab’s writing deserves the accolade touted in her bio, “the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones.” Those are some huge shoes to fill that Shwab might be able to do some day.

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Books

Book 506: Jane Eyre (Manga Classics) – Stacy King, SunNeko Lee, Crystal S. Chan, Charlotte Brontë

What can I say about this?* It was a great refresher and a fun way to dip my toes into the Brontë’s work again without having to commit to a longer read of the entire novel. I talked about the pros of illustrated classics when I read the Marvel Illustrated Jane Austen works (Pride and PrejudiceSense and SensibilityEmma, and Northanger Abbey) and again when I read is when I read the Manga Classics Emma, so there’s not much point in rehashing those.

Overall, the adapters and artist did a great job on the adaptation. There were a couple of things that I was like uh that definitely wasn’t in the book, i.e. positioning of characters and character interactions. I guess it just has to do with making the stories more accessible to wider audiences.

Recommendation: I still prefer the Marvel Illustrated style, but since they didn’t deign the Brontë’s important enough to adapt before they shuttered, this is a pretty good option. They’re a quick refresher on the classics and if they do the job right, which so far both the Manga Classics and the Marvel Illustrated have) they’ll make you want to (re)read the originals!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest opinion, no additional goods or money were exchanged.

Books

Book 496: The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events #13) – Lemony Snicket

The End.

I think that’s about all you can say about this book. It wasn’t as disappointing as I though it would be, but it also wasn’t the ending I wanted/needed for a 13 book series investment. Perhaps, Snicket hit it on the head with the final line of the book, which doesn’t spoil anything because there was a 14th chapter.

“Under the circumstances, it is the best for which you can hope.”

I’m not convinced it was the best for which I could’ve hoped for, but I think it’s the most I was going to get. If these books would’ve been difficult to read or any more of a time commitment, I would probably be angry about the ending or even disappointed, but because they were quick reads and mostly easy to understand it didn’t feel like too much of an investment. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS, skip to the Recommendation if you don’t want spoilers.

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Books

Book 495: The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12) – Lemony Snicket

And now I’m starting to wonder if ANYTHING is going to be wrapped up. I mean I was already wondering this, but I honestly felt like this book didn’t really take us anywhere. It brought together a lot of people from the series, but for what reason!? But can I be mad at Snicket, it’s like he is warning us:

“Each mystery the Baudelaires discovered only revealed another mystery, and another, and another, and several more, and another, as if the three siblings were diving deeper and deeper into a pond, and all the while the city lay calm on the surface, unaware of all the unfortunate events in the orphans’ lives.” (Loc. 213)

But still, I’m not 100% sure I’m okay with a series that doesn’t wrap up everything. I can sort of get on board with a sad mopey series, but an incomplete/unfinished one, no thank you.

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Books

Book 493: The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events #11) – Lemony Snicket

Okay, so maybe it’s because I’m binge reading these, but I can’t stop saying OMG OMG OMG. So many cliff hangers and “say what’s,” I should’ve put all of the books on hold at the same time. I’m still waiting for the last two as I write this but I should get them any day and hopefully will have read them by time this post publishes. Fingers crossed at least.

We’re in the thick of the mystery aspect of this series and the plot continues to become more convoluted. It’s hard to say who is or isn’t alive and how long they’ve been so. There was a reveal at the end of this book that I think is leading to something that I’ve been waiting for since my friend let something drop that wasn’t really a spoiler but a is this going to happen or not type question.

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