I think the biggest issue I have with this book is how quickly it ended. Some of this is of course due to the Amazon Kindle flaw of telling you have 8-10% left in the book when really you have 1-2% and the other 8-9% of those pages are bonus content. But, the rest of it has to do with this having the first true cliffhanger in the series. [This might not be true as I can’t really remember the endings of the others, just they all blend together.]
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.
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.
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.
I’m going to go back on my word and say this might edge out Worth Waiting For as my favorite of the Heart of the South trilogy. As I said, I got this with a bunch of others last month when they went on sale.
Even more so than Worth Waiting For, this one seems to have more of an “agenda” (and I mean that in the least anti-politics way possible) of social acceptance. There was one line in the book that really summed it up for me: “God, was Jericho some kind of sexier, trans-friendly Mary Poppins?” (30)
I grabbed this, along with eight other romance novels Qualls wrote or co-wrote, when Amazon was having a sale in February. I enjoyed Worth Waiting For and figured why not. They’re usually pretty short, under 200 pages, and engaging enough to read pretty quickly, especially when laying in a lounge chair on a beach/boat.
Like most romance novels the connection between the two is tangential and almost a friend-of-a-friend connection. It doesn’t really bother me, except when I get 3-4 books into a longer series and then I stop and question every new minor character introduction because I’m like ohhhh is that the next one, or ohhhh is it this new person?
When I returned Don’t Be Cruel (#1 & #2) to the library, I was pleasantly surprised they had this one on the shelf so I grabbed it. Sadly, it’s the last one I think the library has, but I haven’t looked at all the digital options yet.
This one was much more to my taste than the first two volumes. It was much more loving and nurturing and much less focused on blackmail and rape/sex. There were still a few blush-inducing scenes, but they were more loving and caring than in the first anthology. I was able to successfully read this without closing it and quickly putting it in my bag.