The opening chapter of Release gave me pause for the extent to which it borrowed from the beginnings of Mrs Dalloway. I knew that Ness took inspiration from Mrs Dalloway and Forever by Judy Blume. I’ve read the former, but not the latter. And let’s just say, I didn’t like that classic very much. I gave it 0.5 stars, although I could see what Virginia Woolf had meant to accomplish. But I’ve adored past books of Patrick Ness, so I was curious.
After reading and enjoying Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe last year, I couldn’t wait for The Inexplicable Logic of My Life to be released. On several counts, Sáenz’s book lived up to my expectations. The prose, though simple, once again was stellar! I love introspective characters, and after reading two books from Sáenz, I’m convinced that he’s a master at writing them. And while single parents are ubiquitous in YA fiction, Sal had an adoptive father who was gay, thereby expanding representation for non-traditional families.
A Gathering of Shadows is much more intense than A Darker Shade of Magic. Schwab has a way of putting words to a page that is incomparable to other authors. The wit that underpins her snarky characters is first class, and Lila is a prime example. What makes it so great is that Lila doesn’t try hard — it’s who she is. A Gathering of Shadows increased my love for her, Kell, and Rhy manifolds, and also sucked me right into the spheres of Alucard and Tieren.
Before I read A Darker Shade of Magic, I was certain that I would enjoy it. I was also sure I wouldn’t be able to wait two years for the conclusion of the trilogy. So, I did what I tend to do — pre-order the first and second books, then park them on my bookshelf. With the release of A Conjuring of Light this year, it was finally time for me to read A Darker Shade of Magic. The anticipation was well worth it! V.E. Schwab wowed me once again.