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.
I liked reading The State of Grace. Usually I find books under 300 pages sacrifice depth of characters. For this book, the lower page count wasn’t an issue at all. Rachael Lucas knew exactly what her story was and knew exactly where she was going with it. I found The State of Grace to be focussed and intentional in telling Grace’s story. It’s a book that embraces neurodiversity — something that I’ve not come across all that much in YA fiction.
Margot & Me, while set in contemporary times also grapples with the past set during World War II through a diary. What I loved about this book was how the stories of three generations knitted together. Fliss and her grandmother, Margot, were so at odds that Fliss’s mother was the only reason they put up with one another. Watching that relationship develop throughout the pages was immensely touching. Although, how Fliss came to read Margot’s diary didn’t entirely sit well with me. But you know, curiosity and what not…
Six of Crows was an intimidating book to go into. I had problems with Shadow and Bone, and liked the sequels in The Grisha trilogy even less. Needless to say, a spin-off series set in the same world didn’t appeal to me. Thing is, I already owned a copy of Six of Crows (bought it before even reading The Grisha), so I tried to downplay the hype in my mind and dove in. Buddy reading with Crini, Elaine and Sana was an added incentive. What came of it? I actually liked the book quite a lot!
Trouble Makes a Comeback was exactly the sequel that it needed to be. When I read the first book, Trouble is a Friend of Mine, I was disappointed about the open ending. Back then, I only knew of it as a standalone book. When Hot Key Books reached out, asking me if I’d be interested in reviewing this sequel, I was excited to learn that Trouble is a series. Right now, I can’t wait for the third book to come out.