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.
In many ways, Wing Jone is the book that I’ve been searching for for half my life. (I’m in my mid-twenties, so that’s not an exaggeration.) See, I’m of biracial descent. Even though I’ve sought books with biracial protagonists all my life, I’ve come across very few. Combine that with sports, one of my many passions, and odds of finding such a book plummet to near zero. Then Wing Jones came along and that book made my heart sing.
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!