The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab | Drumsofautumn ARC Review

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ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

“It is the kinder road, to lose yourself. Like Peter, in J .M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. There, at the end, when Peter sits on the rock, the memory of Wendy Darling sliding from his mind, and it is sad, of course, to forget. But it is a lonely thing, to be forgotten.”

I have absolutely never made a secret of my love for Victoria Schwab and I think most people were well aware of the fact that THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE was my most anticipated release of 2020.

When I got an ARC of this in April, I could barely believe it. Getting to read mine and so many other’s most anticipated book of the year by my favourite author six months before its release is truly one of the most exciting things that has happened to me.

And I am not even going to tease you. This book was absolutely everything. I loved it with every fibre of my being and it somehow managed to even exceed my expectations which had been quite high in the first place.

But that is precisely the reason why it took me such a long time to write this review. How do you put the beauty of THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE into words? How do you express how meaningful this book is and how much of a bright light it is and will be in so many people’s lives, especially in current times? Honestly.. I have no idea.

“He is all restless energy, and urgent need, and there isn’t enough time, and he knows of course that there will never be. That time always ends a second before you’re ready. That life is the minutes you want minus one.”

But I will try my hardest to write about my thoughts and feelings about this book to the best of my ability, knowing damn well that what I say could never live up to the masterpiece that this book is.
The only way for you to really understand is to just read the book yourself.

This is also why I am not going to give you much of a synopsis of this book. I honestly often struggle with giving a good synopsis in my reviews anyway but for Addie LaRue I genuinely just think that the best way to go into this book is knowing as little as possible.

If you are intrigued by the thought of a story about a desperate girl who makes a pact with an evil god who ends up cursing her to be forgotten by everyone she meets, until 300 years into this curse, someone remembers her, you simply need to give this book a try.

“Addie is so many things, thinks Henry. But she is not forgettable. How could anyone forget this girl, when she takes up so much space? She fills the room with stories, with laughter, with warmth and light.”

Since Schwab has been my favourite author for a couple of years now, I have been following the journey of the creation of Addie LaRue and knew about the fact that this book has basically been in the making for 10 years. I know that this book means a lot to Schwab and I think that you could absolutely tell while reading this story. It really seemed like Schwab poured so many parts of herself into this story and I think that there is vulnerability to all of these characters because of that.

It is interesting to me in general how story-wise, this book is very different from other books by Victoria Schwab, while in some ways being so very similar too. Because at their core, all her books are character driven. They are always about what it means to be human. But because this book is exclusively set in our world, this aspect shines even more than it usually does and the speculative element that exists really only helps to express precisely that.

All the characters in this story are so very realistic, with so many layers to them. They read so much like actual people that I sometimes find myself surprised about the fact that they are not.
Their motives and actions in these stories are so human and relatably written. I think that even if you are very different and cannot relate to the characters themselves, this story is written in a way that makes it so very easy to understand why these characters behave and act the way that they do.

“They say people are like snowflakes, each one unique, but I think they’re more like skies. Some are cloudy, some are stormy, some are clear, but no two are ever quite the same.”

Addie herself is truly one of the most intriguing characters ever written. She is one of those characters that you call strong because she is so flawed and vulnerable but she chooses who to be vulnerable with and it almost becomes a powerful tool for her throughout this story.
The way she takes her story and her fate into her own hands, even though it seems like it is not hers at all, is so incredibly powerful. She uses her vulnerability, her anger, her sadness to her advantage and her becoming aware of these feelings is what makes her become a stronger person.

This book was very cleverly crafted when it comes to going back and forth in time and it really helps Addie’s character development stand out so much more. It is fascinating to follow Addie on her journey to come to terms with the deal that she has made, to understand and know the consequences and what it means for how she lives her life and then to see her turn so many of the things that are seemingly obstacles into advantages for herself.

“Seven freckles. One for every love she’d have, that’s what Estele had said, when the girl was still young. One for every life she’d lead. One for every god watching over her. Now, they mock her, those seven marks. Promises. Lies. She’s had no loves, she’s lived no lives, she’s met no gods, and now she is out of time.”

And then there is Henry. Sweet, precious, “I need him protected at all costs”-Henry. I think that Schwab has a very special ability to write these wonderful, “cinnamon-roll” male characters and Henry is just another great example for that.
But Henry isn’t just a sweet love interest. He isn’t just there as the guy who remembers Addie. He has his own fleshed out storyline and it truly is so, so heart-wrenching but beautifully written too.

“It would be years before Henry learned to think of those dark times as storms, to believe that they would pass, if he could
simply hold on long enough.”

And these two lives and storylines come together so very well. The impact that Addie and Henry have on each other’s lives is absolutely beautiful to read about and their dynamic is fascinating. I think that the relationship between these two could’ve been weird because Henry is obviously someone who has very special place in Addie’s life, only just for the fact that he remembers her, but Schwab wrote the story in a way that made their dynamic incredibly well balanced.

And on top of those amazing relationship dynamics, I loved the casual queerness of this book a lot. Both Addie and Henry mention very clear multiple gender attraction and that they’ve been with partners of different genders. While there are no labels used in this book, from the context it definitely reads like Henry is pansexual. We also have a whole bunch of side-characters who are queer and POC.

“She leans back against him, as if he is the umbrella, and she the one in need of shelter. And Henry holds his breath, as if that will keep the sky aloft. As if that will keep the days from passing. As if that will keep it all from falling down.”

And then there is the relationship that Addie has with Luc, the evil god that she made a deal with, and there is so very much to unpack in their dynamic. He still visits her regularly and in the beginning it is very clear that even though Addie wants to defy him, he is the one who leads the game, however much she thinks she has him figured out. But with time we see Addie starting to understand the rules and how to play Luc’s game, so that you get a feeling she starts to get under his skin too.

“You have grown teeth, he said, and Addie will show him how sharp they have become.”

The character of Luc is intriguing and mysterious and Schwab’s way of portraying him is incredibly clever. We see him from the perspective of Addie, and he can be oh-so charming, which makes it very easy to fall for him.

But there is obviously a huge, unbalanced power dynamic between these two and while there are scenes between them that seem romantic, Schwab never lets us forget about who Luc is and the power he possesses, even when there are moments where Luc seems more human or it looks like Addie has the upper hand. At the end of the day, while this is a relationship with a god, it portrays the very human experience of an abusive relationship with those same manipulative cycles.

“She sees the truth, and he doesn’t know how, or why, only knows that he doesn’t want it to end. Because for the first time in months, in years, in his whole life, perhaps, Henry doesn’t feel cursed at all. For the first time, he feels seen.”

All those amazing characters and relationships are supported by the breathtaking prose in this book. I truly think that this is one of the most beautifully written books that I have ever read and I highlighted so many paragraphs (as is also evident by the heavy use of quotes in this review) because I simply could not get enough of the words that Schwab used to weave this story together.

This storyline in and of itself is so stunning as it is but there is something very special about the writing that really makes this book stand out so much more. To me, this is truly one of the most unique books out there.

“And despite the doors and walls between them, she can feel the weight of what she left behind, and she wishes she could have stayed, wishes that when Henry had said Wait, she had said, Come with me, but she knows it is not fair to make him choose. He is full of roots, while she has only branches.”

But genuinely, even after everything I just said, my review could never live up to the beauty, could never ever describe the masterpiece that is THE INSIVIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE. Not only is this easily one of my favourite books by Schwab, it is also my favourite book of the year and one of my favourite books of all time. And while I am biased towards lots of Schwab’s other works, I believe that, objectively, this is the best book that Schwab has written so far.

Truly all that is left for me to say is thank you to Victoria Schwab, for once again providing me with yet another favourite book and a story that makes my life a better place. I am immensely grateful to the joy (and pain) her words have brought me and especially this book in these times. I will not stop thinking about this story for a long, long time and I am already looking forward to rereading this so many times in the years to come.

I will always remember Addie.

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✨ Lea posts a review on Meltotheany every Friday! Read more of her reviews HERE! ✨

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab | ARC Review

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ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley 
Publication: October 6th, 2020 by Tor Books

“Stories come in so many forms: in charcoal, and in song, in paintings, poems, films. And books.”

This is a book about a girl, a boy, a devil, and the stories that get told and repeated and remembered. This is a tale of power dynamics and imbalances and what humans are willing to do to not feel trapped and alone. This is all about a young girl who lives her life for herself, who lives her life in spite of the odds, who lives her life in hopes someone will recall her from memory.

Everything about Addie LaRue completely blew me away. This is the first book by V.E. Schwab that I’ve given five stars to, and I’m not sure a day has passed since reading that I haven’t thought about it. I will say that I think this book (and more importantly the ending) could be a bit polarizing, but this story, this main character, and the way everything was structured just really worked perfectly for me and my reading tastes.

How do I even begin to describe this book to you? There are truly so many layers woven together to make this story. Many of you know, this is something that V.E. Schwab has been working on for a decade and you can tell they really put their whole heart and soul into these complex characters:

Addie – A girl with seven freckles, and she is told that there is one for every love she would ever have. She was born in a small town, and had small town expectations placed on her, but Addie had big dreams and desired to see as much of the world as she possibly could. And when she turns twenty-three, and everyone thinks her time is slowly running out, she quickly finds out that time is something she will never have to fear again.

“Spells are for the witches, and witches are too often burned.”

Henry – Works at a bookstore in New York while trying to live his life to the fullest. And he happens to be able to see a girl that has never been remembered before.

“I remember you.”

Luc – A god you should never pray to after dark, unless you are very desperate, and feel very helpless, and are willing to pay the unknown price.

“I am stronger than your god and older than your devil. I am the darkness between stars, and the roots beneath the earth. I am promise, and potential, and when it comes to playing games, I divine the rules, I set the pieces, and I choose when to play. And tonight, I say no.”

And maybe, just maybe, Addie felt like she should be able to pay the price when she runs into the forest one night, willing to risk everything to have a life that is hers once and for all. We get to see Addie and her struggles and her growth over the course of three-hundred-years, starting in 1714 France and switching to 2014 America. We get to see so much of Addie’s hurt throughout the centuries, but we also get to see so much of her yearning. Yearning for love, yearning for knowledge, yearning for art, yearning for a life that is worthy of remembrance. Truly, this book was able to evoke such visceral reactions from me, and I could truly feel Addie’s yearning, and her hurt, on every page.

Now that I have used the word “yearning” one-hundred times, let’s talk about some of the rep in Addie LaRue, because there are lots of queer characters and characters who read queer! Addie is pan or bi, and we get to see her in relationships with different genders throughout this book, but the main relationship (and yearning) is m/f. I believe Henry is pan, but it is never said on page, but “he’s attracted to a person first and their gender second” had me and my pan heart ascending to new heights, I promise you that. Addie and Henry are both white, but there are POC side characters and other identities on the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum (gay, lesbian, maybe some polyamorous hints)! And this book, has some very serious depression representation!

“It’s just a storm, he tells himself, but he is tired of looking for shelter. It is just a storm, but there is always another waiting in its wake.”

Being unsure what you want in life. Especially in your twenties. Feeling like something is wrong with you. Feeling like you’ll never be enough. Feeling like you’ll never be whole. Feeling like you are just disappointing everyone around you. Feeling like no one will ever take the time to see you, the real you, and choose to love you unconditionally anyways. Whew, it’s a lot, and V.E. Schwab really didn’t hold back while writing Henry and his mental health. I don’t want to make this too personal, but it means a lot to me, and I know Henry’s journey is going to mean a lot to so many people and impact a lot of lives.

(Also, friendly reminder that life is truly a vast range of up and down journeys! And you, and your journey, are valid, and I see you no matter how hard that journey feels at times. There will be lots of heavy days, but lots of light days too, I promise. And you are so worthy of love, and kindness, and respect, no matter where you are at on your journey. And feeling too much is not a curse, ever. And I’m proud of you, and you are never alone with what you are feeling, and sometimes we all need help with some storms: http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org)

“His heart has a draft. It lets in light. It lets in storms. It lets in everything.”

Plus, a key component of this story is the god who Addie makes a deal with. Addie and Luc’s three-hundred-year bargain is so very messy and has so very many different elements. But the key element is the unhealthy power dynamic. Over this course of time, we get to see their relationship change, and morph, and grow, and we get to see Addie desperately trying to gain some of the power for herself. But, it is a very unhealthy cycle of abuse and this story is told in a way where the reader gets to see these power imbalances come more and more into play and Luc and Addie set the stage of their game(s) more and more. I’ll be the first to say I always wanted more of Luc, and I loved every chapter he was in, and I constantly wanted to know more about him, but I will also say that I personally feel like V.E. Schwab was very deliberate with his character and with making him charming and intriguing and a character to be romanticized, because abusers can have all of those characteristics and still be abusers.

But we get to see Luc, and Henry, and Addie, and watch their intertangled stories unwind. I truly feel like I can’t say much more about the actual story, and I believe it’s probably best to not know much more than what I’ve said above, but seeing these characters, during all their different phases in life, both alone and together, is truly something like a work of art.

“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives—or to find strength in a very long one.”

This entire story truly is a love letter to art and the beautiful, awe inspiring, mind-blowing way stories are held within art, therefore held in so many hearts forever. Maybe even creating and inspiring other art, to make the sweetest ripple effect of them all. Art and stories are so powerful because they have the power to heal wounds that are too deep to be touched by other things. From feeling love, to feeling not alone, to inspiring, to escape, to be thought provoking, to be educational, to make you realize things you have been forced to internalize and unlearn, to something as simple yet as hard as happiness.

“Because time is cruel to all, and crueler still to artists. Because vision weakens, and voices wither, and talent fades. ” He leans close, twists a lock of her hair around one finger. “Because happiness is brief, and history is lasting, and in the end, ” he says, “everyone wants to be remembered.”

While I was reading this book, me and my best friend Lea watched a video that was reuploaded on V.E.’s YouTube. It was basically just an hour-long discussion that they had with Tessa Gratton, where they talk about many things, but one of the things they talked about that I especially haven’t been able to stop thinking about since finishing this book was that we never get to really pick what work we will be known for. Obviously, Victoria is very well-know from their series A Darker Shade of Magic, and it very well could be the greatest legacy that the world will know from them. Yet, they talk about how Addie LaRue is the book of their heart, and (I do not want to put any words in their mouth) it kind of felt like to me the book they may want the world to know them for. Yet, we never really get to choose what we are known for, do we? A very astounding concept to think about, truly, and one I couldn’t stop feeling deeply in my bones while I finished the last half of this book. Also, to think about how the human experiences could boil down to this hunger we all have to leave a mark on this world before we are forced to leave it all together? Very powerful stuff, truly. But I promise, V.E. Schwab and Addie Larue most definitely left their marks on me, and my heart, forever with this book.

“Humans are capable of such wondrous things. Of cruelty, and war, but also art and invention.”

Overall, this book made me yearn for so many things while also constantly making me question what it is to hunger. To crave your freedom, to crave someone who will see all the parts of you, to crave remembrance. I just feel like this book really touched on the human experience, but in such a incredibly raw and indistinguishably beautiful way. I really loved The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and it will without a doubt make my best of 2020 list. Thank you for letting me be a part of your story, thank you for always reading this part of mine, and I promise you will never be invisible to me.

5

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Trigger and Content Warnings: attempted assault, abuse depiction, loss of a loved one, substance abuse, depression depiction, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and mention of cancer in the past.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤

Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince (#1 – #4) by V.E. Schwab & Andrea Olimpieri

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“Here, our story begins…”

I read the entire A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy, and I ended up giving them all three stars. I am absolutely obsessed with Victoria’s mind and worlds, and her characters are truly some of the best I’ve read, but the plot and events always held me back from completely loving them. But when I found out we were going to get to learn more about Rhy’s father (adoptive father of Kell) and the events that lead him to being King, I knew I couldn’t resist. But here I am, still surprised that I ended up giving the prequel graphic novel series start three stars.

Maxim Maresh is only a prince in this brand-new graphic novel series, but he is the sole heir and the king in waiting in Red London. Yet, he wants to be so much more than that, and he wants to prove that he will be capable and earn his rightful place as king one day. Maxim and his family are also people of color, with obvious dark brown skin, but it is never stated what ethnicity in this made up alternate historical London. And he has earned himself the title of The Steel Prince because of his magical affinity with steel.

But in this bind-up, Maxim gets involved with pirates, and magical tournaments, and figuring out who he wants to be. Yet, this first volume barely mentions the parallel Londons, which (to me) is the coolest part of this world, completely. And then with this elaborate magic system finally being visualized, it just felt clunky, and like it missed the mark completely on something that could have been groundbreaking.

“You fight like a royal. Like the weapons are made of wood. Like no one means to hurt you. But this is not London, your highness.”

But my biggest problem with this graphic novel was honestly the art. Trust me, it kills me to say this, but I just never grew to like the style of this book. And especially with something as cool as the world of ADSOM, I feel like an artist really could have turned this into one of the most aesthetically pleasing series of all time, especially with red, grey, black, and white having such a pivotal role in this world. But I don’t have an art degree, so don’t listen to me. I’m just stating what I would have liked more for this story! The artist is still very talented. And if this is your favorite art style of all time? You are valid.

I still really enjoyed this bind-up and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. I hope we get to see more cameos of characters we love, too! And if you are already a fan of VE Schwab and this breathtaking world, I bet you will absolutely love this addition! Content and trigger warnings violence, blood, and torture.

Okay, so like with every graphic novel that I review, I always do a breakdown on what happens briefly in each individual issue. So, the next portion of this review will have SPOILERS! Obviously, I won’t give away anything too pivotal, but I will talk about some of the themes that each issue had inside.

ISSUE ONE:
We get to meet Maxim, the prince and sole heir to the throne. We also get to meet the king, and his dad, Nokil. And we also get our first glimpse at Maxim wanting to be more than the prince in waiting, and he wants to prove himself and his fighting abilities.

ISSUE TWO:
We are introduced to Arisa, the pirate queen, and we get to learn about a tournament where the winner will fight her to prove themselves worthy. Also, we get to see the Black Torch, and you know my pub loving heart was so dang happy.

ISSUE THREE:
Isra, the pirate queen’s niece, and Maxim are both battling in the tournament where we see so many different magic abilities, and we learn there are no rules and anything goes.

ISSUE FOUR:
Things do not go Maxim’s way, but he is rescued. Then, after, he receives a letter from his father, asking him to come. But he declines because he still has so much more to learn.

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Vicious (Villains, #1) by V.E. Schwab

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“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Friends, this is my fifth book by VE Schwab, and I’ve three starred every single one of them. At this point, it is glaringly obvious that you should take my review(s) of her work with a grain of salt, because it is obviously a “me” thing. I will say that I adore the author, and I want so desperately to fall in love with a book of hers. And even though I thought Vicious would be the one, it sadly wasn’t.

But this is a book about two college roommates who are literally experimenting with life and death and that tiny, minuscule, grey area in-between. Ten years later, a story of revenge, heartbreak, and anger is born. Yet, we still get glimpses into what happened at college ten years ago to bring these current ramifications into fruition.

“I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.”

This book does raise the fascinating question, both in literature and in real life: what makes a hero and what makes a villain? Is it just the light the story is told in? Is the difference that monumental? Is it only a matter of perspective? Victor and Eli really challenge this question, and I adored it.

Victor – Fresh out of jail and will stop at nothing to exact his revenge; the slower the better.

Sydney – My favorite character, who needs to be protected at all costs, and is just trying to find her place in a world that has constantly made her feel like she doesn’t belong.

Mitch – I highkey loved this hacker and Victor’s soft friend.

Eli – I actually hated Eli, and I think that’s the point of this book, truly, but his crisis of faith was just too much for me.

Serena – To me, Serena and Sydney were truly the bright, shining stars of this story. And Serena has the coolest power of all the EOs, in my opinion.

And these five people’s paths all cross; some because of tangled pasts, but some because of brand new beginnings. And these characters quickly prove that developing superpowers could be pretty damn frightening. Especially when the powers you develop are rooted in who you are and what you need.

One thing I do want to briefly mention that I adored was Victor’s love for blackout poetry. I’ve actually never seen a book character have a passion for it, and it really warmed my heart. Every time he would create something, it really would take my breath away. It was such a bright light in the story for me.

I read this with a few friends, and the reading was broken down over the course of five days. Day one and day five were both, easily, five star reading days. I loved the start and end of this book more than words. Again, Victoria Schwab is so intelligent, and her ideas are truly a tier above the rest. Sadly, the middle three days I just felt a bit bored, and it only got worse by day four. But the ending? God, I know I shouldn’t, but I desperately want to read Vengeful now.

I also really truly loved how the first and last chapter began. I’m always a sucker when authors mirror events and phrases throughout their book(s) and I feel like VE Schwab always successfully does this. And I get goosebumps each and every time.

Overall, I get that there is some kind of disconnect between me and this author’s books. And nothing is changing that because, believe me, I truly want to love her work so badly. Like I said above, take this review with a grain of salt because so many of my friends adore this book, and I really implore you to check out some of their amazing reviews: Em, Adriana, CW, Hari, & Mari!

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Content and trigger warnings
for talk of suicide, attempted suicide, overdosing, self-harm, drug use, murder, animal death, abandonment, and depiction of panic attacks.

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3) by V.E. Schwab

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1.) A Darker Shade of Magic ★★★
2.) A Gathering of Shadows ★★★

“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”

I have read one book in this series every year for the BooktubeSFF Awards. And every year I enjoy what I’m reading, I close the book pretty pleased, and then I sit down to write my review and start thinking about how these are such big books with so little happening. And I know they are character driven. One of my favorite books of all time is the most character driven thing out there, but for some reason I just don’t love this series like everyone else does.

A Conjuring of Light is the third and final novel in this trilogy that surround four different parallel Londons:
Grey London – is like our real world’s London, with no magic. Delilah Bard is from this London.
Red London – is the home of the main protagonist, Kell, where he and his royal family rule. There is an abundance of magic in this London, most coming from a red river which lights up the whole city.
White London – is a city in war with itself. It was ruled by evil twins, but now has a new king. Everyone in this London tries to fight for magic and power within this corrupt city.
Black London – and is still basically a mystery. It is essentially a lost city, since regular people cannot travel between worlds.

And after the brutal cliffhanger ending that was A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light picks right back up after the events! And without saying anything too spoilery, since this is the concluding novel and all, our main character, Kell Maresh, and his home, Red London, are in serious danger. But with the help of a ruthless thief/assassin, Lila Bard, a swoon-worthy pirate, Alucard Emery, the best prince to have ever lived, Rhy Maresh, and a very morally grey Antari, Holland Vosijk, they are trying to save everything they’ve ever known and loved.

“Life isn’t made of choices, it’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.”

And even the idea of four different color coded Londons, with a handful of magical people who can travel between them, is so damn genius that I don’t even have words for it. Also, V.E. Schwab is such a talented writer. The way she echoes phrases from different books, or even sentences from previous chapters, is so powerful and is able to evoke all the emotions from me. She truly can weave and craft paragraphs together so expertly and I’m constantly impressed with her writing.

I just feel like not a lot happens in her books. Like, a few big, key, important things happen without question, and storylines get completed, but I just feel like it is such a longwinded journey to get there. And these books are so easily consumable that you don’t really realize until after you’ve closed the book. I mean, at least for me and my personal reading experiences. Seriously, go back and look at my other two reviews; I say the same thing. Also, the big bad villain just fell so very short for me. The magic started off so dang well, but the villain really ended up feeling lackluster to me.

But my biggest complaint about the other two installments in this series is that they don’t read or feel adult to me. But you know what A Conjuring of Light reads and feels like? Adult, without question. Also, just a little caveat, if an author says their work is in a certain age bracket/genre, then it is. I am just saying A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows don’t feel or read like adult fantasy to me, but I’m not saying they aren’t. But ACOL did give me those brutal moments that made me go “okay, this isn’t YA” quite a lot.

Also, trigger and content warnings for abuse, torture, abduction, slavery, captivity, talk of suicide, violence, gore, heavy blood depiction, abandonment, and depiction of grief and PTSD. Oh and I guess sexual content, too, but nothing too graphic. (Also, hello, perverted Melanie here to report that that sex scene was 11/10 and was so smooth and sexy and I actually loved it!)

“I have never known what to make of you. Not since the day we met. And it terrifies me. You terrify me. And the idea of you walking away again, vanishing from my life, that terrifies me most of all.”

But my biggest love for this series is Rhy Maresh, who has completely and without question stole my heart. He is easily my favorite character in this series. My beautiful, pure, cinnamon roll, unbreakable boy. I stan one man from this series, and it’s him. And he deserves everything good in the universe.

Breathtaking art meliescribbles

“We don’t choose what we are, but we choose what we do.”

Overall, take this review with a large grain of salt. I am for sure in the minority with not loving these books as much as everyone else. And even though this isn’t my favorite series, I think Victoria is incredibly talented and I can’t wait to see what she does next. And I truly think that these books get better and better, with A Conjuring of Light being my favorite in the series, and the last couple chapters of this book had me smiling from ear to ear in pure happiness. And I ultimately do feel really fulfilled and happy with the ending. Plus, I’m very interested (especially after gushing with my friend Julie) with reading the graphic novel series set around a character from this world. Also, I have the highest of hopes for the spinoff that Victoria is working on. I just hope I fall completely head over heels in love, instead of only just enjoying.


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Buddy read with Julie! ❤

Readalong for the BooktubeSFF Awards which is being hosted by:
🌑 Samantha from Sam’s Nonsense
🌒 Frankie from Frankie Reads
🌓 Kaitlin from Kitty G
🌔 Rachel from Kalanadi
🌕 Thomas from SFF180
🌖 Connor from Connor O’Brien
🌗 Sam from Thoughts on Tomes
🌘 Chelsea from TheReadingOutlaw
🌑 Elena from Elena Reads Books