Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NetGalley Reviews: "A Darker Shade of Magic" and "The Novice"

SNEAK PEEK: A Darker Shade of Magic SAMPLESNEAK PEEK: A Darker Shade of Magic SAMPLE by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.



 An incredible mix of fantasy, world travel and adventure. Even as I got the sneak peak, it kept me focused on the story and on the unfolding mystery of Kell and his power. I have to admit that both covers were the first parts I noticed and when I first read the descriptions of the cape, it felt even better than the invisibility Cloak.

"A darker shade of Magic" has a detailed world building which is NOT confusing, since the author spends great deal on explaining it even from the first pages. The Book will be on my shelf when it will be published. I was delighted to be gifted with an EARC from NetGalley!

In exchange for an honest review.

About the author:

 Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

 The Novice (Summoner, #1)The Novice by Taran Matharu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

 I recieved an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

When I learnt that the author had come from Wattpad, I was surprised and thrilled. It's rare to see authors becoming known through the online writting community.
The Novice takes place in a world where high fantasy rules and a boy discovers a deadly power. When I first began reading the book I got a deja vu sense of Lord of the Rings. Orcs for example. There is a great deal of conspiracy in it, which at some point gor confusing and tiring for me. I believe that the author will try and explain the world of the book better on the next sequel but still I had one objection.

To the spirit of relationships, there was no romance and the demon sometimes got my nerves. But Fletcher learns basic skills and become more independent and strong. For now and for an author at the beginning of his journey it was a good read.

About the author:

Taran was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.

Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.

After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER trilogy will be published in Spring 2015 by Hodder Children’s in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and British Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Heyne in Germany, Crown in Taiwan, Planeta in the Spanish speaking world and Record in Brazil. Book 1 will be published by EKSMO in Russia, Ecliptic in Bulgaria and Alpress in the Czech Republic.

So what do you think? Is any of these books on your TBR list? :) You can also find Taran on Wattpad as also many other aspiring authors. My Wattpad button is on your left. Happy Tuesday. :)