I picked up A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab because I am a sucker for alternate versions of cities. Yes, Neverwhere is a favourite of mine and so when I saw this story had that vibe happening, I was in. Honestly, by partway through the first chapter I was excited in ways I hadn’t been for a story in a while. It’s got crossdressing thieves, multiple Londons, super cool magic, chicks to the rescue, throne power plays, and an amazing mythology I want to fall into and stay suspended in for a very long time.
Kell and Lila are a fabulous swashbuckling duo. His backstory is totally compelling and fraught with mystery. His brother Rhy is a charmer with a heart of gold that I demand more of. The world building is insanely cool. This is an original, compelling, thoroughly engaging and entertaining book one. If you’re looking for romance, you won’t really find in in this book though it sets up tantalizing and frustrating (in good ways) teases to be played out. Bonus points for actually wrapping up the main plot while still creating enough questions about things to follow. And just FYI? The entire trilogy is a delight.
Words of Wisdom
I write funny, sexy urban fantasy and shockingly, I’m finding it tough these days to write scenes that are either funny or sexy. So I came up with a strategy that I’ve been faithfully following. Every time I sit down at my computer, I tell myself that I only have to manage 1500 super shitty words. That’s it. By giving myself permission to suck, I slowly clawed my way to the end of my first draft. It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment in these trying times and the draft isn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. The important thing is that I can now keep improving because at least I have a completed story to work with. #shitty15 (or whatever number works for you). It won’t let you down. 🙂
About Deborah Wilde
Award-winning author Deborah Wilde jumped from a twelve-year screenwriting career to writing YA romantic comedies under the name Tellulah Darling because her first kiss sucked and she’s compensating. Both a hopeless romantic and a total cynic with a broken edit button, she branched out into adult urban fantasy as Deborah Wilde to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. She is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way.
If you want to escape into a funny sexy urban fantasy series with cool world building and an enemies-to-lovers romance, then pick up The Jezebel Files by yours truly. Blood & Ash is book 1.