Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by Victoria Schwab

20764879Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Pub Date: February 23, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 506
Source: Purchased
Genre(s): YA, Adult, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★½
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Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

My review:

“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”

Cress is definitely the best book in the series (so far). But I suppose we’ll see if “Winter” changes that!

I feel like there isn’t much I can say without giving away spoilers, so here it goes:

  • I am fascinated by how every character’s story is entwined with that of another’s.
  • Cinder is finally coming to terms with who she is (which is a complete and total badass).
  • Kai is still honourable and kind, but like always, he’s a little clueless.
  • Scarlet and Wolf still give me butterflies. He’s still dark and brooding but there are valid reasons for that.
  • Cress is a breath of fresh air. She’s so sweet and adorable and dorky!
  • Thorne is that quirky asshole you can’t help but laugh at, or laugh along with.
  • Jacin is rubbing me the wrong way but I’m hoping he’ll have some redeemable qualities later on.
  • We get a small glimpse of Winter, and well… colour-me-intrigued. I want to know more about her.
  • My heart breaks for Doctor Erland.
  • The Queen is still as fucking evil as ever. She needs to go.
  • Torin is a pretty cool dude.

I apologize for this completely useless review but you should just read the book! In my opinion, Cress and Thorne definitely stole the spotlight. I really can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

★★★★ (4 stars) for Iko, because her spirit is everything.

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

My mini-review:

“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”

This review is going to be on the shorter side again. Scarlet was slightly closer to being a 4-star book but it took more effort than I would have liked to exert just to keep reading at certain parts. I’m still quite invested in the story though, so I’m starting Cress right away. Hopefully it stays engaging. I really just want to see Levana taken down. And I also really want to see Kai and Cinder have a serious conversation. It would be great for her to have a chance to explain herself.

As far as sequels go in general, this one isn’t terrible. Things are slowly unraveling and more things are starting to make sense. Bring on the next one!

★★★★ (3.75 stars) because I’m quite fond of Wolf and Scarlet together.