Tag Archives: A Darker Shade of Magic

Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (4/5)

26 Aug

I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to get to this book. I liked the first one in the series, but a lot of other books squeezed their way in between and it’s been more than three years since I started this series. That’s far too long. I remembered most of the first book, but there were details I’d forgotten and I think it hurt my reading of this book a little bit. I hope I can get to the third in a more timely fashion.

Cover image via Goodreads

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

Other books by Schwab reviewed on this blog:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)

Summary from Goodreads:

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

The start of the book was a good mix between a review of the first and picking up right where it left off. Lila and Kell’s parting was one of the few details I’d forgotten so I struggled with that a bit before I could settle into this book. Once I did, the book picked up right away and took us on a completely different adventure and I was all in. I loved the idea of the Element Games. It seems like a logical step to take in international relations with the magic that exists in that world. I found it a little unsettling that Lila could get in so easily, but I was able to suspend my disbelief and still have fun with it. The cliffhanger ending was the only part I didn’t enjoy. I wish it had wrapped up a little cleaner before cutting to book three.

Lila and Kell are well developed and that’s part of what makes them so likable. I’m not going to claim I’m anything like either of them or that I could be friends with them, but I can understand why they are the way they are and their reactions seemed in line with their characters. The secondary characters in this one, particularly Rhy and Alucard, were great and rounded out the cast well.

Alucard was my favorite character and I hope he has a big role in the final book. His story was great and I liked how he fit into both Lila and Kell’s stories. I’d like to hear more about him and I think we will going forward.

There were elements of each character’s story that I could relate to, but the fantastical setting kept me from fully sympathizing with anyone for the whole book. Alucard wanted to be accepted by his family, Lila wanted to prove herself, and Kell wanted independence. They were all relatable in some way, but without being able to travel between parallel worlds or the ability to control water, I was a bit too distant from them.

V.E. Schwab
Image via EW

The Element Games battles were my favorite part. They reminded me of a mix between The Hunger Games, and The Triwizard Tournament but much less deadly. I liked hearing about the ways Kell and Lila came up with to use their elements and win the battles. I liked the idea of it being a spectator sport and the ways Lila twisted the games to work for her. IT was a fun structure to build the book around.

The ending was frustrating! It was a total cliffhanger and left me a bit angry. I do not like cliffhangers and to me, it’s a sign that the books should have been combined into a longer volume and a publisher nixed that to make more money. The first book wrapped up somewhat nicely with a big event but this one stopped right before it. I wonder if this was Schwab’s plan all along or if it’s due to a quick money grab. It frustrated me.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer. I liked the dual-narrator as it played well with the dual-POV of the book. It can sometimes feel odd when a male narrator reads a female part and vice versa. I liked the decision to use both for this. Kramer was great. He has a way of using his low voice to add weight to Kell’s voice while giving Rhy an airy demeanor. Reading was good as well, but I think Kramer overshadowed her.

Kell has to sacrifice a lot for Rhy and his adoptive family. Eventually, he was asked to sacrifice too much. This book seemed to focus on what Kell was asked to give up, for who, and by who. The things Rhy asked of him never seemed too much though they might have been hard. Lila never asked him for anything but he’d give up almost everything for her. What the King and Queen asked of him always seemed too much. Maybe it has something to do with who asks, but also what they asked.

Writer’s Takeaway: Schwab has created a rich world in Red London. It’s parallels to Grey London and differences with White London are wonderfully illustrated. Her world-building is really commendable and I think it’s something a historical fiction writer can learn from. That’s an element of my book I could probably work on and Schwab has given a good example. It’s not just about the physical geography of the place, but the smells and sounds as well; the people who exist around the main cast and the ones that only come into play briefly. It’s the whole thing.

I enjoyed the book, though the ending frustrated me. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
A gathering of shadows by V.E. Schwab //  in which I am quite DELIghted (i am so clever you see) | dragon waffles
Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab | Alive and Narrating
Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab | My Midnight Musing
Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab | Story and Somnomancy
Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab | Martin Cahill

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WWW Wednesday, 10-February-2016

10 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


ClashofKingsCurrently reading: It feels like I’m making good progress with Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling but I’m not even 100 pages in yet. It’s a chunk of a book and I wish I could report more progress with it. It will come in time, I’m sure. Let’s see how much I can get through before I have to pick up my next book club selection.
Only a few lunches reading Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and I’m over 30% of the way through it. This is flying by! It will probably be the next book I finish because of how long these other selections are.
Speaking of long, I started the audiobook of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. This will be on here a while because it’s almost 40 hours of audio! It’s the only one I’m listening to so I hope it will move quickly between car rides and listening around the house. Fingers crossed!

BellwetherRecently finished: I finished Bellwether by Connie Willis which I really enjoyed. My review will be coming up after my vacation so you’ll have to wait for a little to read it but be assured it’s positive. It’s science fiction, but only in the sense that it’s fiction writing about science. It’s rather modern in my opinion.

So many reviews! I posted about A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab last week. I gave it 4 stars and really liked it. I can’t wait for the sequel.
I also reviewed Carry On by Rainbow Rowell earlier this week. I adored the book and read it super fast. A full 5 stars.
Finally, I posted about Dead Wake by Erik Larson yesterday. He writes a great historical narrative and if you’re interested in that at all, you should check out his work.

ShanghaiReading Next: I’ll pick up Shanghai Girls by Lisa See on Sunday. I hope it’s good, but not so good I finish it before my vacation’s over. See is coming to my area this year and I’m really excited to meet her.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (4/5)

4 Feb

I had thought of reading this one but kept putting it off. When Ford Audiobook Club offered up copies, I figured it was time to jump on the bandwagon and just read/listen to the darn thing. It was enjoyable for sure. I hope to read the sequel when it comes out though I won’t line up for it. I’ll wait till the hype dies down.

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Summary from Goodreads:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once 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 royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘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—trickier than they hoped.

If you know me or have followed this blog for a while, you’ll find it hard to believe I don’t consider myself a fantasy fan. Yep, this Harry Potter fangirl is saying she doesn’t like fantasy. But what I do like is magic that lives next to normalcy which HP has and A Darker Shade of Magic uses as well. The fully magical worlds and universes appeal to me less than those that exist alongside my world. My imagination works better this way. For that reason, I enjoyed this book despite my fantasy skepticism. Lyla was a good balance to Kell and Rhy was a refreshing absence of magic in Red London scenes. Schwab’s story played well and I liked Red London best because it felt safe; the balance between magic and manual life was just to my liking.

Lila was everything a fantasy-female should be. She was strong, sassy, and didn’t fall in love! I think this weakens a lot of stories and I liked that (excepting a quick moment) Lila isn’t secretly looking for a boyfriend. She’s looking out for herself and she’s smart about how to do it! She’s tricky, conniving, and at the same time loving and emotional. She’s a great balance and actually (odd comparison) reminds me of Rae from the new Star Wars movie. I’m so excited about strong female characters. I have hope for the next generation after all.

Lila was my obvious favorite but I also like Rhy. Come on, what’s not to like about a prince with secrets? Even though Kell found it hard to see the King and Queen as his parents, it was obvious he thought of Rhy as a brother. That helped me like him from the start. It was fun to see a male character in the ‘damsel in distress’ role so I guess a lot of what I liked about Rhy was his role in the book. And his sarcastic character.

Lila was easy to relate to. She wasn’t happy with her lie and wanted to change it so she went on a big adventure. Doesn’t every adolescent girl feel that way? Kell was pretty easy to relate to as well. He had an obligation to his parents and while going through with it, strayed a little and it went awry. I think that situation is a common fear. I’m always afraid when I’m following simple, routine directions that something’s going to get in my way and mess everything up. Like driving and fearing a crash. I’m always slightly terrified of that.

V.E. Schwab Photo courtesy of Amazon

V.E. Schwab
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Lila’s life in Grey London was really fun to read. It was a great way to introduce her character. It’s hard not to like a character who you are introduced to as a murderous thief. Seeing her defend herself against an attacker was a good indication of what she would be like in the rest of the story and made for an action-packed start.

While I liked the introduction to Lila, I thought the beginning was a bit of an info dump when it came to Kell. This is something I’ve noticed in my writing when I review it. There will be a scene where the character is going through routine motions and every few sentences, the author adds a background story that develops the world. It’s really frustrating and slows down the story. It made me skeptical early on though I now know I did not need to be.

My audiobook was narrated by Steven Crossley. I liked his reading but I found his voice for Lila to be a bit annoying. She always seemed to have a nagging quality to her voice that didn’t seem completely necessary. I’ve noticed this about a few male narrators before so I don’t think this is strictly Crossley. I think it’s hard to find a male narrator who does a female voice well.

To me, this was a fun adventure book. There wasn’t a lot of a message about family or heroism though Kell seemed to be okay with self-sacrifice. Not every book has to have a deeper meaning and I can think of a few examples without any. It was still fun and I think a lot was set up for sequels. (The rest of this paragraph will be me ranting about spoilers.) Does anyone else think Lila is a magician and that her missing eye was ‘damaged as a child’ because it was black?! I can’t be the only one. And Rhy’s life is on the line all the time, I doubt Kell will be traveling a lot. And I think we’ll find his parents before the end of this adventure. Just saying.

Writer’s Takeaway: This book was refreshing. It was fun, light-hearted, and not a YA romance about falling in love with a magical man. Lila was strong, the situation wasn’t contrived and the characters thought logically (as much as all of this is possible in a logical world). Having a male in distress and a female rogue was a great mix-up on the usual tropes and helped me enjoy the story.

Fun and fast paced. Four out of Five stars.

Based on the reference to Mad King George, I’ve used this book to fulfill the 1700s time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | Firey Reads
The Journey to a Darker Shade of Magic | Victoria (V.E.) Schwab
[Review] A Darker Shade of Magic — V.E. Schwab | Thoughts and Afterthoughts

WWW Wednesday, 27-January-2016

27 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


BellwetherCurrently reading:  A lot of changes this week! I’m super close to the ending of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I’m on the last disk and I’m tempted to sit in my car for a while just to finish it!
I grabbed a new audiobook this week, Bellwether by Connie Willis. I read Willis’s novel The Doomsday Book a while back and another blogger (and I, unfortunately, do not remember who) recommended this novella. It’s a short one, only five hours on audio, and I’m looking forward to it.
I’m finally picking up Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. This will be my Spanish language book for the year and I’ll come and go with it for a while so I’m expecting this book to be on here long-term.
I picked up a new ebook as well. I decided on Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s another classic book I’ve never read and I’m in the mood for a few more before I get over this kick.

A Darker Shade final for IreneRecently finished: Such a good week for finishing books! I finished A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab while cooking and working out early this week. I liked it a lot and I’m not on the bandwagon of those excited about the sequel. Turns out Schwab was in Michigan over the weekend for a con and my friend Rachel met her. Lucky girl.
It was a big push and I feel asleep once or twice in the process, but I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez! My book club met on it on Monday so I cut it close. Phew.
I bunkered down on Sunday and finished Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I might have avoided some blog writing and chores, but it was totally worth it! I was never a slash fangirl, but I still enjoyed the story and know it must have made a lot of other Fangirls really excited.

ShanghaiReading Next: Hm, not anything major lined up now. I’ll probably be starting Shanghai Girls by Lisa See not too long from now. My book club is reading this for March so I’ll pick it up in the middle of April. See is coming to Detroit and I’m excited to meet her!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 20-January-2016

20 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Carry OnCurrently reading:  I’ve tried to make progress with A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab while I’m cooking or working in my model, but it’s a slow process. I’ve got a lot of things I’m focusing on finishing before my semester starts in February and a lot of them aren’t mindless enough to listen to an audiobook. I’m still making forward progress, though!
I dedicated myself to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the results were okay. I didn’t get to the end, but I made some headway. I’m hopeful I can finish this before the book club discussion but I’m not sure how much prep I’ll be able to do for the discussion.
I’ve gotten past the torpedo in Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson and I’m looking forward to getting to the end! Larson always writes an amazing book and I’m loving this one a lot so far.
I found a new eBook and I’m really excited about it! I was checking back through my TBR to see if there were library eBooks for anything on there and I found the eBook for Carry On by Rainbow Rowell was available! I’m just getting into it but I’m hopeful I’ll fly through it!

Recently finished: Nothing this week. I have a suspicion this section will be full of books in a week or two as they all seem to be getting close to the end.

I’ve managed to get two reviews up this week. The first is Yes Please by Amy Poehler which I gave Three out of Five stars.
The second is I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. This book was well done and I gave it Four out of Five stars.

PrincipeReading Next: I’m waiting to pick up Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling as soon as I finish Marquez. It’s taunting me on my bedside. I miss Harry and I really want to read this soon.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 13-January-2016

13 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


A Darker Shade final for IreneCurrently reading:  I haven’t had much time for A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab but I’m still enjoying the story. The main action is just starting and Kell and Lila just got to Red London together. I can tell it’s about to pick up quickly.
Again, small progress One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’m not really getting into this one which is unfortunate because it’s keeping me from the books I want to read after it. I just need to power through but then I have to find the time! Ugh.
Decent progress with Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson due to errands and going out with my girlfriends a few times this week. I can feel the attack coming and I’m super anxious about it. I don’t know as much about this wreck as I do others so I’m not completely sure how devastating it will be.

MalalaRecently finished: I was able to finish I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai faster than I thought. The last 40 pages were a reader’s guide and some pictures which I skipped and flew through respectfully. I liked Malala’s words to describe the situation in Pakistan. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Look for a review early next week.

I posted a review for David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas last Thursday. I’m glad that one is finally over! It’s been hanging over my head for months.

TruthBeautyReading Next: Still  Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. As soon as I get through Marquez, I can’t wait to pick this up. I feel like I’m losing my Spanish a bit so reading it will help me with that. I hope.
I need a new ebook now that I’m done with Malala. I put holds on a few titles but I’m hoping the one that comes up next is Truth and Beauty by Anne Patchett. Someone recommended this title to me when I was talking about how much I love writer memoirs so I’m excited to read it.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 6-January-2016

6 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


MalalaCurrently reading:  I found a small amount of time to read I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai during some down time through the week. Nothing major and I doubt I’ll finish before it’s due next week. Let’s hope for another renewal.
I finally got to the main adventure in A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I had a suspicion that it might involve Black London so no real surprise yet, but I’m excited to see what happens to Kell and Lila.
Small progress One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez again. I’m almost 30% through it according to Goodreads and that’s slow progress! I need this one finished by the end of January for the book club discussion that I’m running so fingers crossed I have some time to work on it.
Not much wit Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson again. It’s good, but I haven’t had a lot of time alone in the car to work through it. I’m hoping I find some soon because I can see the sinking coming but can’t wait to hear Lason’s details.

PleaseRecently finished: My first book of 2016 is already complete! On the way home from Columbus, we finished Yes Please by Amy Poehler. It was a good book and it was great to hear Amy narrate, but it didn’t blow me away. I’ll probably have a review up next week.

My book review of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel went up last week. Expect a lot more from this book and author in the next few months as we get into the programming for the Great Michigan Read! I’m so excited.

PrincipeReading Next: Still planning on Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. I got my book club picks for one through June and there’s a lot of overlap between my other group and some picks I’ve already read. That means I feel good about finding time for books in the 2016 When Are You Reading? Challenge. It’s the only challenge I do where I have to pick books to be successful so it’s hard to plan around book clubs. I host this challenge and you can read the details on this page. I’d love to have you join.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 30-December-2015

30 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


PleaseCurrently reading:  I got to check out I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and I had time to read it during lunch on Thursday, which was really nice. I got to read a bit before mass started on Christmas Eve, but that’s about it for the week. Not a great reading week in general.
I got through very little of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I was with my family and friends almost non-stop this past week so it wasn’t a good time for audiobooks.
We all stayed up late talking so there wasn’t much time before bed for One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’m guessing y’all are feeling like the excuses are in abundance this week. They are.
Minimal progress (again) with Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I’m absolutely loving the story now but I have limited drive time. I hope this picked up in the new year.
My husband and I started a new audiobook for our long Christmas drive and New Years drive, Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I got the book through the Ford Audiobook Club before it ended. So far, it’s fun and enjoyable, though I liked Tina Fey’s better (just a bit).

Recently finished: Nothing finished. Poo. That’s what I get for all the traveling and family fun times.

And just one book review, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.

PrincipeReading Next: I put Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling next to my bed. It’s pretty certain to be next. However, I’m hosting the 2016 When Are You Reading? Challenge so I might have to pick up some historical fiction books to fit the time periods. If you’re interested in joining, please let me know! I posted about it Monday and you can read the details on this page.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 23-December-2015

23 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


DeadWakeCurrently reading:  I placed a hold on I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. I hope it comes to me soon because I don’t want to start anything while I wait for it and I’m impatient.
I’m still listening to A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab around the house while I’m working out or cooking or cleaning, etc.It makes for some good listening. I think I’m finally getting into the action. I thought the build-up with Kel was a bit slow.
I’m slow getting into One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’ve read the first two chapters, but it hasn’t grabbed me yet so I’m finding it easy to put down. I hope that changes.
I started a new audiobook on Thursday, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I really enjoyed The Devil in the White City and I’m hoping I like this title just as much.

CloudAtlasRecently finished: I finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited about this. I had twenty minutes to spare before I went to the gym and figured I could finish it off and BAM! Now I can watch the movie and indulge myself in that to remind myself how it started. It took me seven months to the day to read it and I’m so proud that I finished it.

Three book reviews for you as well. The first was Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Thank you to those of you who read that review already. I welcome other opinions on my takeaway.
The second is All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I really enjoyed this audio, a lot more than I thought I would, too. I’m glad I jumped on the bandwagon and read it.
Finally, Animal Farm by George Orwell. I don’t plan on reading a lot of other ‘classics’ in the next few weeks so it will be nice to have that behind us.

PrincipeReading Next: The plan is still to pick up Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. I don’t think I’ll finish Marquez before the beginning of the year so I’ll put some more ‘for fun’ books in the beginning of the year when my book clubs are overlapping.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 16-December-2015

16 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


100 yearsCurrently reading:  I’m almost at 90% of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Still hoping to finish this by the end of the year so I can take it off my list.
On hold with I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Stay tuned.
I put A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab on hold but I’m starting back into it today. I’ll likely interrupt this again for another audiobook. I do that with ones I own. It’s probably not fair to them.
I started One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez a little ahead of when I thought I would. I’m still in the first few chapters, but all I’ve read about this makes me excited and a bit nervous to dive in. We’ll see.

Station ElevenRecently finished: I flew through Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Those of you who said I’d love it were 100% right, it was really amazing. I highly recommend this one to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.
I started and finished Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee! It came in on Thursday morning last week and I finished it last night. It was better than I expcted because I went into it with really low expectations. happy surprise!

No book reviews this week, but they’re piling up for next week so get ready for that.

PrincipeReading Next: Wow, having finally made it through my huge bedside stack, I’m not totally sure what I’ll read next. It might be time to start my Spanish language read of the year, which can take me forever sometimes. It’s time for another Harry Potter read so it will likely be Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling.
If I think I have time to squeeze in another book, it will probably be Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. I’ve had it on my shelf forever and just want to read it!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!