Format: Audio (BorrowBox)
Read: March 2023
I went into the cautiously because in more balance reviews I had read that it was not V.E. Schwab’s best. Having read it now it certainly doesn’t compare to Vicious or A Darker Shade of Magic. It was just fine, forgettable and a frustrating waste of potential for a true epic!
I listened to it on audiobook and at times I just could not believe how long was left of it when there had been so little story in so many pages! I got really bored about 10 hours in & could not believe it had 7 hours left to go!
It’s written nicely, although too lyrical for my taste – something enhanced by listening to it via audiobook. That got a little grating with many repeated phrases (a lot of things are “smooth as a river stone” & “silk and smoke”…for some reason everyone has curly hair). This may be exacerbated by boredom… I wanted to get to whatever the point was.
The story is fine but nothing ground-breaking, it is very predictable.. I guessed the ending as soon as we met Henry. There is a lot of what felt like treading water – at least one too many Addie inspires an artist story, and one too many Addie rebuffs Luke story.
Addie as a character is ok but she got a little irritating after a while (I’m not sure the narrator’s affected French accent helped with that!) as I don’t like it when writers constantly tell me how brilliant their characters are. The seven moles/stars on her face was a bit contrived & destined for fan art (that actually made me question if this was for YA or an adult audience).
Henry really annoyed me, and I didn’t feel like he actually learned any lessons. I felt like there, again, were just too many chapters focused on him & he’s so mopey. I think his entrance to the story was were my interest took a nose dive.
Overall it was all too trite & felt a bit juvenile …But maybe I’m too old & unromantic! I was just sick of all the characters by the end.
It has made me really want to reread A Darker Shade of Magic to see if that holds up for me!
This book also reminded me a lot of The Midnight Library, it has a similar concept & message. I preferred that one.