In the final installment of the Shades series, we pick right up where we left off from the cliffhanger from A Gathering of Shadows. The entire book revolves around how Red London is going to deal with the God/Demon Osaron. We get a lot of fulfilling back story from the characters and a lot of our questions are answered, but Schwab decided not to answer a few which irked me. The book had pretty good pacing, but it seemed to just go on and on without actually getting anywhere in places. It seemed that although things were happening, not a lot actually got accomplished, and it just took a while to get through it. That being said, it is a very well written book with a lot of great humor. It’s sad to say goodbye to Kell and company, but I guess Anoshe.
1. Concept: 10 From Holland being overpowered in his own body to Osaron laying siege to Red London this book has a very unique story to tell. The Antari are so strong yet so mysterious.
2. Writing: 10 There were a few times that I just burst out laughing in this book. It happened a couple of times in the airport and on a plane. People probably thought I was crazy, but Schwab did an excellent job with this book.
3. How long did it take to get into the book: 10 I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished A Gathering of Shadows when it first came out. This book picked right up where Gathering left us on the cliffhanger.
4. Character Development: 7 I get that Rhy was angry with Alucard, but he just seemed too one-dimensional with his anger and frustration. He did come around in the end, but it just seemed weird for how social and accepting he’d been throughout the rest of the series. I hate that Kell decided not to look into his past. He doesn’t even know what his real name is and he threw it all away. I’m not sure if it was lazy writing or creative genius, but I don’t like it either way.
5. Plot: 8 The plot took a few unexpected twists and turns without really supplementing the back story. In Sasenroche when Lila was attacked, it just threw some backstory together to justify it, but it was the first we heard about it. It didn’t really make sense.
6. Pacing: 7 There were times that the story didn’t really progress, but just kind of dragged on. The royal family was all doing something, but it just was very drawn out and I found myself reading chapter after chapter waiting for something meaningful to happen.
7. Ending: 9 Holland’s end was great. He really became one of my favorite characters and I love that we got to delve deeply into his back story. I wish we got a little more about Kell and what the repercussions are going to be for him moving forward, but the story has to end somewhere. I wouldn’t be surprised to get a short story filling in the gaps.
8. Cover Art: 9 I really liked the cover art. It’s tasteful but also really portrays what the book has to offer.
9. World Building: 10 We get to do more exploring outside of London and it was great. The floating black market was my favorite place. Schawb did a great job at giving us more of her world to devour, but also repainted parts of her world in a much darker light.
10. Would I read other books by the Author: 10 I finished this series, but I look forward to seeing what else Schwab has to offer.
Follow-up Questions Definite Spoilers:
What are the repercussions for Kell? Is something broken inside of him or is it temporary?
Now that Holland is dead, will White London get more magic and another Antari?
What happened to Lila’s eye? Did someone in Grey London know she was an Antari?
What his Kell’s real name? I hate that he threw away his chance to find out!
What was Maxim’s secret plan; to have his guards stab him with magic swords in hopes that would stop Osaron? Seems pretty flimsy to throw his life away over. I wish we could have read his letter to Rhy.
Can there only be three Antari at a time?
Do Kell and Lila still have the Antari Binding Rings? Can he borrow some of Lila’s power and not feel pain while casting magic?