BOOK REVIEW | A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab (4 stars)

agos-uk-coverVerdict: A very welcome return to Red London and the lives of Lila and Kell. I’m a bit terrified for the next book.

Question: What’s better than a cross-dressing thief and a royal magician at the end of his tether?

Answer: Nothing.

A Gathering of Shadows picks up a few months after the last book left off. Things in Red London have changed – and not for the better. Continue reading

#YALC UK | Authors, agents and amazing teens


This weekend, I attended the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) and it was the highlight of my month. That’s not to say the rest of my month has been rubbish – just that my day surrounded by books and favourite authors was really that good.

Some agent advice (and a bit of chickening out)

I got there early as, apart from book talks and signings with authors, the YALC provided chats about publishing: Q&As, How-To’s and general advice that I greedily lapped up. Some of you might know I’m querying my debut novel as we speak, so any snippet of information I could gather was a boon. I spent an hour listening to three very knowledgeable women talking about literary agents and the best approach strategy, and came away feeling slightly securer in my own plans.There was a later one-on-one opportunity to pitch to the agents, but I wasn’t brave enough or properly prepared enough to try that just yet. Baby steps, Goodacre. Baby steps…

Victoria Schwab is a Snorlax

My second goal for the day was to find the elusive V.E.Schwab, author of A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, Vicious and This Savage Song. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Vicious by V.E. Schwab (4 stars)

viciousVerdict: An excellently written tale of two sociopaths. One of whom you might actually like.  

Victor Vale and Eli Cardale start off as college friends, for lack of a better word. It’s an unhealthy relationship; there’s an almost-love-triangle factor and Victor has a fixation with getting Eli to show his dark side. When Eli comes up with the idea to write his thesis on ‘Extra-Ordinaries’ (EOs), Victor is immediately jealous that he didn’t think of it. So he jumps on Eli’s bandwagon and urges Eli to make his thesis more than just a theory.

What is an EO?

An EO is an Extra-Ordinary person – humans who have died and been brought back with abnormal abilities. Some might call them superheroes. If the idea of heroism wasn’t such a ridiculous idea in this book.  Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: A Darker Shade of Magic (#ADSOM) by V.E. Schwab (4 stars)

DarkerVerdict: An inventive, breezy and engaging introduction to a world I want to know more about. I’ll be buying the sequel!

Fantasy worlds are two-a-penny these days. It takes a skilled writer and a good story to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, V.E. Schwab ticks all the boxes with A Darker Shade of Magic. All systems are go from the moment you open the page – there are no wallowing descriptions to muddle through; Schwab introduces and fleshes out the four Londons with effective and tight lyricism as her hero, Kell, jumps from intriguing danger to intriguing danger. Continue reading