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A Gathering of Shadows cover art

A Gathering of Shadows

Written by: V. E. Schwab
Narrated by: Michael Kramer,Kate Reading
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Publisher's Summary

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like 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.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall.

©2016 Victoria Schwab (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about A Gathering of Shadows

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Falling into the YA tropes

The first book had a Neil Gaiman vibe, much more unique and engaging. The second book relied too heavily on overdone young adult novel tropes. I only bothered finishing because I liked the characters, but it had none of the charm of the first book.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

if you can get past the narration change ,,,

going straight from book 1 to this I found it very disconcerting that the narrator changed and so the personalities of the main characters were disrupted. if you can get past that, which I did after several chapters, the story is good and the pace fast. As before I found that the descriptions of people and places were lacking - difficult to picture- but the story kept my attention

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Overall a solid book

Great storyline. So much suspense!! The love story bits are a little tedious and Hollywood-ish. But generally pretty awesome.

I preferred the narration of the first book. I found the sudden change in voices made it difficult to get back into the story. Delilah is really not suited by a crisp, highly enunciated narrator

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Clichés and wasted potential.

I was mildly disappointed by the first book in the series, despite really wanting to like it. This sequel lacks the benefits of the first book's tighter focus, and instead of learning from the mistakes of the first one, actually makes them worse.

None of the major characters in this book seem to have any functional weaknesses, only things stated to be weakness that never truly pose a problem. Each one is basically a standard fantasy archetype with no deviation or fresh perspective.

Kel and Lilah's romance feels as forced as it did in the first book, with their reunion having cringe worthy dialogue. The other romance (which I won't spoil for the three people who didn't see it coming) has potential to not only be interesting but actually have consequences, and then goes unused (referenced, shown briefly, and then ignored).

The plot revolves around the Element Games, which don't really seem to actually do anything for driving the story other than act as excuse to get everyone in the same place. You could cut everything outside the first and last 5 chapters and the arc of the characters as well as the story remains unchanged.

Every conflict in this book has its stakes stated to the reader and not demonstrated, making them feel arbitrary and unearned.

The world is very interesting and has lots of potential. Unfourtunately, it seems wasted on this story. You could transpose it into any generic fantasy world and nothing would be any different and so nothing about the uniqueness of the different Londons really matters in any way. Grey, white and black Londons could simply be other random kingdoms in the world and their effect is the same. So the added complexity and layers of mirrored Londons is essentially unused.

The performances are solid if you prefer your narrators to stay fairly neutral and not read too much into the text. They treat it as a read through as opposed to actors in a radio play. Their pacing is good and their accents are decent.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, not great narration

Excellent story!! but I wish they’d used the same narrator from the first book. Takes me a while to get into the vibe of the story with the current narrators.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator Michael Kramer is annoying in this book

I don’t like to write bad reviews, but narrator Michael Kramer seems to put overly emphasized inflections on ever’ damn’ word’ in this book and in the wrong places. I was excited to get the second book going from the series but his parts are absolutely’ killing’ me’.
It’s as if he isn’t registering what he is reading. I don’t want to be thinking about the voice but the story. Brutal. Please RE-narrate his parts.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent read

I really enjoy the world building and magic style. Well narrated by a lovely voice. If anything the book ended too soon.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Why A Different Narrator?

The characters are from London so why in the world did they hire Americans to narrate this book?

The narration is jarring when listening to the series in one go. The previous narrator was much better.

Also - these characters are quite young and these voices are very mature. Between the accent and the age difference, it’s hard to get into the story.

Skip the audio and just read the book

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Alright story line, great performance

The story idea is alright, the character depth is ok. The performance, in my opinion, was great. This book turned a little more YA than I was expecting though. I am excited to find out what happens in the last book though.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

original and fresh

I felt engaged the entire experience. I immediately purchased the next book. the narrator dude a great job!

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