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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
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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

2 people found this helpful

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    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

1 person found this helpful

  • 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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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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    1 out of 5 stars
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    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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Love this!

Fantastic plot ,great narration and overall loved this story! Keeps you hanging on and excited to read the next book.

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  • JAG
  • 2020-12-18

Reads like a movie

I can imagine the characters easily, and picture the scenes and landscapes. The story is interesting and dynamic, and switches deftly from one character to another, both with performance and with written style. It is not a complete story. It is very much a chapter in the series and ends abruptly. I have no choice but move on to the next book! I’m encased and intrigued by the story. 4 stars because it it isn’t a book unto itself.

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Male narrator 😕

The male narrator in this audio book was very monotone. I found myself cringing when his voice took over.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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Awesome story!

I don’t know why people are saying the narrators are bad. The narrators are the same ones that do the storm light archive series and everyone love them in those. This book was a great follow up to the first book and I’m really looking forward to the last book!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth
  • 2018-04-24

Performance issues

The performance in the first book was much better. Changing the performance for each first person account doesn’t work because the characters change. Makes me think twice about buying the third book. Also, this story was much tougher to get through and had no resolution.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Beth Anne
  • 2016-02-28

Solid Second Installment

I'm loving this series. I'm a fan of this type of grown-up magic and this story is told very well with both excitement and sentimentality in perfect balance.

My only complaint about this recording is the narrators. Both great in their own right, neither of them "matched" with this story. They both have (how do I say it?) "older" voices -- that didn't fit with the characters they were speaking for. When you find yourself listening to the voice, not the story, you know there is a problem with the narrator, and it till me a while to get past both of these narrators.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • LovelySunrise
  • 2016-03-16

Who chose the narrators?

The story was good enough to keep me listening to the annoying female narrator. The only reason I gave the performance 2 stars was because Michael Kramer did a fine job. Kate Reading, however, is overly dramatic, sing-songy and choppy. There's no way Lila would have sounded like that.

20 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen Crenshaw
  • 2017-01-23

American accents in four Londons. UGH.

Why on earth would they switch to narrators with voices like the overly mannered speech of news anchors?

We have a story of four Londons. Yet, our narrators read it with American accents. Wtf?Not only that, but they sound far too old for the parts. It really ruined it for me.

I enjoyed the first one so much. Sigh.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 2016-07-16

Narration fails this book

The sequel was decent but the narration really let it down. The woman narrator's voice was really grating with her over enunciated William Shatner like over emphasis of words. I had to work to keep my annoyance at bay to finish the book. Her narration was distracting and really absurd. I will just read the third book myself instead of listening.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Zoe Egan McInally
  • 2016-03-26

Warning - cliffhanger ending.

I loved the first book in this series. This one was almost as good but took a long time to get going. If I had known the ending would be so abrupt I would not have been in such a hurry to listen to it. I hope the next one comes out quickly. If I were you I would honestly wait until it does and listen to all three in one long binge. They have used new (American) narrators this time, which was a little bit jarring at first, although they both did a fine job.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • D. Hahn
  • 2017-12-08

Mmm liked the book but narration is terrible

I loved the first book and I liked this second book, but I really could not stand the narration. The first book (a darker shade of magic) is read by Steven Crossley and he did a great job. This second book (gathering of shadows) has different narrators (kate redding and Michael Kramer) and they sucked the life and the fun right out of the characters. They read a book with magic as the main theme like they are reading a dictionary. I will read the third book in print form.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Chad Rice
  • 2016-10-20

Do Not Buy!

I loved listening to the first book as it was enjoyable with a great narrator.

This audio book is just plain horrendous with the new female narrator. Changing to a new narrator during a series is the worst thing to do to listeners. We get accustomed to the way the characters sound along the nuances the narrator incorporates. Changing during a series should never be done unless the original narrator dies. And even then, at least get someone who narrates as close to the way the original one had.

I do not recommend anyone should buy this audio book. The story may be good, but I will never know since I refuse to continue listening.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn Winslow
  • 2016-03-28

Cliffhanger ending :-(

There are some great parts in this story, but continued to be dwarfed by needless backstory and character arcs that didn't finish.
The biggest problem is weaving an entire storyline through the book and not concluding it. Cliffhangers suck.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Oriana
  • 2020-07-23

The new narrators are great

I'm not sure I understand what everyone's issues with the new narrators are. unless it's just that people don't like change. but honestly, the guy who narrated the first book had one of the worst female character voices. I think this book was a wild improvement narrator wise, even though I didn't actually like the story quite as much.

3 people found this helpful