I am going to preface this by saying I am not a patient person. So it speaks volumes that I waited since July for my ebook hold on this book to come to me from my library because I had heard nothing but good things about this book, and I was determined to wait it out.
And when I started reading A Darker Shade of Magic, I was suitably impressed by the world building and the magic system. We only actually get to know Grey London, Red London, and White London, but they were fascinating as they were described in this book. I think that the only other magic system that has drawn me in so much was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I really love that magic is a little bit different in each version of London (with Grey London having no magic whatsoever), and that each version of London doesn’t COMPLETELY mirror the others, but is only an almost carbon copy.
To be honest, what really dropped this book down to 4 stars for me was when the magic from Black London got mixed in because I feel like the magic was lost for me at that point, all the way until the very end, basically. Something about bringing in that dark element to the story and perhaps how it was brought in and implemented just didn’t sit well with me, and the story lost some appeal. It felt to me like the dark magic was ruining the beautiful setup that had already been established. So maybe it’s just petty of me to feel hurt by its intrusion, but I can’t help how I feel I suppose.
In general, though, I found the book to be pretty good, and I recommend taking my review with a grain of salt, as it’s just my personal preferences probably coming into play, and someone else might love what I didn’t.