Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Darker Shade of Magic ~ V.E. Schwab (audiobook narrated by Steve Crossley)

Schwab, V.E. A Darker Shade of Magic. Narrated by Steve Crossley. Tantor Audio. 2015. CD.

I chose to listen to this book on CD, rather than read it in print, due to the number of holds placed on it in my library, and I am so glad that I did.  Audiobook narrators can be very good or very bad, just like books in print.  Steve Crossley has an impressive background in theatre and narration, having recorded over 200 audiobooks (according to his website).  The author, V.E. Schwab, set this tale in London, or one of many Londons, so Crossely’s British accent fits the setting nicely.  He has an impressive range of British accents, from the Queen’s English, to Cockney, and is able to clearly narrate the story so that the listener always knows who is speaking.

Kell is a rare Antari, a magical being able to travel between three different Londons: Red, White and Gray.  There was, at one time, a Black London, but magic there became so powerful that the door to that London was closed permanently.  Now there exists only three Londons, and Kell travels between them delivering correspondence among the royal families of Red and White London.  Gray London has very little magic left and most citizens know nothing of the other Londons.  It is in Gray London that Kell meets Delilah, a scrappy pickpocket who steals a piece of black stone from him and sets off this magical swashbuckling tale.  I do think I enjoyed this book more, having listened to it, than I would have by reading it alone, which is high praise for an audiobook, indeed!

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