Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mini Reviews: The Conspiracy of Us & A Darker Shade of Magic

Hey, loves! Since two sequels for some of my most anticipated books of the year are coming out this month and early next month, I thought I'd publish my [revamped] reviews from last year and tell you why I loved them so much. Can't wait to see whether we agree or not on these particular reads if some of you have already read them! ♥ (ˆ‿ˆԅ)✨

Title: The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us #1)
Author: Maggie Hall
Published: January 13th, 2015 by Putnam Juvenile
Read: July 20th to 21th, 2015
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance--perfect for fans of Ally Carter.

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family--but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she's falling in love with.

I had heard some mixed things prior reading, but since I had quite a few Audible credits, I decided to go for it last summer since some of my favorite people *cough* Eri, Sue, Jess, Katie and Zee *cough* seemed to have enjoyed The Conspiracy of Us quite a bit. Here's a short list with my thoughts:

  • the mystery is great and keeps you on your toes; even though I figured some things out beforehand, it was so fun to guess and wonder if I was on the right track
  • I love that there is a lot of mythology to the Circle and historical figures are combined into it all (it's one of the things that I feel like lacks in Ally Carter's Heist Society books, for instance, that I'm reading right now; don't get me wrong, I love Ally's books, but I wish there was more background and explanation on certain things and I love that Maggie's novel provides that kind of information)
  • the plot was paced well except a few parts, but honestly, most of it just flew by and was hella fun to follow
  • I was pretty neutral about the two ships, but I do have a ship now and it's not the canon ship sooooo I'm hoping more things in the upcoming novels for my guy; a request has been passed along to Maggie by Sue, Eri and I, so I hope at least some smoldering looks is put there heeheee (ɔ◔‿◔)ɔ ♥ (the ending looks very promising, dare I say!)
  • the family and Avery's background -- I can't wait for even more of that in the next novels; super pumped to learn more of how they're involved and all the little, intriguing details of this whole conspiracy
  • the last 1/3 was so intense I REALLY LOVED IT AND ahh i'm just so excited to know more!!!!!
  • I wish the novel had had a little more culture combined into it all, but I think as we go to the following books, we will get more of that. I skimmingly read the preview for Map of Fates and it. looks. amazing, let me tell you!

As a whole I thoroughly enjoyed it and am eagerly looking forward to the next two books :) My pre-order of Map of Fates couldn't come fast enough, tbh! PS. Thanks to the gals mentioned above for the group convo that made this reading experience possibly even more fun ♥♥♥

My The Conspiracy of Us inspired picspam can be found here, on my Tumblr. 
[Click on the photos to view them in HQ.]

Overall rating: 3.9 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

Meet the author

Website | TumblrTwitter | Goodreads

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: February 24th, 2015 by Tor Books
Read: October 30th to November 9th, 2015
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

You know, I had owned Victoria's The Archived and The Unbound for about a year or almost two before I finally picked up The Archived and read the brilliance. It was pretty much love at first sight and I can't wait to tackle The Unbound sometime this year. I had never really been pulled towards ADSoM or Vicious though, but after reading the gem that was TA, I just had to give ADSoM a try and IT WAS AMAZING!

So super duper that glad this was a daily deal on audible. Boy was this fun and different! I love the characters and my favorite character is probably Lila—a cross dressing thief slash pirate; what a spunky source of fire and charm that one! She is courageous, intense and adorable all the same. Also, Kell and [his step-brother] Rhy are both fantastic and I love that Kell supports Rhy's sexuality. (It isn't said what his sexuality is, so I don't want to label it, but he is attracted to both men and women.) Rhy is so funny and cute, I just have allllll the feels tbh whenever he's in a scene. The love and concern the brothers share for each other is super endearing. Also, something happens at the end of the book that really sets the tone of their relationship for the following books and I can't wait to see how this situation plays out.

I really enjoyed the overall plot as well even though it was a bit slow in parts. The world is really cool and there is lots of room to explore different Londons + the traveling aspect between the realms was done well; I quite enjoyed the portrayal of the effect that magic has had on each territory and how it can easily corrupt a soul if one isn't careful enough.

My only complaint is that perhaps the narration was a bit over the top and the chapters read a bit weird on audio? I couldn't tell what chapter I was on because of the part numbers in each chapter. This is partly the reason why I'm getting the A Gathering of Shadows in hardcover; not at all beacuse the covers are amazing or anything and definitely nothing to do with 500 pages of what is most-likely-a-piece-of-amazingness...... nope, not at all!

My A Darker Shade of Magic inspired picspam can be found here, on my Tumblr. 
[Click on the photos to view them in HQ.]

Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

Meet the author

Website | TumblrTwitter | Goodreads


  1. Clearly I need to read both of these Siiri! I haven't read anything by Victoria Schwab yet, how much do I fail? I think A Darker Shade of Magic might be the perfect place to start.

    And I love the sound of Conspiracy of Fates, though I'm a little nervous about the potential for a love triangle. I think maybe I need to wait until you read the second book and can tell me if one ship comes out on top:)

  2. Stab me in the heart will ya Siiri bringing up faults in my favorite books *staggers at blow* but yesss to everything in The Conspiracy of Us! And the non-canon ship!!!!! I'm so excited to read the sequel, it's been so long and I need to find out how my (second) favorite Russian boy is doing ahah. Omg it's really embarrassing I still haven't read ADSOM, I kept saying I would and I didn't get past page 3 because I got distracted by other shiny things, mainly more books and I dunno where my head is at I'll pick up books and then drop them for no reason.

    Eri @ Airy Reads

  3. I seriously need to read ADSOM. :O Is it cheating to admit I'm scared?!?! EVERYONE LOVES IT SO MUCH. PRESSURE. XD Although I did give Vicious 5stars so what even am I whingeing about. I'm sure I'll love it. hehe. Oh oh but I haven't read A Conspiracy of US and this makes me want to. MY TBR DOESNT THANK YOU SIIRI.

  4. Hi, Siiri! It’s been quiet here for a while. Lovely reviews, Siiri! I’m not sure about The Conspiracy of Us, this love triangle makes my eyes twitch. I haven’t read anything by V.E. Schwab, though A Darker Shade of Magic is on my tbr-list.

  5. I think out of these two books A Darker Shade of Magic would be more my sort of read, which is a shocker as if you asked me this last year, I don't think this would be the sort of book that I would pick up at all! I hope the follow up books to these live up to your expectations too. Lovely reviews! :)

  6. I have both of these in my library and I think I should get to read them. I love the sounds of Conspiracy of Us. I requested it but never got anything. So I must must try and get to this sometime. Great reviews, Siiri! :)

  7. ERMERGERSH ADSOM IS JUST *PERFECTION*. I'm glad you're getting AGOS in hardcover!!!! I find that books are just great to stroke and feel while not reading hehe. Lila is SUCH A KICKASS CHARACTER; she is literally #goalz. The magical aspects are too amazing as well. I'm so glad this is going to be a TV show! IT'S GOING TO BE SO RAD OMG.

    I liked the Conspiracy of Us too, albeit not as much as ADSOM (MAGIC FTW). I really enjoyed the whole Circle aspect and the well-paced plot. But the romance was booooo. I'd rather go with the canon ship (is it??) and the ending was just like "NOOOoooo" because WHY. (That may be vague LOL) But I was just disappointed to see where that was heading. I can't wait to read the sequel though!

    - Aila @ One Way Or An Author

  8. OMG Aila and Jenna have been wanting me to pick up ADSOM ASAP and I can't wait to pick it up! For some reason I haven't been in the mood for it though - I'll definitely pick it up soon since AGOS is out soon!

    I'm glad you had fun with A Conspiracy of Us, the mythology, intenseness of the ending and everyone ramping up definitely sounds like it was a lot of fun!

    So good to see you posting Siiri <3

  9. I own a number of Victoria's books (including ADSoM) myself, and I don't really know why I never got around to reading any of them! ADSoM in particular is nothing but loved and has received rave reviews from practically every blog I follow. Lila sounds like such a fascinating character to read about, and I love hearing that Kell supports his brother's sexuality! We really need more of that, don't we?

    And A Conspiracy of Us sounds like a pretty fun read as well!

    Great reviews, Siiri! <3

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

  10. YES TO BOTH OF THESE. I really liked The Conspiracy of Us too - it was just so much fun to read and I thought it was really original and well-executed. I'm still in denial from the ending though.

    And I absolutely adored VE Schwab's Vicious, which makes me a bit nervous to try ADSoM, but I've heard nothing but fabulous things about it, so I guess I better get on that ASAP.

    Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous reviews! ♥