The lonely and grieving Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters.
A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike.
Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to the more peculiar, like wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis.
In their free time Venators enjoy goblin soap-opera’s and underwater bubble travel, but they also understand that every new mission they’re given could be their last.
Whilst learning how to manipulate the elements, summon magical creatures and shoot Spellzookas, Evan meets a girl who makes him feel nauseous; but in a good way.
He makes the first friends he’s ever had in the carefree Jed and the reckless Brooke. Whilst Jed gets on the wrong side of a rival Venator, Brooke finds herself falling for the enigmatic demon hunter who brought her to Veneseron, not knowing he isn’t quite human. But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.
Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron.
I received a copy of A Darker Shade of Sorcery by the author in exchange of a honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.
While I was really excited to start this book when I read the blurb because it kind of sounded a lot like Shadowhunter Academy (oops), I have to say that this book fell in the okay pile for me. It is listed as YA but it felt a little more Middle Grade to me? Though the writing was simple and also gives you opportunity to visualize everything easily. I had the hardest time in the beginning trying to grasp what exactly was going on. There was too much info dumping and the scenes felt too choppy. I didn’t like how one minute we would be with Evan or Brooke and then right in the middle of a scene it would switch POVs to a villain. It confused me and distracted me. I don’t know if it was because the format on the Kindle was funny or that was intentional. Also, I just couldn’t really get into the characters. I didn’t feel any connection to them in the beginning, but as we went along I did begin to really like Brooke, but was more interested Arantay. He was so mysterious and I felt for him when he was talking about his “condition.” I just have such a soft spot for characters who feel lost and like they don’t belong. It makes me just want to give them a big hug!
What I did really like about this book was all the different creatures. It was fascinating to hear about all these different creatures that I have heard of but have never seen in a Fantasy novel before, as well as some that I have never heard of either. The way the author molds the world is so interesting because it is so full of life and intrigue. So I really commend him for the world building.
Overall, this book was okay. It’s a great beginning to what will be a entertaining series. I would have liked a more fluid beginning so the reader isn’t overwhelmed. Also, there were some problems with formatting that made it a little distracting. Other than that, it was okay for me personally. If you enjoy dark fantasy then give this a try.
Actual rating: 2.75
Until next time,