Book Review: A Darker Shade of Sorcery

A Darker Shade of Sorcery
William Collins
Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy
3rd January, 2016

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 finding stray dog-dragons and calming down drunken Yetti’s.
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 creatures to fight for him and shoot Spellzooka’s, Evan encounters a dangerous rival and 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. 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.


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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was pretty excited when Collins asked me to review his book, as fantasy is right up my alley. I started reading, and I first want to say that the writing is clean, very few errors and even then only minor ones. That was in no way my problem with this book. I think, for me, it was simply much too Harry Potter-esque. And while I love Harry Potter, I do prefer to read the original.

All in all the book was well written, I simply just could not bring myself to get into it as I do with other books. I’m not sure if it was too juvenile for me. After all, I’m not the 14 year-old that fell in love with Harry Potter now, and this book may just be better for a younger audience, I don’t know.

Even and Brooks are perfectly likable characters, and they go on ‘many’ adventures together learning to fight demons at a special school (Harry?). Also Evan starts out with a dead grandmother, and a rather large group of bullies. I did feel I was able to connect somewhat with Evan at the beginning while he was being bullied, but I felt that his magic came into play way too powerfully way too fast. All of a sudden he was able to shoot fire from his hands, within the first chapter. I guess I might have wished for a more gradual realization of just how powerful he had the potential to become.

All I can say is that, if you are younger than 20, this book may be for you. If not, I’m not so sure. That is for you to decide!


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