Rapid Reviews: Cinder, Daughter of Smoke and Bone & A Darker Shade of Magic


This is a new totally unoriginal feature that I’m starting on my blog because I’m lazy. It’s basically just going to be me giving really quick rapid thoughts of books I’ve read a while ago and just haven’t had the time to write a full review for. They’re kind of like mini reviews, but even more mini. There’s going to be nothing technical about these, it’s just my thoughts and feelings.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 387
Buy: AmazonBook Depository
Australia: Angus & RobertsonBooktopia
Follow Marissa Meyer on Twitter

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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🌙 Cinder and Iko’s characters individually and their friendship. Iko was hilarious. I’ve seen some people say Iko annoyed them, but I adored her. Cinder was a brilliant main character. She may have done a few reckless things, but she had a valid reason for doing so. I was rooting for her the whole time.

🌙 The fact that there wasn’t really a romance between Cinder and Kai. This slower build up actually made me wish there was. I rarely get involved in the romance between two characters, but I totally wanted Cinder and Kai to have a happily ever after.

🌙 Levana seems like she’s going to be such an incredible villain and I can’t wait to learn more about her.

🌙 Cinderella is my favourite fairy tale and I thought Marissa Meyer did a great job retelling it.

🌙 Cyborgs. Do I even need to say anything else?


🌙 There were tropes and it was a tad predictable. I’m not sure if I can count this as something I disliked though because I honestly didn’t care whilst reading it. I was really caught up in the story. It did affect my overall rating though so.




Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy: AmazonBook Depository
Australia: Angus & RobertsonBooktopia
Follow Laini Taylor on Twitter

“Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came.”

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

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🎨 Laini Taylor’s writing style is EVERYTHING: “She moved like a poem and smiled like a sphinx.” I know not everyone is into flowery prose, but it is my FAVOURITE.

 🎨 The settings felt so alive. I felt like I was actually in Prague. The wanderlust is real, guys.

🎨 Zuzana! I can’t express how much I L O V E Zuzana. She was hilarious and SUCH A GOOD FRIEND! It was great seeing her have substance and not just being reduced to conveniently showing up.

🎨 Karou and Zuzana’s friendship is incredible. It’s honestly one of the things I loved the most about this book. It is so great seeing a positive female friendship in YA. I feel like it’s even less common in fantasy. It was incredibly refreshing.

🎨 The relationship Karou had with Brimstone, Issa and others from Elsewhere.

🎨 The entire story and all the characters and the world was so unique and creative. It was unlike anything I’ve read before.


🎨 The romance between Karou and Akiva. This might change once I continue the series, but at this stage it just wasn’t something I connected with. This is probably on me because I have a hard time connection with past live things.

🎨 The pacing was really slow at the start.




A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 384
Buy: AmazonBook Depository
Australia: Angus & RobertsonBooktopia
Follow V.E. Schwab on Twitter

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.

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⚔ E V E R Y T H I NG!!!!!!!!!!

⚔ No. Seriously. I loved everything.

⚔ Lila Bard. My brutal, kickass pirate thief. Such an amazing female character!!!

⚔ The relationship between Kell and Rhy. Be still my heart.

⚔ The world building was amazing. I find it so hard to understand fantasies, but this was explained so brilliantly. I loved the magic and the parallel Londons so much.

⚔ Holland. My conflicted, complex, evil son. I have a weakness for characters that are genuinely conflicted and not just “hot and sassy”. I don’t know if I’m supposed to love Holland, but I do. So there’s that.

⚔ The fight scenes were INCREDIBLE. Everything was so intense.

⚔ If you’ve never read Adult Fiction before, but want to start then this is such a great starting point! It’s like a more Adult YA? If that makes sense.







Have you read any of these? Are they on your TBR?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day xx

54 thoughts on “Rapid Reviews: Cinder, Daughter of Smoke and Bone & A Darker Shade of Magic

  1. AHAHAHAAHAH! Your feelings about ADSOM are everything !! That’s exactly how I reacted to what happened and WAIT UNTIL YOU FINISH AGOS!!!!!!!!!! It will kill you as it did to me (Or have you finished it? xD)
    I agree on Cinder too but I didn’t mind the trope as I might with other books so I rated it the same as you !


  2. I’m yet to read all of these! I’m excited for them all, though, especially A Darker Shade of Magic! (I also LOVE the way you laid this out with the little relevant icons as bullet points!)


  3. First of all, I have to read all these books because they sound awesome and I can’t believe I haven’t given them a try!! Second, I was also going to start mini reviews on my blog because some books are hard to fully review, you know? Better to say just a few things. Especially for poetry collections, as I know nothing of form, structure and all of that stuff. It’s great to see these rapid reviews 😀 Love them.


  4. I love these kind of reviews! And I’m really glad you enjoyed Cinder, I agree with you, Iko was SO awesome, I loved her, she’s actually one of my favorite characters in that series. And ADSOM, all your feelings hahah, that book was SO great and if you loved Kell and Rhy, wait until you read the second book ❤ ❤


  5. These are all great reviews Lauren, and I am so so glad you loved all of these books because they are the beginnings of three of my all-time favourite series.
    I do agree with you that Cinder had a lot of tropes, I knew who the Lunar Princess was pretty much from the get go but it was still a great read, and I loved Cinder and Iko’s friendship as well! The series gets so much better with each book so now you’ve read Cinder you need to read Scarlet, and then Cress and then Winter! 😀
    I loved Laini Taylor’s writing style as well, and the way she described Prague really made me want to visit as well, the wanderlust was real with that book!
    I am so so so glad that you loved ADSOM, you really need to read A Gathering of Shadows but if you thought the ending to this book ripped your heart out just wait for the ending of AGOS! 😀


    1. Thanks so much, Beth!

      Yeah, I had that predicted that too. I found myself not caring as much as I normally would though, haha. I really enjoyed Cinder way more than I thought I would.

      Laini’s writing is soooooo good!! I can’t wait to continue the series!!

      HAHA. I’m not ready!! I keep putting of AGOS because I’m not ready for the end and because I don’t want to have to wait for ACOL 😂


  6. I have ADSOM waiting in my TBR pile and I’m soooo excited to read it! I haven’t heard anything bad about it, plus I managed to get it signed by VE Schwab at a book convention where I bought it, which is even more exciting haha.


  7. I’m so glad you enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone! Your review is exactly how I reacted when I first read it. Especially the wanderlust and her writing. It was so beautiful! I agree with you on the pacing, it kind of threw me off at times. Slower starts are where I struggle even when I love the book. Also, your reviews for ADSOM and Cinder have me wanting to read both of them! Especially ADSOM. That book is on my must read before the end of 2016 list. I want to read it so bad! I just have to get through these review books first 😂. Lovely reviews! I enjoyed reading them. 😊


    1. Thank you! I loved DoSaB when things really kicked off. Laini’s writing style really helped me deal with the pacing because my attention span is non existent, haha. I’m really excited to continue the rest of the series!

      ADSOM is one of my fave reads of the year, it was amazing!! I enjoyed Cinder a lot more than I was expecting too!! I hope you enjoy both of them ♥


  8. Ah these are all such great books! 🙂 I loved each and every one of these! Cinder was also a pleasant surprise for me – I didn’t expect to like it but I did and I feel like the series only got better with each next book! Zuzanna was my favorite character in ADOSAB too. Her friendship with Karou was so amazing. And ADSOM has been one of my favorite reads this year too! I want to start A Gathering of Shadows now and I also want to wait and savour it – so I don’t know what I want 🙂
    Also, these mini reviews are so much fun too! Definitely a good idea!


    1. Thanks Lindsey! I’m so glad you enjoyed all of these too 🙂 Zuzana was amazing. I really can’t wait to continue on with all the series! I’m not ready for the wait for A Conjuring of Light so I keep putting off reading A Gathering of Shadows, haha.


  9. I’ve read all but the last one, though I finally own it now! I love your cover so much more!! That, and have you seen the AUS cover for Three Dark Crowns? Gorgeous! (Haven’t read that one either…but if I love either of them, I may have to ask you to send me a nice Aussie cover – and I would send you the money, lol)
    Very cute mini-reviews! Maybe I should do that with the books on GR that I never got a chance to review (before my reviewing days).
    Great post!!


    1. Haha yeah, sometimes the UK/Aus editions win out 😅 I have seen the Three Dark Crowns cover! It’s gorgeous. I’m reading an ARC atm and I have mixed feelings haha, but at least the cover is gorgeous I guess?

      Thank you!! It’s definitely convenient if you’re like me and just want something quick and easy, haha!


  10. Hi Lauren! Just wanna tell you that I created a book tag and tagged you in it. I hope you’ll enjoy the tag. It’s okay if you don’t want to do the tag though.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You basically just summed up my exact feelings about each of these books! I love Iko so much, she’s my favourite character in The Lunar Chronicles, and Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke & Bone was amazing too. Have you started any of the seconds books in any of these series? Lunar Chronicles gets better and better with every book, so you’re in for a treat there! I really need to read A Gathering of Shadows soon – loved ADSOM so much 🙂


    1. Haha, yay! Iko and Zuzana are both so amazing. I haven’t got to the second books yet! I’m the worst when it comes to continuing series 😅 I have started AGOS, but I keep putting it off because I don’t want to have to deal with the wait for A Conjuring of Light, haha!!


  12. If there’s something that each and every one of these have in common, it’s that their endings definitely end on a massive cliffhanger! I’m so glad you loved all of these books, some of my favourites OF ALL TIME. Lovely reviews Lauren!


  13. I’m glad you enjoyed Cinder! I still need to read a Darker Shade of Magic and Daughter of Smoke and Bones. I think I’ll get to the former first, because I just read Vicious recently and I LOVE it. Schwab is an awesome author!


  14. LOVING ALL THESE REVIEWS! The Lunar Chronicles series is such a great one and it gets better with every book, I’m glad to see you enjoyed it! ADOSAB is on my TBR and I cannot wait to give it a read! I’ve heard so much great stuff come out of it 🙂 and ADSOM! I NEED TO READ IT! I have it on my bookshelf and I’m just waiting for the best chance to read it! ❤ Really great reviews as always! 🙂


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